The campaign will use the time to give national airing to a "safe" biographical message the campaign released last week in some key battleground states.
"Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war. When I was five years old, my father left for war," says the Arizona senator in an ad from the McCain ad team's Foxhole Productions that starts airing today. Near the end of the spot, Mr. McCain state: "I hate war. And I know how terrible its costs are."
The campaign declined to say how much was being spent on the ad, but the three-week national airing of the spot could indicate more benefits ahead to cable networks. There has been some speculation that the increase in the number of potential states in play in November could dictate a summer strategy of national advertising in the campaigns, leaving open the choice of where to target until later. The more big states in play, the more the economics of reaching voters can tilt toward buying national advertising.
Four years ago there was some use of cable but most advertising was targeted to battleground states.
The Obama campaign hasn't yet launched its post primary advertising but is expected to do so in the next day or so.