Meg Whitman launches first TV ad

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman launched the 2010 race’s first television ad today, a 60-second spot called “Confidence” to run statewide on broadcast and cable channels:

What, no sheep?

“This is just the beginning. We will be introducing Meg, her leadership experience and her vision to Californians all over the state,” Whitman campaign manager Jillian Hasner said in a news release. “We’re not waiting until our opponents and their special-interest allies attempt to distort Meg’s message; this campaign is under way.”

The ad, you’ll notice, doesn’t mention GOP gubernatorial primary rival Steve Poizner at all – no “tearing up” happenin’ here, at least not yet.

Whitman’s campaign wouldn’t say today how much this ad buy cost: “It’s significant, but we’re not providing specifics,” spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said. The former eBay CEO has committed $39 million of her personal fortune to her campaign so far, while Poizner has anted up $19.2 million of his own for his campaign.

UPDATE @ 12:46 P.M.: This just in from Poizner spokesman Jarrod Agen:

“If Meg Whitman was confident, she would take questions from reporters and debate Steve Poizner in front of the Republican Party at next month’s convention. There is an anti-Republican trend in Meg Whitman’s campaign as she refuses to use the word ‘conservative’ in the ad and she’s been attacking the basic conservative principle of cutting taxes across-the-board. Steve Poizner is the confident candidate in this race and the only candidate calling for tax cuts for every business and individual in California.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.