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Ron Paul ad blitz: Will it work?

Ron Paul has jumped into the fray early as the first presidential candidate to start a major ad campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa in particular, it could have an impact.

By Staff writer / October 21, 2011

Presidential candidate and US Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas greets supporters after speaking at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas Wednesday.

Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun/REUTERS

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Ron Paul is launching a multimillion-dollar ad blitz in early voting states, in case you haven’t heard. That makes him pretty much the first candidate to take to the airwaves in a major way with the intent of shaping the initial contours of the Republican presidential race.

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Will that strategy work for him?

Before we address that question directly, let’s take a look at the ads themselves. They’re textbook middle-of-the-road political advertising. By that, we don’t mean the content is middle-of-the-road: Mr. Paul’s libertarianism is of a pure variety and not every voter’s cup of hot beverage. But the ads themselves are well-produced in a usual way, without the transcendent weirdness of Carly Fiorina’s “Demon Sheep” ad or Christine O’Donnell’s classic spot, “I Am Not a Witch.”

The leadoff ad, “Plan,” introduces Paul’s new budget-balancing outline to voters. It visually highlights that he’s proposing to cut $1 trillion, eliminate five federal bureaucracies, end foreign wars, and rein in the Federal Reserve in Year 1 of a President Paul administration.

(It doesn’t say anything about things such as: Who’d be taking care of the national parks after the Paul team does away with the Department of the Interior? But hey, details to come, right?)

The second ad, in its conception, may be more interesting. It’s a negative ad that attacks Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain from the right.

It depicts Barack Obama’s economic efforts as a failure, then says that Messrs. Romney, Perry, and Cain all at some point expressed support for bailing out US banks and/or economic stimulus programs.

“Where are the people who will say all of this stuff is socialism?” intones the Paul ad.

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