John McCain's new general election television commercial clearly targets Barack Obama, who apparently the McCain campaign expects to be the Democratic nominee. It's very likely that he will, so, over the next couple of months, the campaign will begin a "hard-sell" on McCain's qualifications, and, more importantly, his "patriotism", and, will ramp up doubts on Obama's qualifications and "patriotism." Expect this spot to get heavy rotation throughout the remainder of the primary roster. It's free advertising, too, because the news channels are playing the spot nonstop.
The ad should be quite effective. Oh, and it's totally expected. Something that we've said on this page for many months, is that by projecting Barack Obama as a blank slate, his campaign has allowed the opposition to smear the canvas with a thick, permanent marker. The Swamp:
For many voters, Obama is still an unknown quantity because of his relative newness to the national political scene. Despite all his speeches, many voters are still unsure what to make of him.
Add to this the backdrop of the whole Rev. Jeremiah Wright flap, and the questions "What does Obama think?" and "Where has he been?" probably raise more anxiety with more voters than would've been true a few weeks ago.
We know there've been questions, no matter how unfair, about Obama's patriotism, questions revived not just by Wright and his by now infamous imprecations against America but by Michelle Obama's foot-in-mouth statement about the success of her husband's campaign making her proud of her country as an adult for the first time.
There's so much more to this: The flag lapel bs, the Muslim and Pledge of Allegiance smear, nebulous connections to indicted Syrian and/or Iraqi financiers, the Rezko trial, black liberation theology, accusations of Iranian influence—first reported on Rod 2.0 in 2006—and of course the Kenyan name and "exotic heritage." Most of these issues have not been addressed on these pages, but, they have been well-cataloged elsewhere and will become ridiculously easy to adopt into the Republican narrative that Obama is "an alien, unsettling presence", in the words of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who says the attack machine will attempt to "Dukakisize" the Illinois senator.
The spot also suggests our nation needs an "American president" which is outraging the lefty e-telligentsia. "Could the implication be that Barack Obama is not quite American and that he is not interested in protecting our country?" asks David Corn at Mother Jones. "In other words, the half-black dude with a funny name can't protect her. ... If the Republican campaign is this vulgar and creepy seven months ahead of the election, expect much worse in the fall."
Welcome to reality.
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