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Ad Watch: Obama Goes After McCain and Palin on Abortion and Bush Ties


Barack Obama’s first ad salvos against John McCain since he chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin range from tepid to torpedo.

First the torpedo: Last night, one night before Palin addresses the GOP convention in St. Paul, the Obama campaign began running an ad spotlighting Senator McCain’s anti-choice position on abortion. Interestingly, the ad does not mention Palin and her even more rabid [than McCain] opposition to the choice position. That, according to one Democratic strategist with a line into the Obama campaign, was smart because of the news swirl around the pregnancy of Governor Palin’s 17-year old single daughter. “The ad goes very well to shine a light on Palin’s anti-choice position, which will be totally out of synch with 95% of Hillary voters and a majority of independents,” said the strategist. “But Obama can claim the high road for steering clear of Palin in the ad.”

Oddly, though, the Obama campaign, which makes a habit of sending the media links to its new ads for bloggers and news organizations to embed, did not provide the ad.

But here is the link to the radio version:

http://audio.cbsnews.com/2008/09/03/audio4411721.mp3

The guts of the ad reads as follows:

VAL BARON: As a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood, I know abortion is one of the most difficult decisions a woman will ever make. I'm Val Baron. Let me tell you: If Roe v Wade is overturned, the lives and health of women will be put at risk. That's why this election is so important. John McCain's out of touch with women today. McCain wants to take away our right to choose. That's what women need to understand. That's how high the stakes are.

ANNCR: As president, John McCain will make abortion illegal. McCain says quote, "I do not support Roe v. Wade. It should be overturned." And listen to McCain's answer on Meet the Press:

RUSSERT: "A constitutional amendment to ban all abortions. You're for that?"

McCAIN: "Yes, sir."

VAL BARON: We can't let John McCain take away our right to choose. We can't let him take us back.

The Tepid: The other ad, titled “No Change” tries to make the point that just because McCain chose a woman as his running mate, his real running mate is President George Bush. The ad shows McCain with Palin. But it spends more time using shots of McCain looking chummy with Bush despite the candidate’s best attempts to keep his distance from the sitting president.

The naming of Palin is likely to re-ignite social issues as a determining factor in the campaigns. It was believed by many analysts and stratagists that abortion and gay marriage would take a distant backseat to the economy and the Iraq War and energy policy.


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