July 31, 2008


McCain Ad Compares Obama to Britney Spears (NY Sun, July 31, 2008)

Senator McCain's presidential campaign yesterday released a withering television ad comparing Senator Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, suggesting the Democratic contender is little more than a vapid but widely recognized press concoction. Mr. Obama's campaign quickly responded with a commercial of its own, dismissing Mr. McCain's complaints as "baloney" and "baseless." Mr. McCain's ad, titled "Celeb" and set to air in 11 battleground states, intercuts images of Mr. Obama on his trip to Europe last week with video of Ms. Spears and Ms. Hilton — both better known for their childish off-screen antics. "He's the biggest celebrity in the world, but is he ready to lead?" the voiceover asks, noting the Illinois senator's opposition to offshore oil drilling and suggesting he would raise taxes if elected. "He doesn't seem to have anything positive to say about me, does he?" Mr. Obama said. "You need to ask John McCain what he's for, not just what he's against."

Obama: McCain Trying to Make Voters 'Scared' of Me (Sunlen Millerm 7/30/08, ABC News)
While campaigning in a traditionally Republican district, Sen. Barack Obama attempted to beat back rumors about him– telling the Springfield, Missouri crowd that Republicans and Sen. McCain are trying to make voters “scared” of him because they don’t have another strategy.

“Nobody thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. So what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Obama warned, “You know he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

Because he is running exclusively on his race he keeps getting stuck with nothing else to talk about when first Hillary and now Maverick corner him on the issues.

McCain: My opponent is an inexperienced over-hyped transnationalist liberal.

Obama: Racist!

McCain Tries to Define Obama as Out of Touch (JIM RUTENBERG, 7/31/08, NY Times)

Although Mr. Obama has been under an intense public spotlight for the last year, he is still relatively new on the national scene, and polls indicate that for all the enthusiasm he has generated among his supporters, many voters still have questions about him, providing Republicans an opening to shape his image in critical groups like white working-class voters between now and Election Day.

Mr. McCain’s campaign is now under the leadership of members of President Bush’s re-election campaign, including Steve Schmidt, the czar of the Bush war room that relentlessly painted his opponent, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, as effete, elite, and equivocal through a daily blitz of sound bites and Web videos that were carefully coordinated with Mr. Bush’s television advertisements.

The run of attacks against Mr. Obama over the last couple of weeks have been strikingly reminiscent of that drive, including the Bush team’s tactics of seeking to make campaigns referendums on its opponents — not a choice between two candidates — and attacking the opponent’s perceived strengths head-on. Central to the latest McCain drive is an attempt to use against Mr. Obama the huge crowds and excitement he has drawn, including on his foreign trip last week, by promoting a view of him as more interested in attention and adulation than in solving the problems facing American families.

Mr. Rutenberg's accusation, that the Unicorn Rider is new and unknown, is patently racist.
'The One'? Take a Number, Sen. Obama (David Montgomery, 7/31/08, Washington Post)
There have been so many Ones. The human imagination seems inclined to think in terms of them: King Arthur, Superman, Anakin Skywalker (or Luke, depending on your cosmology), Bobby Kennedy, John Galt, the Who's Tommy, Frodo, Bob Dylan, Siegfried, Harry Potter, Mighty Mouse, Godot, Joe Gibbs, Storm, Wonder Woman.

The One is the one who has the Answer. He will fix a fallen world. He will bring . . . change we can believe in. [...]

Sometimes he seems to playfully encourage his image as the One. Before the New Hampshire primary, he joked to an audience, "I am going to try to be so persuasive in the next 20 minutes or so that a light is going to shine down from the ceiling. . . . You will experience an epiphany. You will say to yourself, 'I have to vote for Barack.' "

He told House Democrats this week, "This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for," our colleague Dana Milbank reported.

Also this week, the Obama campaign sent out an e-mail in the name of Michelle Obama to invite folks to contribute money for a chance to be among 10 lucky supporters who will get to "go backstage with Barack" at the Democratic convention in Denver, as if he were that special kind of One: the rock star.

GOP's celeb-Obama message gains traction (CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN, 7/31/08, Politico)
It wasn’t until the last week, however, that the narrative of Obama as a president-in-waiting – and perhaps getting impatient in that waiting - began reverberating beyond the e-mail inboxes of Washington operatives and journalists.

Perhaps one of the clearest indications emerged Tuesday from the world of late-night comedy, when David Letterman offered his “Top Ten Signs Barack Obama is Overconfident.” The examples included Obama proposing to change the name of Oklahoma to “Oklobama,” and measuring his head for Mount Rushmore.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at July 31, 2008 12:03 AM

Right. It's the middle of one of the first two world wars and one of the candidates has a "funny sounding name," such as, say, "Helmut"--not a problem.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 31, 2008 1:57 AM

In World War II American heros Inoye and Eisenhower had Japanese and German names respectively, and no American (except FDR and Calif. Gov. Warren) had a second thought about it. Hussein Obama does not seem bothered by or supportive of the Islamofascists. He's more concerned about global warming than terrorism because he's a liberal, not because he's a Muslim. 11% of the electorate will still think he's a closet Muslim beholden to his Islam siblings in Kenya so while it should not matter more than his liberalism, it will still matter to some.

Posted by: George Clarke at July 31, 2008 7:17 AM

I knew McCain's celeb ad would be effective when I saw they were calling it "juvenile" over at The Corner.

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at July 31, 2008 7:48 AM


Good point.

Posted by: Mikey at July 31, 2008 8:24 AM

Does the Corner still think Mitt is going to be VP?

Posted by: oj at July 31, 2008 10:35 AM


Yes! "K-Lo" posted something today about it.

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at July 31, 2008 11:41 AM

Way more than 11 percent, George.

So, this back-stage with Obama thing. Is that like back-stage with Keith Richards? Obama had better be careful, or Rev. James David Manning is going ot make more videos about him.

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at July 31, 2008 11:45 AM

Ah, nothing like Catholics who don't actually care about abortion....

Posted by: oj at July 31, 2008 1:21 PM

“You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

Right, we don't like him because his skin's not green enough.

Vote Bruce Banner 08: You won't like him when he's angry

Posted by: John Burnham at July 31, 2008 9:22 PM
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