Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas today becomes the third Republican presidential candidate to air a television commercial in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary.
* THE AD: Gramm's 60-second ad depicts his path from childhood to college professor to the House of Representatives and, finally, to the Senate. With still photographs and videotape of Gramm and his family flashed onto the screen, Gramm speaks of his mother teaching her children to "learn to live on less" after the death of their father. The commercial then shows pictures and video of Gramm with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, while highlighting parts of his career, including his decision to switch to the GOP after having been elected to Congress as a Democrat and his co-authorship of the Gramm-Rudman balanced-budget law. According to the commercial, he "stood alone" against Bill Clinton's health care plan. The ad touts him as the "conservative who stands by what he promises."
* THE ANALYSIS: Gramm's assertion that he "stood alone" in opposing Clinton's health care plan is open to dispute--while Gramm helped lead compromise legislation supported by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, he was not alone; 19 other GOP senators were against it as well. Gramm's mention of the Gramm-Rudman Deficit-Reduction Act likely will strike a chord with some New Hampshire voters, given that his co-author was the state's former senator, Warren B. Rudman.