Obama buys half-hour of primetime on CBS, NBC

News out that the Obama campaign has purchased a half-hour of primetime television for what amounts to a half hour Obama infomercial. So far, just CBS and NBC have confirmed the purchase took place though rumors abound that Obama was also pursuing FOX broadcasting.

Report from The Live Feed:

Barack Obama has purchased a half-hour of primetime television on CBS and NBC, sources confirm.

The Obama campaign is producing a nationwide pitch to voters that will air on at least two broadcast networks. The ad will run Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. — less than a week before the general election.

The direct purchase of such a large block of national airtime right before an election used to be more commonplace before campaigns began to focus their endgame strategies exclusively on battleground states. Such a move is not without precedent in modern presidential politics, however — Ross Perot did a similar purchase in 1992.

The special is a smart move for the Obama campaign, said Larry Sabato, a political analyst and director of the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia.

“Obama’s theme is not just change but unity, so he’s appealing to the whole nation rather than a handful of tossup states,” Sabato said. “He wants to win the popular vote by a good margin, which will enable him to govern.”

And he’s got the cash for it, Sabato said.

Whether John McCain’s campaign will do the same remains to be seen, though there’s one big thing moving against it: money. Unlike Obama, who rejected public financing of the presidential campaign, McCain is accepting it. That means the McCain camp is limited in the amount of money that it can spend and raise, and in its TV buying has been limited mostly to ads in battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Florida.

“There will be no second-guessing the Obama campaign on decisions involving resources,” Tracey said. “He’s not doing this and pulling down buys in Florida. This is not an either/or decision. They’ve got 25 days and unlimited amounts of money.”

Neither Sabato nor Tracey could say whether the McCain campaign could buy its own time on the networks, even if it wanted to, because of the cost involved. The networks are obligated to offer the similar time and the same price to McCain. After Obama bought about $5 million worth of ads in the Summer Olympics telecasts including national time, McCain bought about $6 million worth in the Olympics. But now, with money and time being tight, it might be more difficult with making hard choices. The McCain camp has already pulled its ads from Michigan, once considered a key battleground state.

Not surprising considering Obama already has his own channel on Dish Network. Clearly the Obama campaign believes spreading his message via television is the way to go in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

Maybe it will be Billy Mays giving the sales pitch of a lifetime.

What this means for McCain is anyone’s guess since his campaign will now be deciding where money should be spent, what states are most important to blanket. That being said, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that his campaign also buys time on at least one network perhaps, just to give a similar national message.


    Nbc, and cbs probably gave it to him for free knowing their liberal biases. I love how someone like this can control a whole time slot for a period. This is more like some Iranian TV where the government puts out propaganda to brainwash the people, something Obama seems to be very well trained in and good at.

  • Mitch

    WAIT!!!!!!!! Wasn’t there something against that after the whole campaign finance reform? How can he do THAT with a week til the election?

  • U.S.A.


    He has the money and they have the time. Where is the problem. Obama will be the next President man. Why do you continue to fight for a breath? Just go ahead and sink and you will be better off in the end. You can join the winning side if you just lose the stupid and think straight. Take a moment and just calm down…..

    Ok, now just think. See, life will continue. I bet money right here and now to anyone that says that on November 5th the sun will rise.

    Obama/Biden ’08

  • EricF

    Obama will be the next President man.

    good, i hope so. we can all sign up for his entitlement programs. life will be great. nobody wil ever have to work again. we can all depend on wealth redistribution. oh wait what will he do when there is no wealth? what motivation will anyone have to succeed? well i guess we dont have to worry about any of that under Obama since government will take care of everything. 🙂 sounds like a plan to me.

  • JD

    EricF- “Obama will be the next President man….Good, I hope so”

    Sounds like Eric is finally excepting his fate. That’s a good boy Eric. Exceptence.

    Obama\Biden 08
    Obama\Hillary ’12

  • EricF

    JD thats fine with me. hell im sure thats fine with all Americans. we can all just quit our jobs and rely on government for everything. wonder where they will get the money to support all of us? guess we better start drilling for exportation, were gonna need the money.

  • Dreadsen


    “Nbc, and cbs probably gave it to him for free knowing their liberal biases.”


    yeah the same CBS that edited out McCain’s error of the anbar awakening so he wouldn’t look bad?

    The same CBS that edited out Ahmadinjad’s interview which contradicted a lot of what the media is peddling? Good thing C-span showed the whole thing.

    So you can strike CBS off of that list.


    JD, you said “just go ahead and sink and you will be better off in the end. You can join the winning side if you just lose the stupid and think straight.”

    My name is Luke and I do not fall for the dark side any day and in this case the darkside is definitely Obama.

    My name is actually Luke to LOL

  • JD

    Luke, I did not say that… it was U.S.A. but i stand by his message.

  • Dreadsen


  • Laszo Toth, Jr

    Luke, it’s called capitalism. It’s how the American economy works. You should study it sometime, instead of trying to subvert it like that socialist, McCain.

