Clark Ad to Challenge Bush

LOS ANGELES Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark will air a special ad immediately after President George Bush’s State of the Union address this evening and again after the Democratic response, the campaign press office confirmed.

Called “SOTU”, the ad will air on WMUR, Manchester, N.H., and WBZ, Boston. The creative contrasts clips of President Bush in previous State of the Union addresses with contentions by Clark’s camp in split-screen titles opposite the picture. For example, as Bush says, “Our budget will run a deficit that will be small and short term,” the text reads, “The deficit has soared to a record $374 billion.” There’s a silent pause after each clip as the text and picture fade.

Other issues include job promises versus job losses and the goal of applying “the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America” to the Clark contention that “4 million more Americans are without health insurance.” The tagline: “It’s time for a higher standard of leadership.”

Two other Clark ads also run this week in New Hampshire. In “Respect,” Clark delivers direct assaults on the president. “Education made all the difference in my life,” Clark says. “It gave me hope and confidence and opened the doors of opportunity. As a leader in the Army, I fought time and again for better schools for the children of the men and women in the service. As president, I’ll work for all our children, but unlike George Bush, I’ll make sure our teachers and kids get what they need to make our schools work.” The tagline: “Our children are our future.”

The second ad, “Renewal,” uses title cards against sweeping music and a campaign-trail photo montage, with questions followed by Clark’s answers. “What counts for our families?” for instance, is followed by onscreen copy, “Wes Clark’s plan: Guarantee every American child healthcare coverage.” He also wants to raise the minimum wage to $7 an hour and proposes a “Tax Reform Plan” that “puts $1,500 back in the pockets of a typical family.”

Clark chose not to compete in the Iowa caucuses. Clark’s ads are produced and directed by Joe Slade White of East Aurora, N.Y.