McCain Finally Goes Positive

Posted by: David Kiley on October 16, 2008

Finally, a positive message from John McCain. This ad, launched today very nearly rises the level of a real reason to vote for the GOP candidate. It’s the first ad I’ve seen that comes close in, I think, months.

McCain talks right to the camera. The music is calming. He looks good.. His vocal cadence is good. He comes across as reassuring. I dare say that had John McCain been running more of these ads in the last six weeks, rather than trying to tear the bark off Barack Obama, his numbers might not be falling so fast in the polls.

I have said this before, but McCain’s brand began to change when he turned so much of his messaging over to Steve Schmidt. I can only think that Schmidt believed that the only way he could make McCain compete was to try and make McCain fit into the same mold his team pushed George W. Bush into. That seems like a big mistake, as McCain’s view of the world is very different from Bush. His demeanor is different. McCain’s big mistake, I think, is that he chose someone in Schmidt who really didn’t know him…he knows Bush. And he treated McCain like he was Bush, which fed into Obama’s strategy of painting McCain as Bush 44.

My only quibble with the script here are these lines.
The last eight years haven’t worked very well, have they?
I’ll make the next four better.
Your savings, your job and your financial security are under siege.
Washington is making it worse - bankrupting us with their spending.
Telling us paying higher taxes is “patriotic”?
And saying we need to “spread the wealth around”?….

They refuse common sense solutions for energy independence.
So every day we send billions to the Middle East.
We need a new direction and I have a plan.
Your savings. We’ll rebuild them.
Your investments. They’ll grow again.
Energy. We’ll drill here and we’ll create a renewable energy economy.
Lower taxes and less spending will protect your job and create new ones.
That’ll restore our country.
Stand up with me, let’s fight for America.

These are riffs on statements made by Joe Biden and Barack Obama on the campaign trail.

Here is the problem. I don’t actually think the phrase “spread the wealth around” is offensive to independent voters who are viewing Wall Street with a jaundice eye these days. The “patriotic” line is hollow, as well, given the fact that most voters are well acquainted with the fiasco of the Bush tax cuts after going to war with Iraq.

I would have cut those lines, and inserted these lines after “…and create new ones.”

We are in this together, and together we will restore prosperity in our great country.

Reader Comments

Frank Loweser

October 17, 2008 2:09 PM

I used to think i could sleep fine at night of McCain got elected. Then, he walked away from what he stood for. Or maybe, the McCain we have been seeing is the real McCain? Either way, he has proved himself to be flighty and hot-headed to entrust him with the country.

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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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