Clark Talks About Taxes, Leadership

LOS ANGELES Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark is running two new ads, one that stresses his tax program and criticizes President Bush, and another that positions him as a Washington outsider. Both ads broke yesterday in Arizona, Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Dakota and New Mexico.

In “Future,” the retired general appears on camera in a living room and says, “Families are struggling. Every night, moms and dads worry about their children and how they’ll make it. Everyone talks about families, but what’s Washington done? My tax reform plan will make millionaires pay their fair share. And it will put $1,500 dollars back into the pockets of a typical American family. That’s real.”

The tagline: “It’s time we had a president who worried less about his future and more about yours.” Clark’s slogan, “A higher standard of leadership,” also appears.

“Believe” uses an announcer’s voiceover against both old and contemporary photos and footage. “Special interest deals. Promises unkept. Do we really need another Washington politician?” the voiceover asks. “Wes Clark’s different. He put his career on the line to fight for what he believed in. And looked out for those he led, not himself. He’s got humble roots. Wes Clark will never forget where he’s from or who he’s for.”

The tagline: “A politician won’t change the way Washington works. Wes Clark will.”

Clark’s ads are produced and directed by Joe Slade White of East Aurora, N.Y.

Rival candidate John Edwards launched a new TV spot (“American Jobs”) in South Carolina and Oklahoma today.

“It’s easy for candidates to talk about manufacturing and jobs. But I’ve lived it and I have not forgotten it. My dad worked in textile mills to put food on our table and clothes on our backs,” Edwards says. The senator continues as a split-screen shows black-and-white documentary footage of factory laborers: “Today, the mills are gone. And so are the jobs. That’s why I opposed NAFTA and why I’ll end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.”

The tagline: “No one will do more than I will to keep American jobs right here in America. That’s something you can count on.”

Edwards is also running previously aired ads “Better Life” and “Two Americas” [Adweek Online, Jan. 7] in Missouri, the campaign press office confirmed.

William Rivers Pitt, political author and managing editor of the, a Web-based magazine on politics, has taken the reins of Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign as press secretary. He replaces David Swanson, who resigned. Neither could be immediately reached for comment.

Pitt, in a statement, said he joined Kucinich because “his campaign represents everything that makes me proud to be a Democrat.”