Kerry Launches Ad Push in 19 Key States

WASHINGTON, D.C. John Kerry’s campaign has launched a $25 million ad push featuring two 60-second biographical spots that seek to define the senator to voters in critical swing states.

The ad buy, the largest for Kerry so far, also includes Colorado and Louisiana, two states that voted Republican in 2000. Campaign officials said they saw an opportunity because recent polling showed President George W. Bush’s re-election and job performance numbers in those two states starting to slip.

The first spot, called “Heart,” features Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, daughter Vanessa and two former comrades from his Navy stint in Vietnam. In the ad, Kerry says, “Both of my parents taught me about public service. I enlisted because I believed in service to country. I thought it was important if you had a lot of privileges as I had had, to go to a great university like Yale, to give something back to your country.”

Teresa Heinz Kerry says, “John is the face of someone who’s hopeful, who’s generous of spirit and heart.”

In the second spot, called “Lifetime,” a narrator says, “He joined with John McCain to find the truth about POWs and MIAs in Vietnam. He broke with his own party to support a balanced budget…then in the 1990s cast a decisive vote that created 20 million new jobs.”

In a conference call with reporters, Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said the “record purchase shows the Kerry campaign intends to compete throughout the nation.”

Mike Donilon, a partner with the Washington, D.C. political consultancy Shrum, Devine & Donilon, which created the ads, said the new spots reflect Kerry’s service to his country. “These ads give a clear sense of who John Kerry is and what kind of president he will be,” Donilon said.

The spots will run for three weeks in 19 states and will also air on national cable including CNN, Fox, MSNBC and CNBC.