With one week to go it's fourth and long for McCain

Jake Turcotte

It's down to this. Polls are down. Money is short. And time is running out. If John McCain has any Hail Marys left, now is the time to launch 'em.

For McCain to beat Barack Obama, he needs to look at what Jeff Fisher's Tennessee Titans did last night.  At two critical points against a quarterback who knows how to rally his team, his defense stuffed the Colts in fourth and short situations and remained undefeated.

Best defense in the league? Depends on what the definition of is is. They give up the fewest points anyway. And that's what McCain's got to do. Give up as few points in the electoral college as possible.

Was this a stretch analogy just to bring up football?  My friends, yes.

Hey, it's Joe the Plumber!

Joe the Plumber is back.  He's joining former VP short-lister Rob Portman stumping on the campaign trail in Ohio today.  We're guessing Wurzelbacher (the plumber) will get more applause than Portman at every stop. They will travel to five cities including Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Middletown, and Milford.

Why will Joe get more love than Portman? It's not exactly a scientific survey, but Tito the Builder  got more applause than Sarah Palin yesterday as they campaigned in Virginia.

Tito the Builder is similar to Joe the Plumber. Both are small business owners (or Joe wants to be) and both back McCain-Palin.

Ad lib?

We wonder if Palin, who has received some flak for going off-message recently, ad-libbed a remark to her campaign partner yesterday when she said, "Not since the Jackson Five has the name Tito been used so much."

If she did, kudos to you, Sarah. Despite you and Joe Biden getting your campaigns in trouble, both of your remarks are much more refreshing, not to mention entertaining, than the stale, plastic-wrapped talking points that you're handed.


Ohio, incidentally, is still in play. Polls tilt to Obama, but not enough to consider it blue. The Baltimore Sun reports this morning that one in seven voters still haven't made a decision.

Of interest is a Dayton TV station's poll that showed voters who cast their ballots early opted for Obama by a 13 percentage point margin.

Don't go changin'

But the concern isn't just Ohio. It's widespread. There is a frantic attempt to keep many former red states (now more pinkish, off-white'ish, easter egg blue'ish looking things) from turning real blue.  Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, Florida could all switch.

So ominous is the trend, Republicans are advertising even in Montana. Reports are that the Republican National Committee has plopped down between $300,000 and $400,000 for a buy to help keep the state from a changin'.

New spot 

To help stop the change, the McCain campaign rolled out a new ad today.  Although they don't have nearly the budget Obama has, it's not like the only time the spot will air is at 3:15am on a station in North Dakota during a rerun of Gilligan's Island.

They can't afford that time slot.

This ad will be run, according to the campaign, in "key" states.


The new ad entitled "Compare" is pretty simple. Not surprisingly, it compares the two candidates from the Republican ticket's point of view. While the female announcer lists the attributes of each candidate the photo of the candidate is displayed.

For higher taxes (Obama)
For working Joes (McCain
Spread your income (Obama)
Keep what's yours (McCain)
Pain for small business (Obama)
Economic growth (McCain)
Risky (Obama)
Proven (McCain)

It can be argued that it is an effective ad.  It goes along with the theme of the campaign for the final week.

Go for comedy

But to really shake things up, they might want to just go for humor.  Get the comedy points.

We stumbled on to this parody from Charlotte News & Observer cartoonist, Grey Blackwell.  More people would watch this – don'tcha think?

(By the way, to balance things out we'll find a cartoon parody of McCain as well).

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