Money Well Spent?

The Obama campaign reportedly paid around $3 million to air their 30-minute commercial last night. So how'd it work out?
The combined overall household rating for Senator Barack Obama’s Wednesday night infomercial, in the top 56 local television markets where Nielsen maintains electronic TV meters, was 21.7.
$3 million to reach more than 1 out of 5 households across the country sounds like a pretty good investment. (I'm kind of surprised it was that cheap—although politicians do get the bargain-basement ad rates.)

I've read a few people complaining about the expenditure—in almost every case the rhetorical is about how many hungry children that could feed. Well, $3 million could indeed feed lots of hungry children, but a McCain administration would undoubtedly, like the Bush administration, create millions more hungry bellies, under the age of 18 or not, across the nation. So, in the long view, the investment makes sense, if it helps Obama beat McCain—and if Obama's going to pursue policies that reverse that trend (which is probably the one thing I feel most comfortable trusting he'll do).

None of that changes my belief that presidential campaigns should be 90 days with a maximum expenditure of like 30 bucks. (Okay, maybe a little more than that.) But within the current state of campaign law and practice, it was justifiable. Reasonable within an unreasonable paradigm. And, by the way, perhaps the greatest incentive for the GOP to start seriously advocating campaign reform, now that there's a Dem on the scene who's gaming the system more successfully than they are. Oh, the irony.

What do you think?

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