Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani are the latest presidential candidates to air holiday-oriented TV ads.
Obama's is a warm greeting to Iowa voters, featuring a family scene with his wife Michelle and their two daughters sitting in front of a fireplace and tree.
"We would like to take a moment to thank you and your family for the warmth and friendship that you have shown ours; for sharing your hospitality and your stories," Michelle Obama says.
"In this holiday season we are reminded that the things that unite us as a people are more powerful and enduring than anything that sets us apart. And we all have a stake in each other, in something larger than ourselves," Obama says, reprising a campaign theme. "So from my family to yours, I am Barack Obama and I approve this message."
"Merry Christmas," says 9-year-old Malia.
"Happy Holidays," chimes in 6-year-old Sasha.
Obama's ad, as ecumenical as it can be while still keeping a Christmas theme, is unlikely to stir the kind of controversy that greeted Mike Huckabee's heavily Christian one. Still, by including Christmas symbols, it subliminally, at least, rebuts the false Internet rumors that Obama is Muslim.
Giuliani's ad, which is to air in New Hampshire starting Thursday, goes for a little humor.
"There are many things I wish for this holiday season," says Giuliani, wearing a red sweater vest and sitting in front of a twinkling Christmas tree. "I wish for peace with strength. Secure borders. A government that spends less than it takes in. Lower taxes for our businesses and families. And I really hope, that all of the presidential candidates can just get along.
"Ho, ho, ho, ho," says a man dressed up as Santa Claus. "I was with you right up until that last one. Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho."
"Can't have everything!" Giuliani says, as he takes a candy cane from Santa. "I'm Rudy Giuliani and I approved this message. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!"
Democrat John Edwards unveiled his holiday ad this afternoon, and it is nonreligious, focusing instead on his campaign theme of being the voice for the less fortunate, including the homeless and poor.
"Who speaks for them? We do," he says in the ad, which is to begin airing Sunday in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. "This is the season of miracles, of faith and love. So let us promise together: you will never be forgotten again. We see you, we hear you, and we will speak for you. In America, the chance to build a better life is a promise made to each of us, and the obligation to keep it rests with us all."
And now comes Hillary Clinton, who manages to make even a holiday ad rather wonkish and closely tied to her campaign.
The ad shows a pair of hands putting the finishing touches on presents with cards that are marked "Universal Health Care," "Alternative Energy," "Bring Our Troops Home," and "Middle Class Tax Breaks" -- ostensibly promising them to Iowa and New Hampshire voters.
Then the ad shows Clinton. "Where did I put universal pre-K?" she asks. "Ah, there it is."
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