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Biden ads for adoption; cheap to good homes

August 29, 2007 | 10:14 pm

Underfunded candidates struggling to get their message heard need to think creatively. And Democrat Joe Biden's presidential campaign has risen to the occasion.

Taking a cue from the "Adopt-a-Highway" promotion that Texas began in the mid-1980s and quickly was copied by many other states, a Biden aide e-mailed supporters today offering them the chance to "Adopt-an-Ad."

Those ponying up a mere $9 will pay for a spot for the candidate on CNN in Council Bluffs, the e-mail reports. Other fascinating financial details: $100 will foot the bill for one ad during "Meet the Press" in Sioux City, $300 reserves time during the "Late Show with David Letterman" in Des Moines and $600 buys a commercial on the evening news in Cedar Rapids.

Donors, unlike those who sign up for the highway program, won't get the thrill of seeing their names splashed about, but breaking down the ad costs in such specific terms does personalize the process. The Adopt-an-Ad gimmick is part of a push to raise $200,000 by Friday and, based on the tracking thermometer on the Biden website, it looks like the goal will be reached.

Thinking big, we asked Biden aide Eric Carbone about the costs of an ad during an "American Idol" broadcast around the state as the Iowa caucuses approach. He hadn't gotten that far ahead of the game, but said, "I'm hoping we can afford that."

-- Don Frederick