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The $1 Million Day

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

In the early states, local TV and radio station commercial breaks are overrun with political ads. In Iowa alone, according to the Nielsen Co., Democrats had run 26,655 spots and Republicans 8,699 through mid-November. Barack Obama has unfurled more than 10,000 spots nationwide to Hillary Clinton’s 7,839 and Bill Richardson’s 7,305. On the GOP side, Mitt Romney dominates ad spending, having unleashed 17,849 spots, followed by Ron Paul with 1,454.

So it can’t be too much of a surprise that campaigns reached, for the first time ever, a $1 million day in campaign TV ad spending on Dec. 10, according to Evan Tracey of AdAge.

“What makes this day so extraordinary is the majority of this spending is not from groups, but from the candidates. The spending is largely aimed at voters in just two states and the ads are, for the most part, positive. Further, this amount takes into account only broadcast TV.”

Tracey, of  Campaign Media Analysis Group, predicts that spending will reach $2 million on Jan. 2, the day before the Iowa caucus.  TV stations are cutting back elsewhere across the country — anyone want to work in the heartland?

Roman Holiday: Tina Daunt has a very nice piece on a dinner in Rome to honor George Clooney and Don Cheadle with the Peace Summit Award for their work in raising awareness of the crisis in Darfur. She writes, “In a way, the gathering was a tribute to the style of political activism that has developed over the last few decades, in which the rich and powerful — as star-struck as everybody else — gather in private homes to discuss causes with Hollywood luminaries. As it turns out, Hollywood’s political style is as much an international commodity as its films.” Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni wanted to talk U.S. presidential politics, and said, “We’re in trouble if the Democrat doesn’t win.” Replied Clooney’s publicist, Stan Rosenfeld, “So are we.”

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