2008 Obama VS. McCain

"Dear Mr. Obama"

Transcript

Museum of the Moving Image
The Living Room Candidate
"Dear Mr. Obama," Michael Brown (Testimony Pictures), 2008

JOE COOK: Dear Mr. Obama: Having spent 12 months in the Iraq theater, I can promise you this was not a mistake. I've witnessed firsthand the many sacrifices made by the people of Iraq. Those sacrifices were not mistakes. The Iraqi people are just like us: they want a chance to live in a secure world, free from tyranny, free from terrorism, free to prosper, free to raise their children and pass on a future. Are they better off today than they were in 2002? You bet.

I've seen many men sacrifice their lives for the Iraqi people. They died for a purpose, not a mistake. They died giving hope. They died promoting freedom. Do you rescue a fireman just as he's about to save a child? When you call the Iraqi War a mistake, you disrespect the service and the sacrifice of everyone who's died promoting freedom. Freedom carries with it a price. Because you do not understand nor appreciate these principles, sir, I am supporting Senator John McCain for President. He, too, made a huge sacrifice promoting freedom.

(Music fades in: "I'm Proud to Be an American" by Lee Greenwood)

Because he understands a fundamental truth: Freedom is always worth the price.

[TEXT: JOHN MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT. THE DAY WE LOSE OUR WILL TO FIGHT IS THE DAY WE LOSE OUR FREEDOM]

Credits

"Dear Mr. Obama," Michael Brown (Testimony Pictures), 2008

Maker: Michael Brown (Testimony Pictures)

Original air date: 08/27/08

Video courtesy of Michael Brown (Testimony Pictures).

From Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2012.
www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2008/dear-mr-obama (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share

To link to or forward this video via email, copy and
paste this URL:

To embed this video in a web page, copy and
paste this code:

Save

Flash or Javascript disabled
2008 Obama McCain Results

The 2008 election, which resulted in the selection of the first African-American president in the nation's history, was about change. Polls indicated that more than 80 percent of likely voters felt that the country was on the wrong track or moving in the wrong direction. For the first time since 1952, there were no candidates on either major-party ticket who have served as president or vice president.

As in 2004, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were important issues, yet foreign policy was strongly overshadowed by the economy when the credit and mortgage crisis hit full force in September. Other economic concerns included health-care costs, energy policy, gas prices, and rising unemployment. From the primary campaigns into the general-election contest, candidates positioned themselves as agents of change. Normally it is the party out of power in the White House that calls for change. In 2008, both parties claimed to offer “change,” as opposed to “more of the same.”

The candidates made these claims in an ad war that was unprecedented in its quantity and cost. Ads were created in rapid-response fashion, timed for the increasingly fast-paced news cycle. Also, as a reflection of the shift in popular culture toward the provocative tone of the Internet, which relies on bold statements and humor to inspire “forwardability,” the 2008 ads were noticeably sharper and more aggressive than that of previous elections.

Democrat
Barack Obama for president
Joseph Biden for vice president

"Change We Can Believe In."

Barack Obama’s campaign created a number of positive ads that emphasize such words as “values” and “work,” portraying him as someone whom working-class voters can feel comfortable with. While Obama’s ads tended to be more positive in tone than McCain’s, there were also a large number of attack ads. Just as President Clinton’s 1996 ads linked Bob Dole with Newt Gingrich, nearly all of Obama’s attack ads linked John McCain with President Bush, whose approval ratings are extremely low. By linking McCain to Bush, the Obama campaign successfully undercut McCain’s image as an independent maverick.
Republican
John McCain for president
Sarah Palin for vice president

"Country First."

John McCain’s ads were mainly about Barack Obama. Following the pattern of the 2004 election, the Republican campaign used its ads to define the Democratic candidate. In addition to attempting to portray Obama as a liberal Democrat who favors tax increases, the ads also tried to suggest that he is a celebrity who isn’t ready to lead. However, with the selection of Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential candidate, the message was refined. Rather than focusing on the question of experience and readiness to be commander in chief, the later McCain ads claimed that Obama was a dangerous choice because we don't know enough about him.
Map