Friday, August 1, 2008

McCain's Negative Ads Could Backfire

Republican presidential candidate John McCain promised to run a positive campaign. This week, however, McCain ran a stupid and widely ridiculed attack ad against Barack Obama.

So much for that McCain promise. Apparently, Karl Rove is alive and well and working for McCain.

But at the Chicago Sun-Times, Rovian tactics look like a bad bet for McCain. Here's a portion of the Sun-Times analysis:

WASHINGTON -- John McCain's stepped-up aggression raises the question: Will Americans vote for a scold?

A new ad launched Wednesday suggests Democratic rival Barack Obama is nothing more than a lightweight celebrity akin to a Britney Spears or a Paris Hilton. McCain has suggested Obama would rather lose a war than an election and ridicules him for the ''audacity of hopelessness'' in his Iraq policies.

''He's the biggest celebrity in the world,'' his latest ad says. ''But, is he ready to lead?''

Some Republicans welcomed McCain's confrontational strategy. New Hampshire GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen said Republicans in his state ''like to see the McCain campaign on offense.''

But in striking an aggressive pose, McCain is in danger of of letting the caricature of an angry, petulant candidate take seed, and angry candidates don't win elections.


Dan Paden said...

On the other hand, Gallup's daily poll has the two tied at this point. Yesterday, Senator Obama was one ahead. A week ago, he was several points ahead.

In other words, right now, he's falling like a rock, despite the McCain campaign's imbecility.

Still a lot o' campaignin' to go...

Tulsan said...

The seemingly illogical linkage of Obama with Britney and Paris makes more sense when you look at it as simply visually associating Obama with young white women. It has Rove written all over it.

The people the ad is targeted at will will get the subliminal message...they will add the backstory.

Tulsan said...

Wow, look what this "religious" freak Hal Lindsey just vomited up. Not too subtle. No dog whistles here. Just for you, 24 percenters:

"Obama is correct in saying that the world is ready for someone like him – a messiah-like figure, charismatic and glib and seemingly holding all the answers to all the world's questions.

"And the Bible says that such a leader will soon make his appearance on the scene. It won't be Barack Obama, but Obama's world tour provided a foretaste of the reception he can expect to receive.

"The Bible calls that leader the Antichrist. And it seems apparent that the world is now ready to make his acquaintance."

Dan Paden said...

I have to admit, Tulsan, to being richly entertained.

Tulsan said...

According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, McCain's campaign is spending about a third of their TV budget on the Britney-Paris spot.

Doesn't McCain have anything to say FOR himself? Guess not. How low can he and his party go? We haven't seen anything yet.

Tulsan said...

This McCain ad is out of the same mold as one run by the GOP in the last election:

In it, a young white actress talked about meeting Harold Ford, Jr., the black candidate for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee, at "the Playboy party." Needless to say, there was no more substance to it than McCain's Britney-Paris ad.

It was seen as highly effective for the GOP in a state with a significant racist base.

A Hal Lindsey spot might be effective there, too.

Karl Rove, Jr. said...

Confidential memo to the OK McCain team; recommended TV campaign:

Opening shot: Obama campaigns on Route 66, receives a conquering hero's welcome. Use stock footage.

Fade into a choppy slow motion horizontal pan across a Route 66 marker.

This point is key: use digital technique to let those frames overlap and for an instant, appear to say "666" (implication: the road to hell.)

Fill the rest of the ad with verbiage about Obama's inexperience so that the "666" is not seen to be the raison d'etre (pardon my French.)

Repetitive media coverage of the ensuing "controversy" will multiply your ad buy.

Should viewers be too obtuse to notice on their own, plant awareness on internet forums (anonymously): "Did you see that TV ad about Obama the other day? I thought I saw the mark of the beast!"

Bloggers and low profit media outlets will gladly put it on their high beam, gratis, thus giving local media the cover needed to report on it.

Our research tells us that your state is highly attuned to religious symbology, so the above measures are unlikely to be required.

Projected TV news teaser:

While a snippet of the video is seen, voiceover says: "Does a local political ad contain a hidden message? We'll take a closer look at 10 p.m."

If this "road test" pans out, the angle will be expanded to other midwestern states.

In fact, our working title will be:

"Road tested?"

Let us know if you need further consultation, and keep us informed as to your progress.

As always,
KR (Jr.)

Tulsan said...

I think I'm a Paris Hilton fan now.

That response of hers to McCain's "young white women and Obama" ad made McCain look like a fool. Guess he'll think twice before messing with her again.

Tulsan said...

"Intelligent Design" advocate Ben Stein came to poor McCain's defense against big, bad Paris Hilton:

Says Ben: "It is downright disgusting coming from a porn star — and not a very good porn star at that (yes, I have seen the tape). And we especially don’t like being told how to vote by porn stars."

I'm really happy to be burdened with the mental image of Ben viewing the sex tape. (this is sarcasm.)

Waaaah! She hit back!