As “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer discovered on Sunday, more short snippets from news anchors are showing up in political ads this election cycle. CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood, who is featured in a recent ad attacking President Obama’s economic record, examines the trend in the New York Times:
A campaign like this one, centered around economic conditions, only increases the incentives to use TV talking heads as shortcuts. Personal scandals are easier to exploit in 30 seconds than fiscal policy and international debt crises.
“Illustrating the problems facing the American economy is very difficult to do,” said Elizabeth Wilner, a former political director at NBC News who is now a vice president at Kantar and a columnist for Advertising Age. Using TV journalists “provides compelling, credible footage to back up the ads’ arguments.”
Interestingly, this is not Harwood’s first time appearing in a political ad. In 1968, he was volunteered by his mother to appear in a campaign ad for Robert F. Kennedy, an experience he recounted for TVNewser in 2009. At the time, his father Richard Harwood was covering Kennedy’s campaign for The Washington Post. Watch the ad: