It's 3 am again.
The Clinton campaign today released what chief strategist Mark Penn just characterized during a conference call with reporters as "the second in what's known as the 3 am advertisements."
(The first is here.)
"It's 3 am, and your children are safe and asleep," an announcer says in the spot, which is set to run in Pennsylvania. "But there's a phone ringing in the White House and this time the crisis is economic. Home foreclosures mounting, markets teetering. John McCain just said the government shouldn't take any real action on the housing crisis, he'd let the phone keep ringing. Hillary Clinton has a plan to protect our homes, create jobs. It's 3 am, time for a president who's ready."
The first so-called "3 am ad" released by the Clinton camp focused on the risks of "a dangerous world," stressing the importance of having a president who is "tested and ready to lead." The focus on the economy in this new ad echoes Clinton's recent campaign-trail focus on economic issues.
The new ad also marks the first time a Democratic ad in this campaign cycle has mentioned John McCain, according to Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson. Wolfson called the differences between Clinton and McCain on the economy "profound and substantial," while Penn said the new ad highlights the fact that while Clinton "has a plan to end the crisis," McCain does not.
On the conference call, Penn also stressed polls released today that show Clinton faring better than Obama in matchups with McCain in Florida and Ohio. (In the Sunshine State, Clinton leads McCain by two points, while Obama trails by nine; in Ohio, Clinton leads by nine while Obama leads by only one.)
There is a "dramatic difference in the electability of Sen. Clinton in states that have been critical," Penn said.
"The polls continue to build the case that she is the most electable Democrat against John McCain," he added.