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Ads Classified: Bill Richardson Hits the Airwaves in NH and Iowa

    Bill Richardson appears to be the first Democrat to hit the airwaves in New Hampshire and Iowa -- not a bad move since he's got to appear to be moving out of the second tier and a good debate performance later this week might add to his momentum.
    Of the two ads running, his bio ad, available here, is the more impressive. Shot entirely in black and white and consisting of a series of still photographs, Richardson comes across as different from your average candidate: He's clearly a westerner and the ad is notable in both stressing his foreign policy experience and its emphasis on optimism and his sense of humor. The one question is whether these attributes -- as interesting as they are -- are the kind of thing that sells in Iowa or New Hampshire. It's a terrific ad for Nevada (which has an early caucus) or Colorado but maybe not in the Yankee snows of New England.
    The second ad, shot in color outdoors, features Richardson himself in jeans. Available here, it's called "The Wall" -- which is clearly intended to be a kind of metaphor. Richardson, the ad implies, will be a president who tears down the walls that separate Americans from the world and even from one another.
    It's an impressive start: If he can follow up on Thursday night with more of the same, pundits may soon be talking about a four-way Democratic contest.

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