    But, it’s true, many McCain supporters tend to blame America first. It’s like they’re afraid power might go to… to… an *American*, or something.

    Good thing McCain uses that “Country First” podium. Every time he does, he campaigns for Obama.

    Good thing McCain the hothead keeps talking about a steady hand at the tiller. Every time he does, he campaigns for Obama.

    There’s a conservative, Christian candidate for president.

    And then there’s John McCain.

  • Babs

    I think if he waits that long he’s wasting money. Everyone I know has already made up their minds. Hell, half of them have already voted.

  • Chris in Cincy

    dont overlook the “stupid” vote. a vast sea of uninformed, and ignorant voting americans will emerge from their basements, (or sewers, or wherever the hell it is these “special” people dwell…) on election day to cast their votes. these people probably havent paid any attention to the election process up to this point and may tune in the last week, if at all. in which case obama is going to bank on all the post airing media attention and undoubted endless-loop-replays somewhere in cyberspace – therefore having serious influence on the “stupid” vote.
    im not saying its a perfect system (far from it), but its reality. our country is driven by morons… in office and out 😉

    mandatory i.q. testing to qualify for voting? anyone? …or just adequate literacy? ::sigh::… we’re so doomed…

    [populists rule! and DOWN with political parties and their propaganda!]

  • Babs

    Chris in Cincy, we agree. In fact, I saw an interview this morning from CBS, they say watch the show tonight and 20/20 Friday night. They’ve done a piece on the “stupid” vote. All these young voters who are registering at football games, etc. can’t even identify a picture of Joe Biden. But they could ALL identify “Judge Judy” from TV. His point was that people are going to vote with no intelligence whatsoever, and how scary that is to think who will sway this election if it’s indeed the “youth” vote.

    I also just saw a new poll out on independents – 34% Obama, 32% McCain, and still 33% undecided. So I guess everyone hasn’t decided.

  • Babs

    Sorry, Chris, I screwed up the post and it was too late to edit. I meant ABC’s John Stossil. Here’s the clip I saw this morning. You’ll say OMG. 😉


  • Chris in Cincy

    haha, yeah, cant say im surprised. speaking as a recent graduate of a masters program, i loathe the majority of my fellow college students. their “higher education” involves little to no education, its all about their social lives or actually getting high, lol. at least theyre registering to vote, the next step must be getting informed… right?

  • Babs

    One can only hope, Chris. One can only hope.


    LASZO JR, Is your comment actually serious?

  • Chris-“speaking as a recent graduate of a masters program, i loathe the majority of my fellow college students. their “higher education” involves little to no education, its all about their social lives or actually getting high, lol.” I know exactly what you speak of. I graduated a year ago and I have a hard just dealing with our generation let alone the professors who are indoctrinating. Political differences are fine, but most can’t even debate you on the topic b/c they lack the knowledge and the vocabulary. All they know is they’re hard core to one side but they don’t know why, same goes for some of my friends I’m afraid. Here’s to our generation growing up and becoming informed!

  • I keep getting emails from David Plouffe asking if I’ll donate to Obama’s campaign, I haven’t done before, but if he’s buying up primetime TV then he’ll need all the cash he can get, so I might chuck him a few buck$.

  • “LASZO JR, Is your comment actually serious?”


    oh great humor in all the threads!

  • Laszo Toth, Jr

    It’s the most serious comment on this thread, Luke.

    John McCain was subjected to five-and-a-half years of 24×7 indoctrination and re-education at the hands of his communist Vietnamese masters.

    Do you really think that didn’t have an effect?

    Who is John McCain?

    What are his accomplishments?

    He’s been in the Senate for a quarter-century… Aside from McCain-Feingold, the campaign finance law that hurt so many Republicans after it was passed six years ago… What has he done to earn the right to be president?

    How can someone work at a job for so long and have so little to show for it?

    He keeps talking about how he’s not “Miss Congeniality,” and hasn’t gotten along with his party… so why should we, as Republicans, vote for him? Can he work with Republicans, and not just his Democratic (and communist) friends if elected?

    I never get serious answers to these questions. His supporters just say he’s THE ONE. Or they define him as not being the other guy. (Duh.)

  • Arizona Jo

    This 70 year old Arizona resident who was born and raised in Arizona and KNOWS who the real John McCain is … and who remembers the Keating 5 (McCain did not go to jail like Keating because he was a Senator)… and McCain’s anger management problem… And, I am a proud Older White Woman Obama supporter who has supported him from the first speech my granddaughters(college kids)sent me on UTube! He IS our hope for the future! We have been on a class distinction downward roll for far too long in America. The rich have gotten richer (and how) and the poor, poorer. Maybe that’s a nation some want and some want this to continue happening; but, not me! I was born at the end of the depression; and, believe me I KNOW HARD TIMES. Vote for McCain if that’s what you want. If not, vote Obama.