McCain Scoring Points On Obama

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. I may have underestimated the McCain campaign. Consider the challenges they face. An uninspiring candidate facing a genuine rock star in an election atmosphere of almost unprecedented republican dispiritedness. Top it off with Obama's World Tour and the sight of 200,000 crazed germans vying for a sight of the one.

    In an amazing feat of political jui jitsui, the McCain team turned Obama's popularity into a negative with the now infamous Britney Spears/Paris Hilton ad. Rather than try to convince people that they were wrong to flock to Obama, they turned the candidate into just another airhead celebrity. Now his stadium acceptance speech in Denver will appear to many to be another example of morons intoxicated with celebrity worship rather than serious political theater. Team McCain bypassed the tedious business of arguing issues, which obviously have little relevance for most Obama supporters, and went straight to ridicule. Journalists were quick to dismiss the ad, but Mike Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry understand the danger all too well of becoming an object of ridicule.

    Now apparently they have another ad featuring some of Obama's most ridiculous assertions like lowering the seas cut with Charlton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea.

    Everyone pretty much knew the election would be a referendum on Obama, but the challenge would be how to attack him without seeming mean or out of touch. The answer was absolutely brilliant. Make it ok for people to like him, just not take him seriously as a potential president. Mission accomplished.
  2. Welcome to the NFL!
    Patrick Buchanan

    Barack Obama just had the worst week since his beloved pastor, Jeremiah Wright, decided to expatiate on black liberation theology at the National Press Club.

    Coming off his royal progress through the Near and Middle East, Berlin, Paris and London, Barack had surged to a nine-point lead in the Gallup tracking poll. By Friday, he was back to a dead heat with a 72-year-old opponent with none of his natural skills, in a year when grocers are pulling Republican brands off the shelves.

    For all its gracelessness, the McCain campaign, given openings by Barack, stepped in and put Muhammad Ali on the canvas.

    The first opening was the clumsiness with which Barack dealt with a planned visit to wounded U.S. troops in Landshul, Germany.

    While the first half of his foreign trip, to Afghanistan and Iraq, was official, the European tour was campaign related. Yet, it was on this leg that a visit to wounded U.S. soldiers had been scheduled. As campaigning in a military hospital is prohibited, the visit was canceled.

    But, instead of going ahead and visiting the troops alone, without aides, press or cameras, Barack bailed out and flew on to Paris.

    This left the McCain folks an opening to paint Obama as a cold-hearted opportunist avid to visit a military hospital only if he could bring in press and cameras to record his compassion.

    Enraged Obama aides savagely accused McCain of running a dishonorable campaign. This reflex reaction, and the ugly brawl that ensued, made some Americans think less of Obama, but many more forget what a success his foreign trip had been.

    Came then the Paris-Britney ad. This opens with shots of the wayward blondes, then of Barack, presuming to equate the three as vacuous, insubstantial and aimless. Purpose: Disparage Barack's rock-star popularity and turn it into something laughable.

    While the ad seemed both defensive and non-credible, too much of a stretch to be believed -- even Republicans derided it as "childish" -- it apparently acted as something of a matador's cape snapped in front of an already tormented Obama.

    Stung, Barack retorted: "What they're going to try is make you scared of me. You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills you know. He's risky."

    Barack was accusing the McCain campaign of implying he is risky because he is black.

    This was the opening Rick Davis of McCain's campaign needed to deliver a vicious uppercut to Obama's jaw, charging him with "playing the race card ... from the bottom of the deck." Added Davis, this was "divisive, negative, shameful and wrong." McCain, sadly, agreed.

    With that, both benches cleared.

    Saturday, Bob Herbert of The New York Times charged McCain and the Republican Party with producing ads that are "slimy ... foul, poisonous ... designed to exploit the hostility, anxiety and resentment of the many white Americans who are still freakishly hung up on the idea of black men rising above their station and becoming sexually involved with white women."

    Sunday, Gene Robinson of The Washington Post accused McCain of "running a desperate, ugly campaign."

    The Britney-Paris ad calling Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world" was an attempt to "turn Obama's popularity into a flaw."

    Now, undeniably, McCain's ad was designed to minimize and mock Obama's popularity as a modern form of Beatlemania.

    But what is wrong with that?

    On the weekend, the McCain folks released another ad. Called "The One," it features Barack's grandiose pronouncements about who he is, what he means to mankind and the marvelous miracles that await our messiah's arrival -- and twins him with Moses (Charlton Heston) parting the Red Sea in "The Ten Commandments."

