Political ads: The gift that just keeps on giving

Political advertising, the postelection sequel.

As Illinois Sen. Barack Obama ponders his future while vacationing in Hawaii for the holidays, a grassroots group of fans has a present waiting.

The group, Draftobama.org, plans to run a television ad on Christmas morning on Honolulu network stations to try to persuade Obama to run for president.

The ad, called "Believe Again," is a one-minute voice clip of Obama’s keynote speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention played as a montage of photographs scrolls across the screen.

Obama is expected to announce his decision next month.

Speaking of ads, a political action committee associated with Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is airing commercials in some South Carolina, North Carolina and South Dakota markets denouncing China’s trade advantage over the United States.

"China is buying ships and planes and missiles with American trade dollars," Hunter says in one of two 30-second ads. Hunter, a 26-year veteran of Congress, has announced he is running for the Republican presidential nomination.

The ads were placed by the Peace Through Strength PAC, a political action committee that is promoting Hunter’s conservative views. PAC spokesman Harald Stavenas said the ads are a small purchase appearing on broadcast television.

"This is the new world order of campaigns. There is no such thing as too early anymore," said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer at TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group, a company that tracks political advertising.

"Short of Duncan Hunter lighting something on fire and running up and down Main Street in Columbia, S.C., with a sandwich board and a bell, this is how you get noticed in politics," Tracey said.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press