As the campaign enters its final month, the onslaught of ads and Web videos by the Obama campaign continues. The TV ad "Risky Plan" attacks McCain's support of President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security, tying the issue to the recent collapse of major investment banks. The ad "Life Member," with a gun owner expressing his support for Obama, is a response to a multi-million dollar anti-Obama campaign by the National Rifle Association. "Seguro Medico" is a Spanish-language ad, and the fifth Obama ad released in the past three days to focus on health care. And finally, the Web video "The American Promise," with Super-8 footage from the Democratic Convention and stirring music composed by Greg Kuehn, is designed to be a YouTube viral video.
Obama TV ad "Risky Plan:"
Obama ad "Life Member:"
Obama Spanish-language ad "Seguro Medico:"
Obama Web video "The American Promise:"
The new Obama ad "Coin" is the campaign's fourth ad in the past three days on the issue of health care, here portraying McCain's plans as a risky flip of the coin.
Obama TV ad "Coin:"
The most famous of all campaign ads, the "Daisy Girl" ad from Lyndon Johnson's 1964 campaign against Barry Goldwater, has been updated by Illinois Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Callahan in her race against Republican Aaron Shock, who has proposed selling nuclear missiles to Taiwan.
Colleen Callahan for Congress ad:
The original "Daisy Girl" ad:
Responding preemptively to reports that the McCain campaign is planning to increase attacks on Obama's character, the Obama campaign released an ad "This Year," which suggests that McCain's attacks are an attempt to distract from real issues. One of the tactical ideas behind the ad is that it will allow the Obama campaign to portray McCain attack ads as attempts to change the subject from the economy.
Obama TV ad, "This Year:"
Another comedian has entered the YouTube battle for elderly Jewish voters in Florida. In response to Sarah Silverman's pro-Obama ad for "The Great Schlep," comedian Jackie Mason targets undecided Jewish voters with this pro-McCain ad for the Republican Jewish Coalition:
Republican Jewish Coalition ad "The Ultimate Jew vs. the Ultimate Yenta:"
The Obama campaign released its third ad on health care in the past two days, labeling as "The McCain Tax" the Republican candidate's plans to offer a $5,000 credit for taxpayers buying insurance while making benefits taxable:
Obama ad "One Word:"
The Washington Post reports that the McCain campaign plans an increasingly aggressive negative ad campaign. The article quotes a senior Republican operative saying "We're going to get a little tougher, we've got to question this guy's associations. Very soon. There's no question that we have to change the subject here."
An independent group known as the "Committee for Truth in Politics" has released a TV ad attacking Obama for allegedly opposing a bill that would protect babies from denial of medical care if they survived an abortion. The ad is the subject of a lawsuit over whether it is protected from FEC regulations that forbid independent ads that exist primarily to support a specific candidate. A press release about the lawsuit can be found here.
Independent ad "Basic Rights:"
The Washington Post reports about a progressive Christian group, the Matthew 25 Network, that has launched an ad campaign and started a website supporting Obama.
This report by Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo analyzes national ad spending by both candidates. The main finding is that nearly all of the McCain campaign's spending is going towards negative ads. By contrast, most of Obama's spending is going towards the airing of the two-minute ad "Real Change," which doesn't mention McCain.
The Obama campaign's second ad of the day on the issue of health care attacks McCain's plans to offer a $5,000 tax credit while also eliminating the tax exemption workers get for their benefits.
Obama TV ad "Prescription:"
The latest McCain ad reiterates a common charge, that Obama will raise taxes. FactCheck.org has rebutted this claim, and other claims by both candidates, in their report, "The Whoppers of 2008."
McCain ad "Tax Cutter:"
Eisenhower 1952 ad about taxes, "Sturdy Lifeboat:"
Eisenhower 1952 ad about taxes, "Sturdy Lifeboat:"
The group Declare Yourself, a declared non-partisan group founded by Norman Lear, has released a Web ad with many celebrities urging young voters to register. Among the stars appearing in the ad: Leonardo DiCaprio, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Tobey Maguire, Eva Longoria Parker, Ellen DeGeners, Forest Whitaker, Dustin Hoffman, Demi Moore, Sarah Silverman, Jonah Hill, Ashton Kutcher, Courteney Cox, Laura Linney, Natalie Portman, Jamie Foxx, Usher, Kyra Sedgwick, and will.i.am.
The McCain campaign's vice-presidential debate ad juxtaposes footage of Biden with footage of both Biden and Obama that seem to contradict the vice-presidential candidate's statements, and asks whether Biden is "ready to lead."
McCain ad "Lies and Sighs:"
Using footage from the vice-presidential debate, the Obama campaign released an ad attacking John McCain's health care proposal, including a line from Biden calling the plan "a bridge to nowhere."
Obama ad "Can't Explain::
As reported in The New York Times, more than 400 coal workers shut down their West Virginia mine for a day to protest the filming of an NRA anti-Obama ad.
A minute-long scene showing Homer Simpson trying to vote for Barack Obama on an electronic voting machine that keeps registering the vote for McCain, was posted on YouTube. The scene is part of the upcoming annual Halloween-time episode of The Simpsons, to be broadcast on November 2, two days before the election.
The Obama campaign released two new ads, striking on different fronts. "Six Years" goes directly at McCain's perceived strength, his support of the surge in Iraq, by arguing that he was wrong for six years. The ad also brings up the high cost of the war as an issue. "Two Extremes" is about health care, positioning Obama's stance as centrist and "common-sense."
Obama ad "Six Years:"
Obama ad "Two Extremes:"
In her latest Op-Ad column for The Nation, Leslie Savan examines the seeming contradictions in McCain's campaign, including his ads.
The column starts with this observation: "Lots of folks have noticed John McCain's tendency to flip-flop during the presidential campaign, but over the past week he's sort of burst the sound barrier on self-contradiction, like the verbal Top Gun he is. In fact, he has so loosed the surly bonds of consistency that you've got to start wondering if there's some deeper meaning behind the constant double-talk."
The McCain campaign released a Web ad prior to the Biden-Palin debate that catalogues some of Biden's verbal gaffes and asks facetiously "Ready to gaffe? Yes. Ready to lead? No." Since campaigns traditionally try to lower expectations for their own candidate by praising the opponent's debating skills, this ad is quite unconventional in its approach. Its strategic value may simply be to shift focus away from Sarah Palin.
McCain Web ad "Embarrass:"
The McCain campaign has launched a website, Palin Truth Files, to defend the vice-presidential candidate against charges, including those stemming from the "Troopergate" investigation. The site includes a Web Ad, "Alaska's Political Circus:"