The campaign of Barack Obama unveiled a new ad today that sought to turn the celebrity charge leveled against him by John McCain on its ear. The ad features shots of McCain on The View, Saturday Night Live, Leno, and Letterman, but the beneath the celebrity charge is a very clever ad that ties McCain to the politics of old.
Here is the Obama ad:
Many people might view this ad as nothing but a response to an attack, but there is a deeper message here. Beyond the video of McCain on the talk shows, this is the script of what the voice over says, “For decades, he’s been Washington’s biggest celebrity. John McCain. And as Washington embraced him, John McCain hugged right back. The lobbyists – running his low road campaign. The money – billions in tax breaks for oil and drug companies, but almost nothing for families like yours. Lurching to the right, then the left, the old Washington dance, whatever it takes. John McCain, a Washington celebrity playing the same old Washington games.”
The Obama campaign has been able to take the most recent buzz word of the campaign, celebrity, and fuse it with their message that John McCain is a Washington insider. The word Washington is used four times in the script, and McCain’s name and Washington are used together at the beginning and end of the ad. This is a very clever way to tie McCain to anti-Washington feelings that most voters have right now.
We got a preview of this ad yesterday, when Bill Richardson used the Washington’s biggest celebrity line on ABC’s This Week. I think it is fine for Obama to use the celebrity attack to try to advance his message that McCain is a Washington insider, but this whole celebrity debate itself is really nothing more than a distraction campaign to keep us from focusing on the real issues, and anything that keeps Obama from talking about the issues benefits McCain.