Is this the best they can do?


Is this latest McCain ad a joke? It tries to mock Obama for talking about a light coming down on people’s heads and giving them an epiphany to ‘vote for Barack.’ The thing is, I’ve heard Obama give this little line at various campaign stops — and he always does it in complete self-mocking jest. Can they really get mileage out of mocking Obama for something for which he’s already mocking himself?

This after the Britney-and-Paris Hilton ad. Don’t they know that Britney is a Bush fan and Paris Hilton’s parents are McCain donors?


Filed under:

Is this the best they can do?

  1. I think it’s darned near brilliant. And, since it may not be obvious, I actually mean that.

  2. Small point: Remember when the Clintons were saying that anything they threw at Obama was nothing compared to what he’d face against the Republicans? They weren’t wrong.

  3. Brilliant, as it certainly gives the folks at Larry King Live and AC360 something to prognasticate about tonight.

    Alas, my computer speakers malfunction. The last frame, “To lead”, is that a rally cry to mobilize the troops to support the inert McCain-he who would “protect the world” from the nuclear ambitions of Iran and N. Korea?

  4. I agree with Wells. I don’t know if it’s their best but it’s pretty good. If I was in charge of making McCain ads, I would focus on when Obama said “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” I don’t think Obama took the correct message from Canute The Great.

    I read U.S. conservative blogs and they have been complaining that McCain campaign has been amateur hour. They won’t be saying that any longer. Who ever the new guy is, I forget his name, seems to be making a big difference.

  5. “Rove.”

  6. More context, via Andrew Sullivan:
    Alex Koppelman:

    …it should be noted, the McCain camp took at least two quotes from Obama out of context. They use one controversial remark made by Obama that popped up earlier this week, “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.” A Democratic source later told multiple news outlets that, in context, Obama wasn’t speaking about himself but about America generally — the source quoted Obama as having also said, “It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol.'” It’s fairly obvious that Obama was joking in another similar quote used in the video.

  7. And thank God, or whatever deity or good luck charm you worship, or otherwise fondle in your pocket.

  8. I guess McCain learned a lesson from the crazy stuff the Bush people circulated about him in South Carolina… people will believe whatever you tell them.
    But I really wonder how this plays with swing voters. Doesn’t it detract from McCain’s image as the statesman, man of honor, integrity, etc? Wouldn’t it better if he could say he has no idea who Britney Spears is because he’s too busy fixing Bush’s blunders in Iraq? I guess this is why I’ll never get a job designing campaign ads.

  9. I don’t think it detracts from McCain’s image to point out that Obama might have a slight messiah complex.

    I think Republicans are good at winning elections because they don’t think of them as a game of hacky sack on a sunny afternoon with friends. The Dems can preach kumbaya ideals but they should ignore them when it comes to elections.

  10. Actually, this is a funny ad. I guess McCain is reserving the real attack ads (like say showing groups of black people in baggies attacking elderly white people) for later.

    Obama has already been swiftboated. If there were skeletons – or even one Monica – in his closet, the Clintons would have found it.

    There really is no suspense in that race anymore, no matter how many convoluted likely-voter models Gallup comes up with.

    Unless there’s a horrendous revelation out there – and I don’t mean sexual in nature because then all of McCain’s affairs will come to light – Obama will be the next President.

  11. Luiza Looks like we are due another close election.

    I was just reading The Corner and one of them pointed to this article:

    The trend from 1988 – 2004 shows that the GOP candidate tends to under-poll in the summer–with the exception, as you can see below, of the 2000 campaign. In each of the other four years, the Republican candidate had been polling significantly behind the Democrat at this point in the race. Each of those times, however, the Republican improved his position, gaining an average of 15 points relative to the Democrat.


  12. I don’t think I’ve ever seen political ad where the sarcasm was this extensive.

    But while I applaud the genre-busting novelty, I wonder if it will be that effective.

