McCain 2000, Inc.

"Ready to Lead"
60 sec. TV spot running in New Hampshire starting Oct. 26, 1999.
Stevens Reed Curcio & Company

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[Music] Male Announcer: He was a young Navy pilot who volunteered for duty in Vietnam and was shot down over Hanoi. 

Lieutenant Commander John McCain.  Dragged off by an angry mob.  When found to be the son and grandson of admirals was offered early release.

He refused.

McCain's commitment to country and fellow prisoners bought him repeated beatings and five-and-a-half years in prison.

He returned home, spirit unbroken, again devoting himself to his country.

Navy officer, congressman, Senator; taking on the establishment and defying special interests.

And never forgetting those heroes with whom he served.

Today John McCain is ready to lead America into the new century.

His mission: to fundamentally reform government.

More experience and more courage than anyone.

Ready to be president and leader of the free world.

John McCain [clip from announcement speech]: I swear to you that from my first day in office to the last breath I draw, I will do everything in my power to make you proud of your government.


Male Announcer: John McCain, for President.


Background: The one-minute biography spot is a common way for a political campaign to start its television advertising. 

Imagery: "Ready to Lead" opens with just less than 20 seconds of black and white stills and film showing McCain as a Navy pilot and POW.  The ad touches again on McCain's service with footage of him walking among the headstones in Arlington National Cemetery ("...never forgetting those heroes with whom he served").  There is also a clip of President Reagan walking with McCain at the White House.  The ad closes with a clip from McCain's announcement speech in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Analysis: As reported in an article in the Nov. 15 issue of Newsweek (available on Nov. 7), use of the footage of McCain at Arlington Cemetery, which had been filmed without authorization, prompted a minor controversy.  A modified version of the ad was produced without the Arlington footage.