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Analysis of Bradley’s Latest TV Ad

January 28, 2000

An analysis of Bill Bradley’s latest television commercial:

TITLE: ``Listen.″

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

PRODUCER: Crystal Team.

AIRING: New Hampshire.

SCRIPT: (Maureen Drumm:) When I was pregnant with my second child, I became very anxious.

(Bill Bradley:) She was actually afraid that the child would die because she would be pushed out of the hospital in 24 hours or less.

(Maureen Drumm:) So I said to my husband, ``I’m gonna call Senator Bradley.″

(Bill Bradley:) I said, ‘That’s not going to happen to another woman in the country if I have my way.’ Forty-eight hours should be a minimum _ introduced a bill, passed a law _ made 48 hours a minimum.

(Maureen Drumm:) That’s the type of man I want in the White House.

KEY IMAGES: Alternating footage of Mrs. Drumm and Bradley talking to the camera. Mrs. Drumm has her two children with her. The words ``someone who listens″ appear on screen.

ANALYSIS: This is the third ad that Mrs. Drumm has appeared in, highlighting Bradley’s work on a law that now requires health insurers to cover at least 48 hours in the hospital after childbirth if a doctor recommends it. The new spot uses footage from earlier ads, but it leaves out a controversial sound bite where Mrs. Drumm says: ``Thanks to Senator Bradley, my daughter is alive today.″ That claim was a bit confusing, given that her second child was born years before the law was signed; Mrs. Drumm had to explain that she was talking about her third child, and it still seemed like a stretch in that there were no complications with that delivery. In any case, this ad is meant to associate Bradley with the incredibly popular law banning so-called ``drive-by deliveries.″ In fact, President Clinton signed the measure, and he and Vice President Al Gore, Bradley’s rival, took credit for it in their 1996 re-election campaign. But Bradley was an original backer along with former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan. The law, modeled on similar versions passed by various states, ultimately led Congress to consider a more sweeping ``patients bill of rights″ aimed at Americans who are frustrated with managed care restrictions.

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Analysis by Laura Meckler, Associated Press writer.

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