Kucinich Banks on 'Bush Out' in Wisconsin | Adweek
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Kucinich Banks on 'Bush Out' in Wisconsin

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LOS ANGELES Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich will release three new TV spots tomorrow in Wisconsin that present him as more trustworthy and less gullible than his Democratic rivals, railing against the Patriot Act and supporting gay marriage.

The spots, created by George Lois, will air in Milwaukee, Green Bay, La Crosse and Madison, Wis., with media buys planned for California and Ohio.

In "Bush Out," Kucinich says, "Of the three Democratic candidates for president who had the power to vote against the war in Iraq, I was the only one who voted against the war in Iraq, I was the only one who voted 'No!' and organized 125 Democrats who voted no."

"Now these other candidates claim that they were duped, misled, lied to. Why would the Democratic party nominate a candidate that can be so easily fooled?" The tagline: "This time, vote for the best man. Kucinich for president. The eyes that see through the lies."

In "Patriot Act," Kucinich says, "Shoved down our throats by this administration, this bill violates the civil liberties so many real American patriots fought and died for. It sanctions secret searches, snoops into our Internet, telephone, mail, even the books we read. Amazingly, I was the only presidential candidate who voted against this horrible bill, and as president I will repeal it."

The third ad ("The Only One") will premiere directly after Sunday's debate in Milwaukee so that the first line of narration will seem to segue from the live telecast. It starts with Kucinich on camera and the voiceover: "Congressman Kucinich: You're only 5-foot 6, but you really cut those other guys down to size in those debates."

The spot is likely the first in political ad history in which the candidate supports gay marriage. It plays in the unorthodox style of an ad Lois created for the late Sen. Warren Magnuson, D-Wash., in 1968, when Lois had the candidate silently listening to the voiceover, then pointing to his head three times.

In the 30-second ad, Kucinich responds with affirmative gestures to the voiceover: "You're the only one who voted against the war in Iraq and against that Patriot Act and who'll repeal NAFTA. The only one with a plan for national healthcare and free college. And you have the courage to be for gay marriage and you're pro choice."

The candidate finally pipes up when the announcer says, "You've got only one problem: The media says you're unelectable." He says, "But I am electable, if you vote for me." The spot will run following the nationally televised debate in Wisconsin only.

" 'Bush Out' will be the main focus for Wisconsin," said Carlton Jackson, Kucinich's national marketing and advertising co-director, who said that the spot supporting gay marriage will run in each state where the others do. "When budget allows, we'll run it anywhere. We're not going to cherry pick."

This item updates a previously posted story with additional information on the post-debate media buy.