McCain Just Can't Help Himself

Just a day after taking a break from mentioning Barack Obama in his campaign ad, John McCain goes back to the "Obama is the biggest celebrity in the world" well in his latest. But really, using images of your opponent being cheered by hundreds of thousands of people, is that really an effective way to attack him? The other day I mentioned how Steve Schmidt was using a visual motif from an ad he ran on behalf of Schwarzenegger in his successful 2006 re-election campaign. But here, by going after Obama for celebrity, Schmidt is taking a page out of the failed playbook of Schwarzenegger's opponent, Phil Angelides. Very odd.

Watch it:

The great irony is that, as Josh Marshall points out over at TPM, John McCain has taken far more advantage of the trappings of celebrity than Barack Obama ever has.

Andrew Sullivan makes a good point. For the 'celebrity' in the campaign, how many sitcoms has Barack Obama done guest spots on? How many movies has he done cameos in? How many times has he hosted Saturday Night Live. As John McCain's IMDB bio shows, he's done a lot. 24, Wedding Crashers, The Tony Danza show, numerous appearances on Saturday Night Live. It's another example of the curve that John McCain gets graded on. Of these two, there's no question who the more preening candidate is or the bigger 'celebrity' is.

The Obama campaign's repsonse to John McCain's latest ridiculous ad continues to hit McCain for being a Bush clone on energy, aka, in the pocket of big oil:

"Is the biggest proponent of George Bush's tired, failed policies ready to bring about change? Another day brings another dishonest attack from John McCain. While Senator McCain knows that Senator Obama has proposed cutting taxes for 95% of American families, what he's not telling us is that he wants to give $4 billion in tax breaks to the oil companies, continue giving tax breaks to corporations that ship our job overseas, and provide no direct tax relief for more than 100 million middle-class families. It's time to retire these old policies and bring new energy to America."

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, ad, Barack Obama, John McCain (all tags)



Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

McCain is saying that Obama is too popular.  
I agree, I don't think that is a winning strategy.  I would like to see Obama fire back on this.

Of course, I want to see more of Obama firing back no matter what.

by gil44 2008-08-06 10:17AM | 0 recs
Here's my question:

Don't we want a President who we can elevate to celebrity status?  Isn't there a reason the public preferred Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton over George H.W. Bush?

Also, Barack Obama gained celebrity status because he defeated Hillary Clinton.

by Brad G 2008-08-06 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Celebrity=Lightweight

Thank you, John.

by rfahey22 2008-08-06 11:53AM | 0 recs
I couldn't name Bill's in 92 either

I sitll can't really name Hillary's. The overriding motive is whether what the cadidate stands for (change) matches the desire of the country (change). McCain can't win this. In each victory over the past 28 years, I can think of only one isnatnce (Dukakis) where the mood of the country was not reflected in the eventual choice, and that was because of bungling by the Dukakis campaign.

by iohs2008 2008-08-06 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I couldn't name Bill's in 92 either

Bill had quite a few listable accomplishments related to being governor of Arkansas.   Also I think he'd been given an award by the Governors' Association of America, and so on.   He had a good resume.  

by miker2008 2008-08-06 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I couldn't name Bill's in 92 either

All of which you would probably only have been familar with IF you were from Arkansas in 1992

Interesint you guys WHIPLASH in to defend the Clinton brand, when it CLEARLY doesn't need any defense; but then, you end up proving the posters point.

Funny how that works?

by WashStateBlue 2008-08-06 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: I couldn't name Bill's in 92 either

We "whiplashed in" because someone said they had trouble remembering any pre-Presidential accomplishments of Bill Clinton.  Jeez, chill.  

by miker2008 2008-08-06 02:01PM | 0 recs
I want to see more of Obama firing back

Obama fires back every time McDesperate attacks, and it's been well documented on this site.

Obama has even done some pre-emptive "firing back."

I don't where the urban legend that Obama isn't fighting back, and even taking the fight to McSame, got started. But I have a good idea who those are that started it.

by Glaurung 2008-08-06 12:06PM | 0 recs
McCain's had 30 years to make a mark

Name 5 amazing things he's done in THREE DECADES.

by Neef 2008-08-06 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's had 30 years to make a mark


by miker2008 2008-08-06 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's had 30 years to make a mark

Which he now disavows as he kisses right wing ass?

Miker, how DO you guys get up in the morning knowing you're backing the party of Dick Cheney?

You rush in to defend McCain, JUST as you rush in to defend your Clintons.

But, mainly to smear the presumptive and titular head of the Democratic Party?

Don't you you feel out of place on a Democratic Website?


by WashStateBlue 2008-08-06 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's had 30 years to make a mark

He's going to be going to a different award ceremony real soon.

John Roberts is going to ask him to place his hand on the bible, and be sworn in.

It will be in Wash DC.

