Isle TV ads encourage Obama’s candidacy
The organizers of a grass-roots campaign to convince U.S. Sen. Barack Obama to run for president are hoping that the Punahou graduate is watching TV on Christmas morning.
The volunteer group Draft-Obama.org has purchased air time on Honolulu's ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates on Monday morning to run a 60-second spot highlighting Obama's leadership potential and the growing support of his possible candidacy.
Organizers say they are hoping Obama (D-Ill.) sees the ads while he is here on vacation and spending time with family for the holidays.
Although he has not announced his candidacy, Obama, 45, has acknowledged he is considering a run for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
"We're hoping that he sees the public groundswell and realizes that we've got his back, and if he jumps into this we're going to work as hard as we possibly can to make sure he's the next president," Web site founder Ben Stanfield said by telephone from his home in Rockville, Md.
Obama has no public appearances scheduled during his time in Hawaii.
His sister, Maya Soetoro, has said her brother will decide on his political future while in Hawaii and announce his intentions upon returning to Washington, D.C., next year.
A group of local Democrats announced its support last week for Obama's candidacy and urged him to run.
Stanfield said his site has received about 5,000 online signatures to a petition urging Obama to run. Another site, runobama.com, says it has received more than 15,000 online signatures.
Kris Schultz, a spokeswoman for DraftObama.org, declined to say how much was spent on the ads in Hawaii, saying only that it was a "modest buy."
The Obama ad, entitled "Believe Again," was produced by Democratic media consultant Bud Jackson, who also produced ads in 2004 for the successful effort to draft Wesley Clark into the Democratic primary race for president, organizers said.
It includes still pictures of Obama at rallies and events and features a voice-over composed of clips from the senator's speeches, including his star-making address to the Democratic National Convention in 2004.
Similar spots began running this week in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.