Although the McCain campaign has reportedly pulled its TV ad spending out of Michigan, the 527 group Our Country Deserves Better hasn't given up on the state, and is on the air there with a new ad featuring some old targets: William Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and disgraced former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
OurCountyPAC ad about Ayers, Wright, and Kilpatrick:
In what can be seen as a response to the claims in the "Joe the Plumber" line of attack that Obama's plans will raise taxes, the Obama campaign offers this new ad. Voters are urged to visit Obama's online tax calculator, to see what savings are in store for them under his plan.
Obama TV ad "Try This:"
The McCain campaign has launched one of its bluntest attack ads to date, evoking fear by using Joe Biden's words that if Obama is elected, "We're going to have an international crisis to test the mettle of this guy. I guarantee it's going to happen."
McCain TV ad: "Ladies and Gentlemen:"
UPDATE (10/27): The Obama campaign released a response ad to the McCain attack:
The Progess for America Voters fund tried to raise fears about John Kerry's ability to handle international crisis in this ad:
The Obama campaign has released a large number of Spanish-language ads this year, targeting Latino voters in Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado, among other states. This is the first ad in which the candidate himself speaks Spanish.
Obama Spanish-language ad:
The New York-based Haitian musician Manze Dayila created a song and music video for Obama. The catchy song is available for free download. Here is the video:
UPDATE: Here is a new entry in the growing field of pro-Obama music videos, here is a music video for an original Cajun zydeco song "Oui, on peut--Yes, we can:"
UPDATE (10/24): Minnesota Obama supporters join the musical fray with this Irish fiddle video, featuring a trio including state representative Erin Murphy:
Director and actor Ron Howard endorses Obama, teaming up with Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler to make a Web video starring Opie from The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham from Happy Days. Howard speaks as an independent and draws on his all-American appeal as he makes his pitch.
The McCain campaign tries to stir a "Joe the Plumber" movement with this Web video featuring a montage of voters proclaiming their identification with Joe and their fear that they will be hurt by Obama's tax plans. In this interesting blog entry on Engage, Patrick Ruffini argues that the amateur-produced Web ad is much more effective than the professionally photographed TV ad.
UPDATE: (10/24) Michael Moore, and Republican consultants, respond to "Joe the Plumber" and charges of socialism, on Larry King.
The independent group Let Freedom Ring mocks Obama for his "present" votes in the Illinois State Senate, trying to portray the common legislative tactic as proof that Obama is "chicken."
Let Freedom Ring ad "Chicken Button:"
In her latest Op-Ad column for The Nation, Leslie Savan skewers the McCain "Joe the Plumber" commercial. It's worth following the link above, not just to read the column, but to see a hilarious Pepsi commercial using the most famous scene from Spartacus:
"One thing you've got to say about John McCain and his campaign gimmicks: He will blithely hold onto them like a pinless grenade until they blow up in his face, as he did with the Palin pick for veep, the 'suspension' of his campaign for the bailout, and now, of course, Joe the Plumber. McCain might yet get the real Joe Wurzelbacher to cut an ad for him, but in the meantime, the candidate has found a bunch of other oppressed 'just folks' to swear that they are all Spartacus, too.".
MoveOn.org has created a clever Web ad that allows people to create customized videos to email to friends. The ad includes a fake news report showing reaction to a McCain victory, blaming the election results on the recipient of the email.
Sample MoveOn viral get-out-the-vote Web ad. Click on link above to access website and create your own ad (if you're an Obama supporter, that is):
In another celebrity endorsement targeted to a specific state, the Obama campaign has released a Web video made by singer James Taylor for North Carolina voters.
The Republican National Committee has released the most extensive ad yet attacking Obama for his ties to Tony Rezko. The insinuation-filled Web video is two minutes long, and ends with the word "Developing," suggesting that this line of attack will continue through the final days of the campaign.
RNC Web video "Lapse in Judgement:"
The artist Shepard Fairey, who created the "Hope" poster for the Obama campaign, has a pro-Obama website which includes several ads. Here, actor John C. Reilly explains to voters afraid of voting for a black candidate that Obama is half-white.
This video, "Vote for Hope," is one of the most beautifully made Web ads of the election season. The film was was written by M.C. Yogi and produced by Robin Livingston. The "Vote for Hope" video was created at Ursa Minor Arts and Media in San Rafael, CA with chief animator James Curtis, using designs and direction from M.C. Yogi.
The Winning Message Action Fund, a pro-choice group, has launched a TV ad attacking McCain for suggesting that he would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. The ad says that this would lead to a criminalization of abortion.
Pro-Choice Ad "How Much Time:"
Politico's Jonathan Martin looks at why third-party groups haven't been as active on behalf of the Republican candidate as in 2004. Among other things, this means that we may not see much of Jeremiah Wright in the final weeks of the campaign:
"Many in the party, including inside the McCain campaign, have held out hope that a deep-pocketed benefactor would emerge to bankroll ads in the campaign’s final days – spots that might, for example, resurrect the most incendiary clips from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
But thanks largely to lack of passion for McCain within the conservative base, diminished hopes that he can win and a sharp decline in the stock market that has badly pinched donors’ pockets, veteran Republican operatives say it appears almost certain that what could be the most damaging line of attack against the Democratic nominee will be left on the shelf."
UPDATE: Here is a new ad from the group Let Freedom Ring. This minute-long spot attacks Obama on the issue widely seen as his strongpoint, his handling of the economy:
Let Freedom Ring ad: "Part of the Problem:"
Politico reports that The International Association of Firefighters will air this powerful ad in the key battleground states of Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, Florida and New Hampshire. The ad, which can be seen as a rebuttal of any Joe the Plumber ads, attacks McCain on his plan which would tax health care benefits.
To celebrate the launch of the 2008 edition of The Living Room Candidate, the Museum of the Moving Image presented a panel discussion with Lorne Michaels, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, and James Downey, about the long and influential relationship of Saturday Night Live to presidential politics. This election season has been marked by high-profile appearances by Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, and Hillary Clinton, and by numerous sketches, including parodies of all of the debates, and Tina Fey's now-legendary impersonation of Sarah Palin. Streaming and downloadable audio of the event, and a transcript, are available at the Museum's website, Pinewood Dialogues Online.
The McCain campaign has launched its "Joe the Plumber" ad campaign, seizing on Obama's comment to the newly famous Ohio worker Joe Wurzelbacher that he thinks it's good to "spread the wealth around" as proof that Obama wants to raise taxes on average Americans. The McCain campaign has invited people to submit their own home-made Joe the Plumber ads.
Facing limited funds and a problematic electoral battleground, the McCain campaign is dramatically reducing its ad spending in a number of states in order to focus on the big battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. As Jim Rutenberg reports in The New York Times:
"The commercial chess pieces are apparently already on the move. Democratic officials monitoring advertising report that Mr. McCain is now making plans to start advertising in Miami and in Indiana. Mr. Obama has spent $6.4 million in Miami since the general election period unofficially began and Mr. McCain and the RNC have combined to spend just $114,752 there during the same period, according to CMAG."