a Commercial Break...
January 20, 2000 -- A year from now the new president will be inaugurated,
but today the eight Democrats and Republicans who want the job were
crisscrossing Iowa in search of support.
With only a four days left before Iowans gather to choose their
man, a new wave of commercials is hitting the local airwaves. All
told, the candidates are buying an average of 75 minutes of commercial
time a day on local Iowa TV stations and that means the average
voter will be seeing a lot of George W. Bush, Al Gore and the others.
On the Republican side the major issue dominating the ad war is
taxes. All the hopefuls have proposed tax cuts, ranging from Steve
Forbes 15 percent flat tax to Sen. John McCain's more modest cut.
In their advertising, McCain and Bush have come out swinging at
each others plan. In one recent ad, Bush said that the Washington
politicians were hoping to keep money in DC. McCain, the Senior
Senator from Arizona, bristled at the charge.
Today Bush said he was questioning McCain's plan and not personally
attacking his credibility.
"He's my friend during the campaign and he's darn sure going to
be my friend after the campaign," Bush said.
McCain was quick to agree. "Of course we are friends," McCain said
on the trail today. "He's a fine man and you're not going to hear
anything negative from me about him."
But their campaigns continued to snipe at one another.
On the Democratic side, former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley
launched an ad today with former basketball star Bill Russell and
retiring Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey offering testimonials of support.
Whether this last flurry of ads will affect Monday's result is
hard to gauge in a state where only 10 percent of the state's 1.8
million voters are expected to cast ballots. But for the lead candidates
flooding the airwaves it is a risk they cannot afford.