Hopefully you can pull yourself away from the orgy of excess on NoQuarter in order to tune in....

by WashStateBlue 2008-08-06 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's had 30 years to make a mark

I have a lot of merit badges - can I be President?

by rfahey22 2008-08-06 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's had 30 years to make a mark
Where are these published?   Can you provide a link?
by miker2008 2008-08-06 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's had 30 years to make a mark


by miker2008 2008-08-06 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's had 30 years to make a mark

I would say that it is time for McCain to put country first again and drop out of the race. He lacks the vision, the temperament and the focus that America needs to be competitive in the 21st century.

McCain ensures another 4 years of Bush and failed Republican governance and that is not good enough.

McCain can go back to the senate and be part of the minority and continue to sign his name onto headline making moments, but I'll be damned if anything you listed above tells me he's able to lead this great country in this new world like Barack Obama will.

by JerryColorado23 2008-08-06 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's had 30 years to make a mark

In case youre lost:

They need your kind of thinking, not so much here.

by WashStateBlue 2008-08-06 02:19PM | 0 recs
State senator, US Senator

he worked on many issues and pushed several pieces of legislation in those capacities.  You could find this out for yourself if you weren't a mindless cant-spewing dipshit.

by JJE 2008-08-06 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: State senator, US Senator

Strong argument.  Actually, not so much, toad.

by lojasmo 2008-08-06 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: State senator, US Senator

Aw piss.  Sorry.  I thought you were talking up McCain.  D'OH!

by lojasmo 2008-08-06 01:21PM | 0 recs
no worries

everyone gets trigger happy with so much game afoot.

by JJE 2008-08-06 01:54PM | 0 recs
by JJE 2008-08-06 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Celebrity=Lightweight

You are absolutely full of it.

by lojasmo 2008-08-06 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Celebrity=Lightweight

You betray your ignorance when you flippantly dismiss Obama's tenure as a law professor as being an insignificant accomplishment.  

Here are the real facts about his professorship:

1. He taught for several years (7?) at the University of Chicago Law School, one of the top 5-8 law schools in the nation.  

2. Although he was not a tenured professor, he was designated by the law school as a "Senior Lecturer," a designation given only to very prominent attorneys and federal judges.  

3. He was offered but turned down a permanent position at the University of Chicago.  A school like the U of Chicago does not offer permanent positions just to any joe-schmoe lawyer or professor wannabe.  

4. The fact that Obama never published a scholarly piece is irrelevant to his position as senior lecturer.  That is not a requirement of the position.  

Just to compare resumes, Bill Clinton, a person who had very similar credentials to Obama when he ran for President, was also a law professor.  But, whereas Obama taught at one of the most prestigious legal academic institutions in the world, Clinton taught at the University of Arkansas, a very good school, certainly, but nowhere near the prestige of the University of Chicago.  

When Obama is elected president, he will be one of the most intellectual presidents in recent memory.    I don't know about you, but I'm with Jon Stewart when he says that being smart is a fairly important qualification for POTUS.  And, given Obama's academic achievements and obvious intelligence, coupled with his immense reasonableness and integrity, makes him the obvious choice over John McCain.  

If this nation screws up again and elects a clearly less qualified, bordering on inept, candidate like McCain, it will go down as one of the worst and embarassing moments in U.S. political history.

by ProfessorReo 2008-08-06 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Celebrity=Lightweight

Ah yes, because McCain has so much "experience" in the office of the presidency.  Clark was right - getting shot down in Vietnam does not entitle McCain to be President.  Nor does drafting a campaign finance law that he himself violated during this very campaign.

by rfahey22 2008-08-06 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

My dad commented to me, unsolicited, that he saw one of McCain's ads and felt like it could practically be an ad for Obama with all the cheering crowds.

by Steve M 2008-08-06 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

I think the ads are funny.  

They are funny because they are true.

Make excuses for Obama all you want, but "acting the part" is not a winning strategy.  If I'm sick of hearing Obama tell me how great he is and how important he is to the future of the world I can only imagine how the average non-partisan voter might take his enlarged head/ego.

And these ads work well because they cut through the noise and easily communicate their message.

And, btw, Josh Marshall is a tool. I lump him in the pile with Keith Olbermann and all the others who should be ashamed to call themselves Democrats.

by BRockNYC 2008-08-06 10:24AM | 0 recs
It's amazing

Obama supporters were silenced here during the primaries, and yet you are allowed to spew this filth now that we have a nominee.

Piss up a rope.

by lojasmo 2008-08-06 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

Ahhhh, the fresh roasted nutty trollness aside, there is a point to be gleened here - Big O could use more heft. And much like the lightweight Gov. Bush used the Dark Lord of the Sith to lend some gravitas in 2000, Big O should bring Clinton or Clark or Biden or even Colin Powell on as Veep to seal the deal.

Me thinks Clinton...

by JerryColorado23 2008-08-06 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

Keith Olbermann doesn't call himself a Democrat.

As for being embarrassed to call oneself something, do you call yourself an adult? If so, you might want to stop going out of your way to post whiny tantrums in an open internet forum.

by BlueinColorado 2008-08-06 11:26AM | 0 recs
Quoth the McTroll

by Glaurung 2008-08-06 12:09PM | 0 recs
I lump you in that pile.

by JJE 2008-08-06 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

The one point to keep in mind is, since they brought in the new campaign manager for McCain, he has cared less how effective the ads are, it's IF he can make the converstation about Obama, not issues, not Bush.  

