Hillary Clinton’s campaign will air its first television ads this week in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire--and the timing couldn’t be better for the Democratic presidential frontrunner to attempt to change the narrative surrounding her candidacy.
Clinton’s White House bid has been under a cloud for weeks. A steady stream of public opinion polls have shown the former Secretary of State losing support in crucial swing states, amid questions about her trustworthiness. Conversely, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has surged in the polls. A recent survey showed him within 10 points of Clinton in New Hampshire, something that would have been unthinkable a few months ago.
Clinton’s falling fortunes have some Democrats so worried that there is open speculation about Vice President Joe Biden joining the race to take on the stumbling frontrunner.
The two sixty-second spots, reportedly filmed months ago but set to begin airing on Tuesday, are an attempt by Clinton’s campaign to reintroduce her to voters and remind them of her personal side, something that had great effect during her 2008 White House bid.
The first ad, “Dorothy,” focuses on Clinton’s late mother, Dorothy Rodham.
“When I think about why I’m doing this, I think about my mother Dorothy. She was abandoned by her parents at the age of eight, sent from Chicago to LA to live with grandparents who didn’t want her,” Clinton says. “That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I've always done this. For all the Dorothys," she adds, looking directly into the camera.
The second spot strikes the same, personal tone. Titled “Family Strong,” the ad transitions from the challenges Clinton’s mother faced to the many roles Clinton has served in during her lifetime, with an emphasis on her public service. The ad plays up her work with the Children’s Defense Fund, her time as Arkansas’ first lady and her efforts as a U.S. senator on behalf of first-responders in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The narrator then refers to her as "the Secretary of State who joined the Cabinet of the man who defeated her, because when your president calls you serve."
“And now a new title: grandma,” he adds.
The ads will hit the airwaves two days before the GOP holds its inaugural presidential debate in 2016 and likely ensure that Clinton will be as much a topic during the event as the Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Clinton’s campaign said the two ads are slated to run for five weeks in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids in Iowa and statewide in New Hampshire and are backed by approximately $1 million in each state.