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Bradley Takes Outside Shot

The CBS News Political Unit is tracking the campaign commercials of the presidential hopefuls. Sean Richardson analyzes the latest effort of Democrat Bill Bradley.


The Ad: The Bill Bradley for President campaign has launched a new ad in Iowa called Positive Vision. This 30-second spot features Bradley talking about the principles on which his campaign is based, and is yet another attempt to paint him as the "anti-Washington" candidate.

Audio: Bradley: "The radical premise of this campaign is you can go out and tell people what you believe and win. That you don't have to take a poll and find out what you want to know and then I tell you what you want to know. That you don't have to go out and try to decide you're going to smash the other guy so that people will vote against him. But that you can go out and give people a positive vision of where you want to take the country and they'll have something to vote for. That's what America wants. I need your help. I need your help."

Visual: This ad features Bradley, dressed in a gray suit, speaking to an unknown audience. At the bottom of the screen, scrolling text informs Iowans how they can caucus for Bill Bradley.

Fact Check: No Inaccuracies.

Strategy: With time running out before Monday's Iowa caucuses, the Bradley campaign is responding to recent struggles by focusing on their candidate's character. Once again, they are attempting to portray Bradley as the "anti-Washington" candidate. This attempt is a direct appeal to the 658,000 independent voters in Iowa.

This ad also reinforces Bradleys strategy to paint with broad strokes and not get involved in negative politics. However, in Iowa over the past few weeks, Bradley has stepped up his criticism of Vice President Al Gore. He has attempted to tie Gore to the tobacco industry. And in the Des Moines Register debate, he criticized the Clinton-Gore administration for not doing enough to end racial profiling.

Although Gore holds a commanding lead over Bradley in recent Iowa polls, this ad blitz is an attempt by Bradley to carry some momentum into the New Hampshire primary. In the past 24 hours, he has released two new television ads, plus a new 60-second radio spot.

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