That's their only prayer, and, so far, the media is biting (they always do, good little poodles that they are.)

Even Obama hitting back is dangerous, though he has to and as hard as he can?

Kerry looked wimpy, and Obama can't afford that.

But, if it's a personality contest between Obama and McCain, that is at least ground that is not volcanic for the McCain team, where as fighting it out on the state of America and the Bush legacy, they can mail in the results now.

by WashStateBlue 2008-08-06 10:27AM | 0 recs
by nogo postal 2008-08-06 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

Barack is, I think, keeping his powder dry.

While it seems McCain is getting the upper hand in attacking his opponent, he is also exposing his own flank with each of his tawdry ads.

The battle will be joined soon enough to McCain's great regret.

by RickWn 2008-08-06 10:56AM | 0 recs
"Fewer jobs"?????

He went there?

There's at least one video of McCain saying "I'm sorry, my friends, but those jobs aren't coming back". If I know Cap'n Straight Talk, there's gotta be three or four than can be strung into a thiry-second "fuck you".

by BlueinColorado 2008-08-06 11:16AM | 0 recs
Well, that wasn't hard....

Mary Houghtaling, who runs a hospice in Wilmington, Ohio, choked up as she told McCain of DHL's plans to close its domestic air hub in her town, a move that could throw 8,600 people out of work. "This is a terrible blow," McCain told her. "I don't know if I can stop it. That's some straight talk. Some more straight talk? I doubt it."

"Those jobs are on the chopping block because Sen. McCain and his campaign were involved in a deal that resulted in control of those positions being shifted to a foreign corporation, and there's no getting around that," said Joe Rugola, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO.

He can't stop it, but he made it possible for it to happen. 08/mccain_and_the_dhl_deal.html#more

by BlueinColorado 2008-08-06 11:21AM | 0 recs
"RETIRE these OLD policies"

hmmm, I am reminded that the GOP candidate is the OLDEST one ever to run and that perhaps it's time for him to RETIRE from public life.  

by chiefscribe 2008-08-06 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

I kind of enjoy the ads that say "John McCain...the original Maverick."  

Apparently he hasn't read "Profiles in Courage."  

by freedom78 2008-08-06 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

McCain should run an ad
using his speech in front of  50,000 real Americans.
He could also point out
how his wife is more American than Michelle.

Would Michelle Obama ever be Miss Buffalo Chip? Qw

by nogo postal 2008-08-06 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

by js noble 2008-08-06 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

Thank...just bookmarked it for the future..

by nogo postal 2008-08-06 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

barack needs to be careful about tying mccain's energy policies to bush/cheney. after all, barack DID vote for the cheney energy bill.

by darwinism 2008-08-06 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

Sen. Obama can answer your charge much better than me..
WARNING!!(He goes beyond monosyllabic words) Explodes_Mischaracterizations_About_Ener gy_Policy

by nogo postal 2008-08-06 11:50AM | 0 recs
barack needs to be careful

darwinism needs to be careful about regurgitating McDesperate's talking points -- on this Democratic site, at least.

by Glaurung 2008-08-06 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

What a waste of airspace.  This is not a winning attack, imho.  If this is the best they can do, then they cannot win.

by rfahey22 2008-08-06 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

McCain is pushing his wife as Miss Buffalo Chip..
with the daughter present..

Where are PUMA's reiterating their support of McCain?

by nogo postal 2008-08-06 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself
how does more government spending equal less jobs?
someone doesn't understand keynsian economics
by theninjagoddess 2008-08-06 11:54AM | 0 recs
This race is all about RACE - -

It's all dog whistles, and the Republican campaign is going to be 1001 ways to say, "OMG, he's black!"

by kosnomore 2008-08-06 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: This race is all about RACE - -
Yeah! Next thing, the hysterics will be expecting Black reporters to get booted from GOP events! Those silly moonbats.

That would never happen.

by Neef 2008-08-06 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

Ok...maybe McCain says the jobs aren't coming back...

Here is a cool coming back song.. z8

by nogo postal 2008-08-06 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Just Can't Help Himself

What's interesting here is that McCain seems to be painting himself as the underdog.   And the funny thing about Americans is that we seem to be about a 50-50 mix of those who always want to back a winner, and those who are drawn to the underdog.    Take pro sports.  Some people always want to back the winner, even to the point of finding a way to change allegiance mid-game.  Others will go to just as much trouble to stay on the side of the underdog.

Clearly there's no argument, at this point, on who is the underdog.   McCain -- old, "wrinkly", unattractive, unfavored by the media, member of a party everyone hates, eats a weinerschnitzel at a German grocery while Obama wows the citizens of the real thing ...

So maybe this is what it comes down to.    How many Americans go for the glitz and the win, how many say "The old guy is pathetic, just like me."

by miker2008 2008-08-06 01:25PM | 0 recs


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