After months of running mostly attack ads against Democrat John Kerry (search), President Bush's campaign soon will run biographical commercials — but the campaign won't say how soon.
The incumbent Republican will tape his first biographical ads of the election Wednesday, using his 1,600-acre ranch in Crawford, Texas, as a backdrop, aides said. However, they wouldn't say when the commercials will hit the airwaves.
Bush pulled down all of his TV ads last week, with aides recognizing the spots would likely have little, if any, effect during the Democratic National Convention, which is producing floods of news coverage about Kerry.
However, Bush is slated to go back on the air — at least on cable channels — starting Aug. 6. His campaign has bought at least $2 million worth of airtime to continue running ads next month on national cable networks. It's about the same amount as what he has spent on cable each month since he first went on the air in March.
Aides say Bush also will continue to run ads next month in local media markets in battleground states, although the campaign has not yet laid down that money.
Historically, presidential candidates — even incumbents — open their advertising campaigns with commercials meant to tell voters who they are and what they stand for. But Bush's first ads focused on leadership, as well as the country's economic and national security challenges. A week later, he launched the first of many attack ads against Kerry.
The campaign could continue running those next month or switch to the biographical commercials.
In 2000, Bush's Texas media consultant Mark McKinnon specialized in warm-and-fuzzy commercials that brought out the president's personality. McKinnon was on the ranch with the president this week.
Bush is unwinding there before the final stretch of the campaign, while Democrats spend the week in Boston at the national convention where Kerry, the Massachusetts senator, will accept his party's nomination Thursday.