The Campaign Spot

McDonnell’s Going to Run Ads! It Shocks and Surprises . . . Uh, Who, Exactly?

The Washington Post’s Metro section seems to think it’s a very big deal that a contractor for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell revealed that he’s working on commercials.

“I work 45 hours a week as an assistant editor in Boston editing political campaign commercials. Right now: Bob McDonnell for VA Gov,” Jonathan Paula wrote.

Oops.

Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, has not yet aired a television commercial. And when he intends to start has been a closely guarded secret, especially since a Democratic group began a half-million-dollar ad campaign Monday that slams him.

Er, why, precisely, is when McDonnell’s going to run ads a closely guarded secret? Is there some calendar locked in a vault somewhere?

But the story never answers that question; it’s just ipso facto presumed that this is a gaffe or a scandal of some kind.

Wouldn’t any sentient observer of politics have figured that with Democratic groups and Mike Bloomberg running attack ads against him, McDonnell was going to go up sometime soon? What, was there a pool in the Metro section newsroom on when they would run? Did somebody put a lot of money on “no TV ads would run until November” or something?

Keep in mind GOPAC is already running ads touting McDonnell, and McDonnell is running web ads.

I see liberal Virginia blogger Not Larry Sabato insists running ads is a sign of weakness. Yes, all of the most successful campaigns try to avoid television advertising as much as possible.

UPDATE: An NLS commenter observes that Democrat Tim Kaine ran his first television ad on April 26, 2005.

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