Ad Wars: Special

Most of this new ad from the McCain camp feeds viewers the usual tropes: Obama's just a celebrity, he's inexperienced, he's not ready to lead.  The really curious thing about the ad comes at the very end.  Take a look, then let's talk about it:



You notice what I notice? Just at the very end: "Barack Obama's not ready... yet."  Isn't that weird? The implication that comes with the "... yet," is that he will be ready, which seems like a strange qualifier to grant your opponent-- especially when your central argument against him is that he's not ready. Even if the line had just been "not ready yet," the impact would have been less, but that ellipsis really drives it home.

What do you think? Maverick tactic or nothing notable? Share your thoughts in a comment below...

Ad Wars: Compare

In a new ad, John McCain invites you to do a little forced word association. The weakness of this spot, much like some of his others, is that it's just colossally vague, at a time when Americans want more than random words and phrases thrown at them.

Pain! Risky! Proven! Rutabaga!

Ad Wars: Ladies and Gentlemen

Joe "The Vice Presidential Candidate" Biden is known for his big mouth, and when Barack Obama chose him as his running mate, the campaign was surely including in their calculations the good odds that Biden would say something silly before election day.  He did, and, all things considered, I don't think it was that bad. 

Still, the McCain campaign pounced on it, and cooked up this ad, which manages to make the prospect of an "international crisis" sound pretty scary. This, I would say, is a quintessential example of the use of fear as a political weapon.  A voter who's scared into voting for you is just the same as a voter who picks you for other reasons.



Ad Wars: Try this

Barack Obama invites you to try out his tax calculator and see how much you'll save under his plan.  I recommend it highly, especially if you make less than $250,000 a year.



Ad Wars: It Gets Worse

The Obama campaign goes after the elder vote with this new ad, waging an ever-more intense attack on the McCain health care plan. If I were dependent on Medicare or Medicaid, I'd be spooked.

Ad Wars: Fight

This new ad from the McCain campaign has a lot in common with Splenda. It has no substance, no power, no weight. It is sickly sweet, yet there's something faintly evil about it. And the only people who will like it are people who can't handle the real thing.

His patronizing statement "Your savings? We'll rebuild them. Your investments? They'll grow again" is about as convincing and reassuring as a doctor saying your tumors will probably go away on their own.


Ad Wars: Guilt by Participation

The RNC continues to hammer at Obama's past association with Weatherman Bill Ayers in a new ad.  There's no new information in this ad, only new graphics-- which, at times, are a little overwhelming-- and new headline clippings, which are, at times, a little hard to read.

Ad Wars: The Chicago Way

The assault continues, as a new RNC ad links Barack Obama to three "shady" politicians. Bill Ayers makes another appearance. Tony Rezko is a new face in these ads-- he was convicted of fraud and bribery earlier this year, and surely represents some of what is worst in politics. Obama has called his association with Rezko "a mistake." The third is William Daley.

As Big Bird would say: One of these things is not like the others.  

The other two are criminals, but Daley, as the ad says, is nothing more than "heir to the Chicago machine." Seems a little harsh to lump him in with the other two.



McCain Links Obama to Ayers in New Web Ad

The McCain campaign has put out a 90-second web ad linking Barack Obama to Bill Ayers, a domestic terrorist in the 1960s, and associate of Obama's. This is part of a broader recent effort by McCain and Palin to exploit some of Obama's relationships with characters who might be unsavory to the public.

The issue, according to the spot, is Obama's judgment and character.  But the ad as a whole suggests something different.  Like previous McCain ads, the mood is dark, with spooky music and a behind-the-scenes feel that makes the viewer feel as though they're being let in on a secret.  Clearly, the McCain campaign is trying to depict Obama as someone untrustworthy, menacing, and even dangerous.

What One Hand Giveth...

Traditionally, Republicans have headed their campaigns with talk about taxes.  Democrats, they say, will raise your taxes, so vote for us. The McCain campaign hasn't been any different.  What is different this time around is that Barack Obama's tax plan is dramatically better for middle-income families. Accordingly, Obama's been hitting back.

His latest ad, "Taketh," lays the truth on thick. While John McCain's rhetoric about "tax credits for health care" may sound good, Obama points out the fine print: McCain's plan will levy a tax on employee health benefits for the first time ever.

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