2008 Obama VS. McCain

"Obama Love 10 (Web)"


Museum of the Moving Image
The Living Room Candidate
"Obama Love 10," McCain, 2008

(Soft music)

[TEXT: There's Love In The Air]

[TEXT: Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson]

JOE SCARBOROUGH: The media's love affair with Barack Obama is all-consuming.

[TEXT: Chris Matthews]

CHRIS MATTHEWS: The feeling most people get when they hear a Barack Obama speech—I felt this thrill going up my leg and I don't have that too often. The biblical term for it, since we are in a biblical era, is deliverance. We're being picked up and moved to where we have to be.

[TEXT: Steve Doocy Interviews Terry McAuliffe]

STEVE DOOCY: What percentage of the mainstream media is in the tank for Barack Obama?

TERRY McAULIFFE: Oh, about 90 percent.

[TEXT: He Makes Them Swoon]

[TEXT: Lee Cowan of NBS News Interviewed By Brian Williams of NBC News]

LEE COWAN: It's almost hard to remain objective, because it's infectious.

[TEXT: "I Must Confess My Knees Quaked A Bit." Lee Cowan, NBC News]

LEE COWAN: It's not cool, if you haven't seen Barack Obama in person. It's not cool, if you haven't seen Barack Obama in person.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: No further questions.

LEE COWAN: Thank you.

NEWS ANCHOR 1: Barack Obama.

NEWS ANCHOR 2: Barack Obama

NEWS ANCHOR 3: Barack Obama

NEWS ANCHOR 4: The three broadcast network anchors will travel halfway around the world, lured by an offer of interviews with the candidate.

[TEXT; Wolf Blitzer and Jack Cafferty]

WOLF BLITZER: You know he's going to be very, very enthusiastically received in Europe.

JACK CAFFERTY: They can't wait! I mean, it's like the Rolling Stones-tour coming to town.

MALE NARRATOR: The news magazines covers on Obama and his wife Michelle have been glowing. "Why you love him," says The New Republic.

NEWS ANCHOR 5: This is the kind of speech I think first-graders should see. People in their last year of college should see, before they go out in the world. This should be, to me, an American tract. Something that you just you check in with now and then, like reading "The Great Gatsby" and "Huckleberry Finn."

[TEXT: Tucker Carlson]

TUCKER CARLSON: More than love, I mean, it's the kind of love that—anybody who's been a ninth-grade boy understands this species of love. I think about you when I go to bed, too embarrassed to stand up. It's sealed with a kiss-love.

[TEXT: You're Just Too Good To Be True, Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You]

WOMAN'S VOICE [and TEXT]: Come On. You're killing us. Agent sit down. Agent sit down!

[TEXT: Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson]

JOE SCARBOROUGH: If you say anything about their love interest, they get very red-faced and angry, and emotional, they can't really think logically about…

[TEXT: Chris Matthews… Again]

NEWS ANCHOR: Wow, he's gonna cry!

[TEXT: He's A Gift To Us!]

[TEXT: Chris Matthews… Again and Again]

CHRIS MATTHEWS: He's a man with a global perspective, because he comes from the world to us. He's sort of a gift from the world to us in so many ways. He's sort of a gift from the world to us in so many ways.

LOU DOBBS: I have never in my career, Howard, seen networks, magazines, newspapers, just through aside any pretense of objectivity, they're in the tank.

[TEXT: Charlie Rose Interviews PA Governor Ed Rendell]

CHARLIE ROSE: You think most reporters covering the campaign, favor Senator Obama, in their reporting?

ED RENDELL: Let me ask you, when was the last time you watched MSNBC?

[TEXT: Don't You Feel That Thrill Running Up Your Leg Yet?]


"Obama Love 10 (Web)," John McCain 2008, 2008

Maker: Foxhole Productions

Original air date: 07/22/08

Video courtesy of John McCain 2008.

From Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2012.
www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2008/obama-love-10-web (accessed April 18, 2024).


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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.

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.
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.