2008 Obama VS. McCain
The Living Room Candidate
"Same Path," Obama, 2008
[TEXT: Barack Obama]
OBAMA: For eight years, we've been told that the way to a stronger economy was to give huge tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and somehow prosperity would trickle down.
Well now we know the truth. It didn't work. Instead of prosperity trickling down, pain has trickled up. Working family incomes have fallen by two thousand dollars a year. We’re losing jobs. Deficits are exploding. Our economy's in turmoil.
I know that that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis, but not by driving down the very same path. And that's what this election's all about.
On taxes, John McCain and I have very different ideas. Instead of giving hundreds of billions in new tax breaks to big corporations and oil companies, I'll cut taxes for small and start-up businesses that are the backbone of our economy. Instead of more tax breaks for corporations that outsource American jobs, I'll give them to companies who create jobs here. Instead of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, I'll focus on you.
My plan offers three times as much tax relief to the middle class as Senator McCain's. If you make less than a quarter million a year, you won’t see your taxes raised one penny under my plan. And seniors making less than fifty thousand, who are struggling with the rising costs of food and drugs on fixed incomes, won’t pay income taxes at all.
The tax code we have today is over 10,000 pages long. Almost every bit of it was shaped by some lobbyist taking care of some special interest.
Well, it's time we had a President who puts you first.
I hope you'll log on to BarackObama.com and read my full plan.
[TEXT: Read the plan to fix our economy: BarackObama.com]
OBAMA: It will help jump-start our economy, create millions of jobs, and bring back our Main Streets all across America.
The old trickle-down theory has failed us. We can't afford four more years like the last eight.
I’m Barack Obama, and I approved this message because I know that with a new direction, and new policies focused on jobs and the middle class, we can lift our economy and our
"Same Path," Obama for America, 2008
Maker: Obama Media Team
Original air date: 09/29/08
From Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2012.
www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2008/same-path (accessed June 10, 2023).
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.
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.
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.