White House front runner Barack Obama is to make a 30-minute primetime television pitch to the nation on Wednesday in an extraordinary climax to his presidential campaign media blitz.
The Democratic candidate, running steadily ahead of Republican John McCain in the polls a week before election day, will air the unusually long advertisement on three of the four national networks: CBS, NBC and Fox.
The slots at 8:00 pm on the east coast and 7:00 pm in the central zone, right before the hotly anticipated next game of baseball's World Series on Fox, could not be more choice.
At Fox's request Major League Baseball has even agreed to delay the start of the game -- which could decide the seven-game series -- to fit in Obama.
The Obama campaign was tight-lipped yesterday about the contents of the commercials, the first of that length to feature in a presidential campaign since billionaire Ross Perot's independent candidacy in 1992.
But the multi-million-dollar barrage highlights Obama's massive war chest and the ruthless way he is using that money to blast his opponent out of the media arena.
"The discussion about this election begins and ends with Obama's fundraising ability," said Evan Tracey, head of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which analyzes campaign advertising.
Tracey calculated that the primetime splurge cost about USD five million, while the USA Today daily estimated the bill at about US$ three million.
Obama has raised record sums from private donors and total spending on campaign advertising is forecast by some to reach 250 million dollars.