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The spot, one of two that will air in New Hampshire over the coming weeks, looks like something out of a different era. Soft tones, New Age music, stilted dialogue—it’s like a political infomercial. They used volunteers instead of actors, and it shows. “He wants us to get out of Iraq, pronto,” says one supporter. “I agree with him most of the time, I really do,” says another. The footage looks like it was shot on Super 8 video, with a soundtrack lifted from the local cable-access station. Still, the two spots cost the campaign roughly $30,000 to make, according to spokesman Jesse Benton. That includes travel to the Granite State for the camera crew, as well as payment for the producer, Jay Bryant.
Benton said the campaign initially got some negative reactions, but mostly from hard-core fans who expected more policy details. “These ads speak to people who haven’t turned to Ron Paul yet,” he said. “From those kinds of crowds, we’ve been getting pretty positive reviews.” He also said the ad works better on TV than on YouTube, where people are usually expecting something “more dynamic.”
The spots are part of Paul’s first major commercial blitz. Depending on their success, the campaign could roll out as many as four more ads. In total, Paul is spending $1.1 million on Granite State airtime through the primaries.