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Marketing 101

Jeralyn of Talkleft:

He doesn't need to do this. We all know who he is and that he stands for hope and change and bringing a new kind of politics to Washington.

She's objecting to an idea floated for Sen. Obama to run ads during the Olympics. But the problem with what Jeralyn is saying here is that it is the view of someone who has extensively, thoroughly followed this process since before the candidates even formally announced their exploratory committees.

But what most political junkies like us sometimes don't realize is that the average American hasn't paid any attention to this stuff. Oh, they may have noticed that Obama and McCain have secured their respective nominations, but they aren't paying attention. They don't know who the candidates are, where they stand on the issues, etc. The vast majority of the population is too busy living their lives to pay attention to politics.

The next five months Obama and McCain will spend a lot of time and money introducing themselves to people, and even with that money spent, most people will not pay attention until late October.

So no, most people don't know who Sen. Obama is, what he stands for and where he comes from. That's why he's running ads like this and is smartly using his fiscal advantage to define himself in the public eye rather than have others do it for him like what happened to Sen. Kerry.

(This also explains to some on the left why Sen. Obama isn't making a big deal out of the FISA fight. It is important as hell, but most people simply don't care. The people who are following the race will wonder why a candidate is talking about some obscure federal law when gas is approaching $5/gallon)