August 1, 2008

Campaigning's a bitch

Robert George is on to something. McCain's "celebrity" ad isn't racist, it's sexist.

This political attack makes Obama come across as a male bimbo...not simply an "empty suit" celebrity, but an effete, effeminate airhead who has no business getting involved in the political world. Simply put, this isn't really a "man." As Jesse suggested, the ad is designed to cut off Obama's nuts.

From a tactical standpoint, it doesn't even matter if Robert's analysis is what the McCain camp had in mind. What matters is that it's a shrewd line for Obama to take. It doesn't open him to charges of playing the race card, and it signals to women with lingering skepticism from the primary battle that Obama is sensitive to these issues. Ideally, the Obama camp would ask Hillary Clinton to send a blast to her entire e-mail list condemning the sexist subtext of the ads. That would be a receptive audience, and Clinton's voice would guarantee media coverage, allowing the Obama campaign to get control of the narrative. Given how the media chastised itself for insensitivity to women when the primary finally wound down, pundits would be far less likely to aggressively challenge Clinton/Obama on this line of attack, whereas they will and are raising eyebrows about charges of racism, which, let's face it, are a little far-fetched in this particular instance.

Related: Jon Stewart notes that McCain accepted the maximum allowable donation from Paris Hilton's parents, and thanked them by taking "a nationally televised dump on their daughter."

Update: OMFG, the new ad is so batshit insane I thought it was a hoax until I saw it on the front page of Walnut's official web site. I mean, this kind of thing worked against John Kerry, but not Obama, right? He's prepared for this, isn't he?

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Obama would do well to remind the world that other main "global celebrity against offshore drilling" is that hunky, European-born California Governor.

The Barack as Britney/Paris ad attacks, with Rove-ian panache, Obama's obvious strength: well-deserved popularity. The ad is analogous to the McCain camp internet meme currently in trial circulation, that Obama's crowd-arousing public speaking skills and charisma make him Hitler incarnate. When the going gets tense, watch that one surface as a mainstream talking point.

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