    If it works, it’ll work if it makes Obama’s apostolic persona ridiculous. But if it doesn’t work, it’ll only reinforce his image as a saviour.

    For me, as an Obama fan, the irony sounded weak – too close to reality. Someone who dislikes Obama will doubtless find it hilarious. But what about the undecideds? Seems to me they could break either way. Still, anything that makes the campaign more intense is good for McCain.

    Re: dirt, why is there nothing from Daley’s Chicago being dredged up? There’s no way Obama can have come so far so fast in that city without cutting some serious deals. Or is the Daley machine just too watertight for anything grimy to leak out?

  13. Sorry, I just realised that my amateur punditry amounted to proclaiming that the undecideds could break either way. Hmm, this is harder than it looks.

  14. As an relectant Obama fan I did cringe when he stated “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow”. A little over the top, no?

  15. Since my own commentary on attack ads is inane, here’s Cicero’s (Pro Murena 43-44, Macdonald transl.):

    Now that I have shown, gentlemen, that Murena and Sulpicius had an equal claim to the consulship . . . I shall say more explicitly why my friend Servius was the weaker candidate . . .

    I repeatedly told you, Servius, that you did not know how to conduct a campaign for the consulship, and I was always telling you that the spirit and energy that you brought to all you said and did made you look to me more like a vigorous prosecutor than an astute candidate. Firstly, the warnings of prosecution [for bribery] and the threats that you were uttering daily may prove your energy but they stop people thinking that you expect to win office, and they weaken your friends’ support. Somehow or other it always happens – not just once or twice but on most occasions – that as soon as a candidate seems to be contemplating a prosecution men think that he has given up all hope of office.

    All right; but do I not approve of a man seeking satisfaction for an injury he has received? Of course I do, but do not start proceedings when you are a candidate for the consulship. I like a candidate, particularly one for the consulship, to be escorted to the Forum and to the Campus Martius with high hopes, great enthusiasm and huge crowds. I do not like a candidate to be gathering evidence – a harbinger of defeat -, to be collecting witnesses rather than voters, uttering threats rather than compliments, giving notices rather than greetings to all comers, particularly in view of this new practice of running in a crowd from house to house and inferring from the expression of the candidates how confident each is and what appear to be his chances of success. “Do you see him sad and dejected? He’s down, he has given up, he has thrown away his weapons.” The rumour spreads. “Do you know? He’s thinking of prosecuting, he’s investigating his fellow candidates, he’s looking for witnesses. Vote for another candidate; he has given up hope.” Close friends of candidates are unnerved by this sort of rumour and their enthusiasm cools.

    Seems to me that at this point McCain is the Servius candidate.

  16. I can’t help but think that Harper and McCain are operating from the same playbook.

    Remember the “not a leader” ads?

    Same thing.

    As some of you may recall, after the Liberal leadership convention, the Tories were complaining about how the media was fawning over Dion’s green scarf.

    The ads came, no more fawning.

    If there’s a seed of truth in these ads — and I think there is — then they might sow doubts about Obama at just the right time. We’ll see.

  17. I had a real laugh out loud when Charleton Heston came on screen. I think it’s very smart.

  18. What the hell is “Ch.”?
    How the hell is it pronounced?
    What the hell is it short for?
    Who the hell do you think you are?

  19. In Slavic languages, the “ch” sound is represented by a single letter. Therefore, the “Ch.” is simply the initial of her maiden name.


    Re “is this the best they can do?” — you will note that Senator McCain has pulled even with Senator Obama. (Actually, he’s a point up in today’s Rasmussen tracking poll — a statistically insignificant lead, but it’s better to be up than down.)

    I think it was pretty darned good — burst that Obama bubble…

  20. In part a media created bubble, I might add. When you send all your news anchors overseas with the rock star, it’s not hard to understand why an opponent might want to sharpen some pins.

  21. No, “C” is the initial of her maiden name. She’s just trying to be ‘different’.

  22. The Ch is for Chwialkowska. Which no one can spell anyway.

Sign in to comment.