It's been a week of non-surprises thus far. Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones has been suspended - again. Marcia Brady (Maureen McCormick) admits she had a fling with Greg Brady (Barry Williams). And Barack Obama is spending a lot of money on ads.
A lot of money.
Not only did Obama go the Ross Perot route and buy up 30-minute infomercials to be run on networks a week prior to the election, but his spending so far this month has been through the roof.
Obama's going heavy, not surprisingly, in the tightly contested regions, spending more than $32 million in 17 battleground states last week alone.
As for McCain, his campaign dropped $10 million last week in 14 states while the RNC pumped in an additional $6 million in spending.
These numbers are similar to overall spending for the primary and the general election. Politico reports that during this period Obama has spent $195 million on political ads compared to $99 million by McCain.
Evan Tracey, the founder of the Media Analysis Group, says "McCain is in a shouting match against a man with a bullhorn."
"Obama is on pace to spend more on TV in the final 25 days of this election than John McCain's entire $85 million matching-fund check," he said. "For those keeping score at home, Obama has aired more than 25,000 commercials in the past four days alone."
Buying the election?
So, that's the difference, right? Obama is way ahead in the polls because of the almighty dollar. Probably not.
Those on the right and the left agree that this is a bad year for Republicans. A really bad year. The dissastisfaction with the Bush presidency and the economic collapse have drowned out everything. People are upset and they are projecting their anger at the GOP.
"Most people are looking at the financial crisis, looking at their 401(k)s, and in between they're seeing the two candidates beat the living daylights out of each other and rolling their eyes," he said.
This year appears to be an encore performance of 1992's "It's the economy, stupid!" Or as Ed Rollins suggested, this year's motto should be, "You morons, what have you done with my money, my life, and my kids’ future?"
Democratic strategist, Howard Wolfson, offers a good point though this morning. The former communications director for Hillary Clinton has a unique perspective on Barack Obama and the campaign. His take? Sure, it's noisy now, but the narrative ads over time have had their impact.
"Make no mistake -- all the wonderful bio ads that the Obama campaign has been running have had an impact by allowing the campaign to impart critical information about their candidate that voters would not now otherwise be hearing or seeing," he writes on his blog at the New Republic.