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Obama Ad Finally Draws Real Blood From McCain

Posted by: David Kiley on August 21, 2008

The Obama campaign finally put together a striking ad retort after weeks of allowing the McCain campaign to set the ad agenda and keep Obama on the defensive. McCain’s ad squad kicked it off in July with the now infamous Paris Hilton ad, which boxed Obama as a “celebrity,” and sought to make him look like a light-weight.

But Senator McCain handed the Obama campaign the equivalent of John Kerry’s “I voted for it before I voted against it” sound-bite four years ago.

Asked how many houses he and his wife owned by an interviewer, McCain couldn’t come up with the answer, and said his staff would have to get back to the reporter. Huh?

This is obvious red-meat to the Obama campaign, and too good to let go. The ad:

The effect of the ad is too make the first real cut at McCain exposing the Senator as a super-rich guy, not so much the brave POW. But it also works on a second level the Obama campaign had better be prepared to defend: reminding voters of Mccain’s almost 72 years. The whole ad and issue gives the Obama campaign Rovian deniability that it is exploiting McCain’s age and his habit of confusing facts and countries when he’s on the stump. But it’s there.

Obama’s ad efforts, though they have moved more pointed in their attacks on McCain in the last ten days, have simply not been as well executed as the McCain ads. This one, though, may start to change the scoreboard.

Not kowing how many houses you own is just the sort of event, like John Edwards’ expensive haircut, Kerry’s soundbite hell and Dan Quayle’s spelling shortcomings, which will hang around kitchen tables until November.

Reader Comments


August 22, 2008 6:36 PM

What happen to all the talk about the issues? Seems the media has something to assist Obama with and they forget about a cry for what matters? Wow!


August 22, 2008 6:49 PM

John McCain married a wealthy woman. As a SMART money management tool, he has others who manage his assets. I hope the President to be is smart enough to have someone on his team to do the same thing. And, Surely McCain money is in a blind trust, or will be.


August 22, 2008 6:52 PM

Obama cannot afford to play nice with McCain. The US electorate punishes victims of Swift Boaters and Willie Horton ads. McCain is Bush warmed over yet there has been no concerted attack on McCain himself. It is about time that the Obama campaign managers take the gloves off and give back to McCain what his Karl Rove handlers dish out. Its time to remind people about McCain's role int he Keating Five Scandal because many of the younger voters don't know anything about those sleazy dealings. How about his blithering comments about Iraq when Lieberman had to whisper corrections again and again about Iraq into his ear on camera.. When the Swift Boaters went after Kerry he stood there like a deer in the headlights. Obama needs to continue to strike back and quickly and often. The Rove team is counting on his stumbling in the face of their relentless smears.


August 22, 2008 7:04 PM

Obama--where have you been prior to running for the White House? Please post your voting record so we can figure out just where you stood in the past, where you stand in the present, so maybe we can understand where you would stand in the future. Oh, by the way, waving your arms is VERY distracting. You can fool people very quickly with smooth talk--but where is the substance?

CJ Brown

August 22, 2008 7:06 PM

Why hasn't Obama made a commercial of McCain constantly being assisted by Joe Lieberman while overseas and saying, oh yeah, I mean Sunni's, oh yeah, I mean Shiites, oh yeah.....He made about 3-5 correction over there. He should be making a commercial on those as well.

From Kiley: Be patient.

wade price

August 23, 2008 5:44 AM

WOW is really all I can say. talk about smear. and taking things out of context. That is one thin obama .,is sure good at(when MCcain said the bit about 5 million HE WAS JOKING dang people get a life)

Dancy Spergel

August 23, 2008 1:40 PM

It,s about time!

Martha Williamson

August 23, 2008 2:50 PM

Now if the Obama campaign will just pounce on the other red meat -- John McCain himself saying that he ran for president out of single-minded personal ambition -- not out of love for his country.
As Paul Abrams points out in The Huffington Post:
In his book Worth Fighting For, John McCain wrote that he runs for President purely out of personal ambition. Not only did he write it, but McCain narrated the book for tape, so we have his own voice speaking these words:

"I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I'd had the ambition for a long time." (Worth Fighting For, by John McCain).

This is an astonishing statement. Used properly, it is the gift that will keep on giving. It beats Kerry's "I was for it before I was against it" by miles.

Here's the link to the full story in The Huffington Post:


August 24, 2008 9:12 AM

Hardly real blood. If that is the worse Obama can do, he is seriously hurting ...


August 29, 2008 12:10 PM

You McCain supporters are still so clueless...

The only thing you can talk about is lack of experience, yet McCain has shown us his horrible policy views. That is not the "Experience" we need in the white house.

Obama 08, see you losers in Nov ;)

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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