THE BLOG

Obama's First Attack Ad

04/15/2008 08:52 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has released what it says will be a Web ad that slams Sen. Hillary Clinton for taking money from Washington lobbyists and includes a clip of her defending lobbyists at the Yearly Kos convention last summer.

The campaigns like to call these contrast ads, but it's arguably the first negative ad that didn't arrive in voter mailboxes. It even features a similar locked chainlink fence from the NAFTA mailer that Clinton got so flummoxed about back in Ohio.

The campaign bills the 1 minute, 1 second ad as for the Web, even though it's labeled "TV ad" under an "On the air" page of the Obama Web site. Obama spokesman Bill Burton told me it is a Web ad only.

Here's the campaign release:

"Guide" shows Obama as the only candidate who will take on the special interests, while Clinton accepts most lobbyist money of any candidate

PHILADELPHIA, PA — U.S. Senator Barack Obama's Presidential campaign today unveiled a new web ad that shows a "three step guide" to understanding the influence of Washington lobbyists. In the style of an old PSA, "Guide" shows the three steps of influence for Washington lobbyists. Step one — "Lobbyists donate to politicians" — shows that Senator Hillary Clinton has taken more money from lobbyists than any other candidate — Republican or Democrat. Step two — "Politicians defend lobbyists" — reminds viewers that Clinton has said, "You know a lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans." Step three — "Americans pay the price" — shows gasoline approaching $4 per gallon, skyrocketing insurance and drug prices, and trade deals and bankruptcy laws that betray working families.

The ad finishes with the summary line: "We can't end the Washington game … until we change the players."

Senator Hillary Clinton has taken over $800,000 from lobbyists, more money than any other candidate — Republican or Democrat:

* Over $130,000 from energy lobbyists
* Over $130,000 from drug company lobbyists
* Over $125,000 from health care and insurance lobbyists


Barack Obama is the only candidate in the race who doesn't take money from special interest PACs or Washington lobbyists and has passed legislation to reduce their power in Washington.

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times