Two things are evident.

That President George W Bush and his lieutenants foresaw by many weeks the landslide victory enjoyed by Senator John Kerry in the Democrat primaries.

And that the scale of Kerry's triumph -- along with the public's future voting intentions as reported in the opinion polls -- has badly rattled the Bush camp.

Both factors are evident in the light of of Thursday's launch of the largest -- and earliest -- ad campaign ever run by an incumbent US president in election year, according to

The $100 million (€81.95m; £54.63m) TV campaign attempts to refute attacks on the Bush administration made by Kerry and other Democrat candidates during the primaries.

"This is the beginning stage of a conversation that will last eight months," said the Bush-Cheney campaign's chief strategist Matthew Dowd.

Three ads broke nationally yesterday (one in both English and Spanish) via major cable networks plus spot market buys in twenty states. One ad attempts to blame the country's current economic woes on the previous Clinton administration.

According to Mark McKinnon, a former Democrat who heads the Bush campaign's ad team, the TV spots are intended to reflect "the optimism and humanity which is an important part of who [President Bush] is."

"And they say creative is dead," commented one media cynic!

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff