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Back at ya', McCain

By Jimmy Orr / August 11, 2008


Barack Obama’s campaign launched their own “celebrity” spot today taking aim at John McCain’s own Hollywood credentials.

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The ad shows McCain on the David Letterman show, The View, the Jay Leno show and appearing with Steve Carell — not to mention several shots of McCain and President (one showing the President kissing McCain on the top of his head.)

The ad, a bit more hard-edged than the McCain “celeb” spot, will run according to Obama’s web site on national cable.

It did seem natural that Obama enter this discussion, but one wonders if the campaign discussed a more humorous response to the ads especially in light of Paris Hilton’s spoof ad last week.

So, is it effective or not? Let’s check out the blogosphere…

Oliver Burkeman, over at Guardian, thinks the Obama team should have used better material:

For unknown reasons, the Obama campaign chose not to include any of the following Saturday Night Live skit, in which McCain plays a “creepy husband” who creepily creeps up on his wife in the bedroom and in the shower. When I pause to imagine the conversation between McCain and his aides during which it was concluded that appearing in this sketch would be, politically speaking, a good idea, my brain explodes.

Jonathan Kohn, at the New Republic, wonders if the spot actually plays into McCain’s hand:

I also worry about the broader strategic approach here. It’s good to hit back at McCain, for sure. But this particular ad is a true response, in the sense that it basically answers McCain’s recent line of attack on its own terms. In other words, it actually keeps the conversation about “celebrity” going.

Scott Martelle, at the LA Times, questions if the ad is too negative:

The risk for Obama is that the ad’s hard-edged tone contrasts with his attempt to portray himself as a different kind of politician. There’s a thin line between ads that point out policy differences, and a negative ad. This one is negative.

Jonathan Martin, at Politico, noted that the Obama campaign finally responded to McCain’s ad (it has been two weeks) and says that at its core, it doesn’t seem that much different than other negative spots Obama’s team has released:

Images of him on various talk shows are a means of both drawing cable news attention and pushing the line that it’s pretty rich for McCain to call Obama a celebrity, but, Leno and big band tunes aside, the ad actually differs little from most every other negative ad the Democrat has launched.

Which is to say the central assault can be found in the six separate images of McCain next to or embracing President Bush.

Seth Colter Walls, at the Huffington Post, discusses the perhaps necessity of releasing such a spot…

With Barack Obama on vacation this week, perhaps it was the perfect time for Obama’s campaign to release an attack ad that makes no mention of their candidate (a rarity, thus far). After all, he won’t have to answer any process questions about the “tone” of the race. Or perhaps, just as former Sen. Tom Daschle said last week, Obama’s advisers believe McCain’s Paris Hilton ad did real damage.

Decide for yourself…

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