Democrats are retooling and bringing back a TV ad that stars Al Gore as son and then father, a biographical montage that emphasizes the importance of fatherhood.
The heartwarming spot was originally made for Father's Day, but it only aired for four days. Strategists felt it was an effective demonstration of Gore's ideas on fatherhood and of him as a person and will begin airing it again on Thursday, according to a Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The returning ad comes the same week that presidential rival George W. Bush is also discussing the importance of fathers, but Democrats said that's a coincidence.
``This is part of our rolling out of the issues that the Democratic Party stands for,'' said Jenny Backus, spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, which is airing the ads in 17 states. ``This was a great ad when it went up on Father's Day.''
The original ad ended with the words ``Happy Father's Day,'' across the screen, and those will be removed in the new version. The first ad had no talking, simply music over photos and video, with words on the screen. The new version may include some speaking, possibly by Gore.
The video montage serves as a short biographical film of Gore as a son, then father. It begins with a black and white shot of Gore as a boy with his father; then video of Gore in his soldier's uniform, talking with his father. Two black and white shots show Gore with his wife Tipper and babies; then Gore with his young son in a barn, and video of the Gore family playing Frisbee.
The second part of the ad alternates phrases describing Gore's policy agenda with pictures of other fathers with their young children.
Meanwhile, the Bush campaign was preparing to air a new ad in advance of the Republican National Convention, which begins July 31 in Philadelphia.
While the Republican National Committee is now airing pro-Bush spots in 20 states, the Bush ad would be first paid for by the campaign since March.
Democratic officials said that the Bush team had inquired about buying time in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Washington state. But Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said the campaign was not prepared to announce anything yet.
LAURA MECKLER, July 18, 2000, (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation
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