WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search) paused his campaign advertising this week because of the July 4 holiday — except in Albuquerque, N.M., where he started broadcasting a new TV commercial Wednesday that emphasizes his various roles and mentions Ronald Reagan (search) and Bill Clinton (search).
"He's a husband and father. A pilot, a hunter, a hockey player. Tough prosecutor, advocate for kids," the ad says. "Nineteen years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (search)."
The 30-second ad also describes him as "a combat veteran who has been praised by former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both Presidents Reagan and Clinton" and an "author of a strategy to win the war on terror."
The ad is largely biographical, a deviation from Kerry's most recent commercials that mostly highlight his policy proposals. In May, Kerry ran 60-second biographical ads that were meant to introduce him to voters. He followed those up with commercials that fleshed out his agenda.
"This an important piece of introducing John Kerry to the nation leading up to the convention," which begins in Boston on July 25, said Stephanie Cutter, a Kerry campaign spokeswoman.
Kerry's campaign spent next to nothing — about $50,000 — to run the new ad in the one media market for a week. Cutter said the commercial likely will go up in other states and nationally later on.
After spending more than $60 million on ads since March, Kerry stopped running commercials in media markets in 19 other states and on national cable networks on Monday because of expected low viewership around Independence Day.
President Bush's re-election campaign, which has spent more than $80 million on commercials, also suspended advertising during the period.
By the time the campaign resumes ads next week, Bush will have been absent from the airwaves in local media markets in 19 states for two weeks. And, he will have been dark on national cable networks for over a week.