    The effectiveness of the ad is that people laugh with it, and so doing, laugh at the perceived pretentiousness of Barack Obama.

    In a week, Barack, an object of media homage on his trip abroad, has become an object of mockery in much of Middle America. Though his media allies may howl racism, most Americans tend more and more to dismiss this. That card has been played so often it's dog-eared.

    And Barack's raising the race issue anew seems suicidal. When one is winning the black vote 94 to 1, does it make sense to keep pushing into the face of the 87 percent of Americans who are Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian that the next president will definitely not be one of you?

    When JFK's polls showed him sweeping 80 percent of Catholics, he did not whistle-stop through the Bible Belt, billing himself as our "first Roman Catholic president." He sent Lyndon and Lady Bird on a Dixie special to talk about JFK's war record and rake Richard Nixon.

    Thus did he become our first Catholic president. If Barack wishes to be our first black president, he will tell his friends to stop bellowing and braying every day about it.

  3. The makers of Swing Vote, the new film starring Kevin Costner, have pulled off a rare double play, producing a smart political satire that is also heartfelt and moving. It's also a film that turns out to be remarkably relevant to the 2008 race.

    Costner plays Ernie "Bud" Johnson, a beer-drinking, unemployed resident of Texico, New Mexico who as fate -- and a voting machine error -- would have it, will single-handedly decide a presidential election (sure, it's high concept, but don't forget that in 2000 New Mexico was decided by just 366 votes). The media descends on him, as do both presidential candidates and their win-at-all-costs campaign managers.

    The film has lots to say about -- and gets plenty of laughs from -- the evils of modern campaigns: pollsters, lobbyists, focus groups, and the inevitable mudslinging and negative ads. The film features a bunch of satiric smear ads launched by the competing candidates -- incumbent GOP President Andrew Boone (Kelsey Grammar) and his Democratic challenger, Donald Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper). You can see them here, here, here, here, and here.

    But as ludicrous and over-the-top as the film's negative ads are, none of them can hold a candle to the absurd ads unleashed last week by the McCain camp and the RNC.

    Paris Hilton and Britney Spears? Really? David Hasselhoff? John McCain has been waiting his whole life to run for president and the best he's got is Britney, Paris, and the Hoff? And Moses? Everything about the McCain media reeks of desperation -- and a stunning disconnect from popular culture. Does the McCain campaign's computers have Google software than can only go back to 2003? And the RNC's ad ended with a riff on Leo DiCaprio in Titanic. That was 1997. When John McCain still had principles.

    The film shows how, in their hunger to win, the candidates are willing to say or do just about anything -- and chalk it up to the price of doing business. At one point near the end of the film, both candidates have crises of conscience. President Boone, disgusted at his own willingness to abandon his core principles to court voters -- "dancing the dance," as his campaign manager calls it -- wonders aloud, "What are we about?" To which his campaign manager replies: "Winning. If we don't win, you can't do what you set out to do. And everything you've done won't matter."

    But even the two campaign managers -- who are the personification of cynicism -- eventually admit the emptiness of that realpolitik rationalization. When one of them bemoans "the whole bullshit system," the other reminds him: "We are the system. If it's bullshit, it's because we're bullshit."

    Watching as these two fictional candidates completely lose sight of why they are running, and lose track of everything other than winning, I couldn't help but think of McCain, reduced to voting against the banning of torture, and denouncing his own immigration bill.

    In a moving speech before the film's climactic final debate, Bud comes to terms with his own role in the degradation of our politics:

    It's sorta like somewhere along the way I checked out, and it's not like I had huge dreams to begin with... I have never served or sacrificed. The only heavy lifting I have ever been asked is simple stuff, like pay attention -- vote. If America has a true enemy, I guess it's me.

    It's an incredibly tough scene to pull off -- but Costner does it beautifully, giving flesh and blood to a man who has stopped believing that he can make a difference or that politics matters, and has simply given up.

    Bud Johnson is a powerful stand-in for the 83 million eligible Americans who didn't vote in 2004, and is precisely the kind of voter the Obama campaign should be targeting every day. Reaching America's Buds is more critical than ever; if we don't, and if the Buds keep turning away, disheartened and disillusioned, we will never see real change.

    Instead we'll see campaigns spending all their time courting the affection of fickle, fence-sitting swing voters. The kinds of people who could be influenced by the Britney/Paris ad.

