Tonight, Barack Obama had his campaign show (as I'm not sure "infomercial" is quite the word for what it was). I caught a bit of it because, well, I have other things to keep me occupied, but I was reminded of something while watching it.
Quick quiz. Who was the last Presidential candidate to spend money for airtime on prime time TV? If you said "Ross Perot" you would be correct. Perot's three prime time specials were innovative for the time, but they didn't really garner the kind of support necessary to win. Granted, he was running as a third party candidate, he had suspended his campaign and then restarted it, and, oh yeah, he was nuts, so it's not a perfect comparison. However, there were enough similarities in my mind to make the connection. Fortunately for Obama, very few voters today remember the Perot specials. And, also, fortunately for Obama, he didn't rely on charts and graphs to make his point.
Will it be effective in swaying those remaining unsure voters? Probably not. To be quite honest, I didn't see it as anything but Obama showing off how much money he could spend and what he could get major networks to do merely because he wanted to do it. This has the potential to backfire on Obama, especially if it comes off as elitist or if the viewership wasn't there to support doing it. We may never find out for sure, but there is one thing I do know for sure.
Some ideas just shouldn't be recycled.