Another McCain “Attack” Ad

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

I understand what they’re trying to do, but I just don’t see how portraying Obama as being popular and loved all over the world actually helps McCain.

Jason Linkins makes the compelling case that McCain is swinging in the wrong direction.

[E]ven beyond the numb-nutted concept behind this ad, look at all the things that are tactically wrong with it. First, it just reinforces Obama’s brand as one with worldwide appeal. Second, it’s, like, McCain’s FOURTH ad that announces that Obama supports a sensible stance against offshore drilling – which isn’t popular in states McCain needs to win, like Florida, and which McCain himself even admits would only have a “psychological” impact on the economy. Third, you don’t even know it’s a McCain ad until he shows up, approving it at the end!

And let’s get a count on how many McCain ideas and policies this ad advances! Uhm…zero. Actually, this might be the most honest feature of this advertisement!

Flashback: Take a look at the memo distributed by the McCain campaign in early March, immediately after John McCain officially secured the Republican nomination.

“It is critical,” the memo explained, “as we prepare to face off with whomever the Democrats select as their nominee, that we all follow John’s lead and run a respectful campaign focused on the issues…. Throughout the primary election we saw John McCain reject the type of politics that degrade our civics, and this will not change.” The memo added that “overheated rhetoric and personal attacks” only serve to “distract” us, and that it was imperative that the campaign hold itself “to the highest standards.”

What happened?  This:

On July 3, news reports said Senator John McCain, worried that he might lose the election before it truly started, opened his doors to disciples of Karl Rove from the 2004 campaign and the Bush White House. Less than a month later, the results are on full display. The candidate who started out talking about high-minded, civil debate has wholeheartedly adopted Mr. Rove’s low-minded and uncivil playbook.

In recent weeks, Mr. McCain has been waving the flag of fear (Senator Barack Obama wants to “lose” in Iraq), and issuing attacks that are sophomoric (suggesting that Mr. Obama is a socialist) and false (the presumptive Democratic nominee turned his back on wounded soldiers).

** UPDATE ** Obama camp’s response:

“On a day when major news organizations across the country are taking Senator McCain to task for a steady stream of false, negative attacks, his campaign has launched yet another," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said. "Or, as some might say, ‘Oops! He did it again.’  Our dependence on foreign oil is one of the greatest challenges we face. In this election the American people have a real choice — between Obama’s plan to provide tax rebates to American families while creating a renewable energy economy in America that frees us from our dependence on foreign oil, and Senator McCain’s plan to continue the same failed energy policies by handing out nearly $4 billion in tax breaks to oil companies while investing almost nothing in the new energy sources that represent our future."