The Intersection


Politics aside, I’m suspicious of McCain’s latest ad. It’s a false free association taking us from Britney to Paris to Obama and then somehow to offshore drilling… (the latter is a very bad idea by the way). I can’t help but wonder how in only 32 seconds we’re supposed to figure out the connection between ‘more foreign oil‘ and Spears. What I am sure of is that any potential leader of this country ought to give the American public enough credit to see through this kind of overt manipulation in advertising.


  1. #1 Jennifer Ouellette
    July 30, 2008

    I think they’re actually trying to associate him in the public with airhead celebutante divas, and muddying the issue by bringing up offshore drilling. You know, because otherwise it would just be a pointless mean-spirited attack with no substance, and they swore they would NEVER resort to THAT…

    It’s pathetically misguided, and might be funnier to watch them fumble everything so ineptly if there weren’t so much at stake. I still say it’ll be a squeaker come November. Now, if Obama were white and didn’t have a funny-sounding furrin name, he’d win in a landslide…

  2. #2 llewelly
    July 30, 2008

    Joe Romm has been doing a great job of explaining McCain’s positions and their relevance to (or denial of?) reality. See here for his take on this ad, and here for his previous posts on McCain.

  3. #3 Aerik
    July 30, 2008

    The connection they want to make seems pretty obvious to me. Britney and Paris are innocent and white. Obama is black and scary. He’s going to defile the country like black men defile our precious white women with their scary phalluses of death.

  4. #4 Wes Rolley
    July 30, 2008

    Well, it makes as much sense as Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) who wants to divert our attention from the talk of right now threat (global warming) as compared to his focus on a potential asteroid striking earth in the next 250,000 years. I guess that he believes in Bruce Willis.

    The Republicans must thing the public is a bunch of fools.

  5. #5 Laurie Mann
    July 30, 2008

    The negative Karl Rove tactics like the last couple of McCain ads have worked for the Republicans before. The facts don’t matter to these folks. I’d like to believe that Americans were bright enough to see through those sorts of things, but given the 2000 and 2004 elections, I’m not sure.

  6. #6 Karen
    July 30, 2008

    I interpret the attempted association of Spears, Hilton and Obama as pointing out the “star” factor of sex appeal without substance. The ad might work had it stuck to that and not tried to add the point that opposing drilling and raising taxes are additional examples of lack of substance. This ad is the same phenomena observed with the reacts to “Sizzle,” some love it and find it entertaining, others hate it and think it silly or inaccurate or both. That’s what freedom is all about.
    P.S. ….Spears and Paris Hilton are “innocent and white?”

  7. #7 Linda
    July 30, 2008

    John McCain’s ” straight talk express ” long ago started veering off course. Although still early, when you are down and facing all the problems that the Republicans themselves make, it seems to become ‘politics as usual’ for them.

  8. #8 Keanus
    July 30, 2008

    Jennifer Ouellette is spot on. if Obama were white and his name was Joe Jones, he’d win in a walk, ads like this or not. But being half black and with a strange moniker, he’s got two big hurdles to clear. Nonetheless Laurie Mann has a point too: Enough of the voting public fell for this kind of sleazy argument in 2000 and 2004 that they might fall for it again (now that Rove’s lieutenants are running McCain’s campaign). But I like to think that so many voters feel burned by Bush in 2000/2004 that many will see through the sleaze and ignore it this time. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  9. #9 Philip H.
    July 31, 2008

    I think the McCain campaign is working hard right now to test a variety of approaches to a variety of issues. While McCain and OBama are their party’s presumptive nominees, neither is officially contesting the general election yet. So why not throw out a few curveballs to see how they do with the biggest focus group you can find?

    Ok, seriously, the McCain camp is not doing anything the Obama camp won’t do at some point. Campaigns are no longer about policy substance – they long ago devolved to a lowest common denominator popularity contest. I think it is one of the undercurrent reasons voters are one or two issue blocks. I also think it is the reason that intellectual candidates fail so often in the process.

  10. #10 Coturnix
    July 31, 2008

    Melissa explains it well (and check the links within).

  11. #11 Coturnix
    July 31, 2008

    Also see Jesse. This is a part of McCain’s new effort to frame Obama as “pretentious” – have you noticed CNN and others spending the last couple of days asking “Obama: presidential or pretentious?”. That is what the McCain campaign is asking them to do and they are willing to it for him.

  12. #12 Coturnix
    July 31, 2008

    That frame is explained by Josh Marshall here.

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