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Will ED in '08 Live Past '08?

ED in '08, the $60 million campaign to promote education as a top-tier issue in the presidential campaign, hasn't been a thunderous force here at the Democratic convention.

So what's the group's strategy as the Democratic convention hits the mid-point and the GOP convention in St. Paul is just days away? Basically, it is to insert former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer, a Democrat and superdelegate to the convention, into as many scheduled events here as possible to help raise the level debate on education.

The group has also made a $5 million ad buy in seven battleground states, including a full-page ad in yesterday's Denver Post, TV commercials (one is included below), and ads online and on the radio. The states are New Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Virginia. They plan to expand their strategy to an eighth state--Minnesota--next week for the GOP convention.

With the election about two months away, Gov. Romer told me Tuesday after a school choice event at the Denver Country Club that this strategy is evolving as ED in '08 seeks to live past its expiration date on Nov. 4--Election Day.

Now, Romer says, one of the chief goals for ED in '08 is to be a player in the transition, whether the winner is Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain. He said ED in '08 folks recognize that getting their voices heard in these final 60 days will be difficult. After all, Gov. Romer said, "The campaigns aren't thinking about profound policy now. They're thinking about how they're going to win."

Romer said he met with some of Obama's staff yesterday to talk education, and presumably, Ed in '08's executive director, Republican Marc Lampkin, will do the same outreach next week in St. Paul.

--Michele McNeil

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