    So each and every day Barack Obama should roll out of bed in the morning and ask himself, "What can I do to get the real life Bud Johnsons of this country to check back in, to pay attention, to vote, to reconnect to the dreams they have abandoned along the way?" I recently suggested that Obama fill his Kindle and his iPod with the great speeches of RFK and Martin Luther King. He should add Costner's finale to the mix.

    I have a very small part in Swing Vote, playing myself. Talk about type casting. We filmed in New Mexico, in an arena. I was in a booth with Aaron Brown and Lawrence O'Donnell. There were laptops all over the set, and I kept pulling up the home page of HuffPost on each of them.

    We filmed my scene all night. The producers had gotten me a hotel room, but I never even saw it. We kept shooting and I eventually just went straight from the set to the airport the next morning. In between shots, we would go to Kevin Costner's trailer and sit outside under the stars while he played guitar.

    I watched Costner film his big speech that night. And it was powerful. But not nearly as powerful as it is now, in the context of the current state of the race. So go see Swing Vote. Bring your cynicism, you idealism, and a box of Kleenex.
  4. Like I said, celebrity intoxicated morons.
  5. Not to mention "Swing Vote" did a whopping 6mil it's first week. LoZZZer. Gee and I thought the world was just clammering for a pinko movie by Kevin Waterworld.

    At least I now know Dennis Hopper is still living......sort of.
  6. jem


    Obama is cracking - I think the the McCain ad was perfect. So over the top you did not have to take it seriously.

    But then you think about it... and you wonder what the hell is this guy doing parading around Europe like the next Reagan or JFK. So far he is not yet President and he has done nothing useful.
    Yet look at how presidential it looks. This guy is king of all media.

    So when I see paris and britney. I think people who manipulated the publicity machine to gain stardom with little or no talent. Madonna - some of these rappers, vanilla ice, almost every recent pop start, 80% of our movie stars. They are not there because of talent there are there because of publicity machines.

    Obama goes to hollywood has a few diners with the A list - gets some money and boom - bypassed Hillary.

    He is a product of the same media engine that Paris played to stardom.

    McCain should run that ad every month - its core message is true. He may be smarter than Paris or Britany Spears but what has he done to be the top of the heap? His is a product of the media.
  7. Bwahahahahaha! The Troll sure picks fine examples to support its frail arguments, does it not? :D
  8. George Will on Obama:

    Does Obama have the sort of adviser a candidate most needs — someone sufficiently unenthralled to tell him when he has worked one pedal on the organ too much? If so, Obama should be told: Enough, already, with the we-are-who-we-have-been-waiting-for rhetorical cotton candy that elevates narcissism to a political philosophy.

    And no more locutions such as "citizen of the world" and "global citizenship." If they meant anything in Berlin, they meant that Obama wanted Berliners to know that he is proudly cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitanism is not, however, a political asset for American presidential candidates. Least of all is it an asset for Obama, one of whose urgent needs is to seem comfortable with America's vibrant and very un-European patriotism, which is grounded in a sense of virtuous exceptionalism.

    Otherwise, "citizen of the world" and "global citizenship" are, strictly speaking, nonsense. Citizenship is defined by legal and loyalty attachments to a particular political entity with a distinctive regime and culture. Neither the world nor the globe is such an entity.

    In Berlin, Obama neared self-parody with a rhetoric of Leave No Metaphor Behind. "Walls"? Down with them. "Bridges"? Build new ones between this and that. "A new dawn"? The Middle East deserves one. And Berlin was the wrong place to vow to "remake the world once again." Modern Berlin rose from rubble that was the result of the last attempt at remaking "the world."

    Of course, from Obama, such tropes, although silly, are not menacing, any more than they were from Ronald Reagan, who was incorrigibly fond of perhaps the least conservative, and therefore the most absurd, proposition ever penned by a political philosopher, Thomas Paine's "we have it in our power to begin the world over again." No. We. Don't.

    The world is a fact, and facts are indeed stubborn things. After eight years, if such there are, of an Obama presidency, if such there is, the world will look much as it does today — if we are lucky.

    Swift and sweeping changes are almost always calamitous consequences of calamities — often of wars, sometimes of people determined to "remake the world." Wise voters — polls might be telling us that there are more of them than Obama imagines — hanker for candidates whose principal promise is that they will do their best to muddle through without breaking too much crockery.
  9. McCain Scored points with drunk bikers yesterday when he offered his wife for a stripper competition at the motorcycle rally in south dakota. what a low class jerk.
  10. i'd like to see her strip. may be kinda old, but still hot.
    #10     Aug 6, 2008