Video at the link:
The ad is the work of two of the most fearsome players in Republican politics: Larry McCarthy, the producer behind the infamous Willie Horton commercial in 1988, and Crossroads GPS, the political battle squad founded by Karl Rove.
When it makes its debut Wednesday in 10 swing states as the centerpiece of a $25 million campaign, it is expected to become one of the most heavily broadcast political commercials of this phase of the general election.
Yet what Mr. McCarthy and Crossroads have produced is not the kind of searing denunciation of President Obama that their track records would suggest. More soft-pedal than Swift Boat, the 60-second advertisement, complete with special effects, is a deeply researched, delicately worded story of a struggling family; its relatively low-key tone is all the more striking, coming at a point in the campaign when each side is accusing the other of excessive negativity.
Behind the story of the ad’s creation rests one of the greatest challenges for Republicans in this election: how to develop a powerful line of attack against a president who remains well liked even by people who are considering voting against him.
The concept for the newest advertisement and even some of the lines in the script were culled directly from focus groups of undecided and sometimes torn voters that were held over nearly a year. As Crossroads strategists would learn after 18 different focus groups and field tests, from Missouri to Colorado to Ohio to Florida, the harshest anti-Obama jabs backfire with many Americans.
Middle-of-the-road voters who said they thought the country was on the wrong track were unmoved when they heard arguments that the president lacks integrity. And they did not buy assertions that he is a rabid partisan with a radical liberal agenda that is wrecking America.
“They are not interested in being told they made a horrible mistake,” said Steven J. Law, president of Crossroads GPS and the affiliated “super PAC,” American Crossroads. “The disappointment they’re now experiencing has to be handled carefully.”
In interviews with voters, Crossroads strategists picked up on some common sentiments that they concluded could provide a clear rationale for voters to deny Mr. Obama a second term.
Some said they felt that the president was an eloquent communicator, but that his actions had failed to live up to his words. They said they thought the country’s budget problems had gotten out of hand, yet the government kept spending recklessly — like someone with maxed-out credit cards. And they reported being worried that their children would not have the same opportunities to get ahead as they had.
All these thoughts made their way into Mr. McCarthy’s script. But one exchange in particular, at a focus group in St. Louis in October, gave Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Law the idea for the ad, which they named, innocuously enough, “Basketball.”
This could be a very persuasive ad on a psychological level. It's utterly bullcrap since Romney would balloon the debt by allowing the tax cuts on the rich to be made permanent as well as probably passing more tax cuts which mostly favor the wealthy.