Sunday, August 03, 2008

McCain's Ad Strategy

It's actually not a horrible commercial. Maybe a 5 on a scale of 10, but certainly not near the bottom in the attack ad department. For context, here it is again:

So why is Paris Hilton's mom whining? Her daughter showed up for about a second. Her gripe (appropriately on HuffPo):
It is a complete waste of the money John McCain's contributors have donated to his campaign. It is a complete waste of the country's time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs. And it is a completely frivolous way to choose the next President of the United States.
No mention of her daughter, only the message. While I can see how she might not like Paris being used as a prop (even though the tabloids use her daily) it's unclear why she would think the message is wrong.

The point of using the blonds initially was to grab attention then lead the viewer into the meat of the commercial, which was pointing out Obama's frivolous proposals, like no drilling and new taxes on energy while Americans suffer 4 dollar a gallon gas. If those concepts are "wastes of time" then Mac has very little left in the campaign ad quiver, save going completely positive.

Many think he should. I don't. A politician has to draw distinctions by pointing out his opponent's platform compared to his own. Obama has been doing a rip-roaring job of that since day one, tying McCain repeatedly and unfairly to George W. Bush. Few have become outraged, not even Barbara Bush.

But team McCain is failing with the ad for two reasons. One, he didn't clear this with the Hiltons, and two, because they've allowed it to be swallowed by a leftist maelstrom, effectively hijacking the message by switching attention to various offenses, like using Barack's face beside the word "foreign"; juxtaposing Obama with white blonds to race bait with rednecks; target Florida Jews by framing Obama in front of a huge crowd in Berlin (nazi); and by pointing out the creator was the same one that produced the RNC's Bob Corker's Playboy attack ad on Harold Ford here in TN in 2006.

But this ad isn't the Harold Ford ad. It's not overtly offensive. It's Mac who should remain on the offensive by stressing the drilling/taxes aspect while pointing out repeatedly that Obama has reneged on his earlier promise to debate McCain "anywhere, anytime", adding that if Obama had agreed the voters would be allowed chances to bring this stuff up in an open forum.

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