The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Channel 08

McCain Campaigns Against '60s in New Spot

By Ed O'Keefe
John McCain's latest ad makes subtle suggestions that Barack Obama's rhetoric does not qualify him to serve as president. It also reminds baby boomers that while they may have participated in the excesses of the late 1960s, he was serving time in a North Vietnamese prison camp.

The 60-second message, "Love" will be cycled into the campaign's national ad buy, airing on national cable networks and on broadcast stations in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C.(in order to reach voters in Northern Virginia) and Wisconsin, according to a campaign source.

"It was a time of uncertainty, hope and change. The 'Summer Of Love,'" the ad's announcer says. "Half a world away, another kind of love -- of country. John McCain: Shot down. Bayoneted. Tortured. Offered early release, he said, 'No.'"

"John McCain doesn't always tell us what we 'hope' to hear," the announcer later says. "Beautiful words cannot make our lives better. But a man who has always put his country and her people before self, before politics, can. Don't 'hope' for a better life. Vote for one."

While this message delivers a serious reminder of McCain's military service, it also returns to the theme of a more light-hearted ad that he aired in New Hampshire last fall, which featured footage from a Fox News debate during which he said he did not attend Woodstock because "I was tied up at the time." McCain has also aired other messages that use photos and footage of his years as a POW.

Posted at 12:45 PM ET on Jul 8, 2008  | Category:  Channel 08
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I wish WaPo would decide once and for all if comments are to be posted in normal chronological order or reverse chrono order. The inconsistency is maddening!!


Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 1:35 PM

...and when he got home from Vietnam and found that his loving wife had been in a car accident and had lost her looks, he DIVORCED her and married a hot and wealthy beer-fortune heiress.

John McCain. Because he knows how to make the tough decisions.

Posted by: Peter Maranci | July 9, 2008 12:04 PM

Too bad McCain is a coward to stand up to Karl Rove. McCain is now just a Rove-bot.

We don't need 4 more years of Terrorists running this nation.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 7:07 PM

John McCain offers solutions and he is honest and trustworthy, while Barack Hussein is young, inexperienced, naive and has no substance or clear ideas to solve the complexed problems our country is facing.

Hope is for the children of hope, bur for americans that care and love our country, solutions is what we want, and we are not going to trust our country to Barack Hussein and his congregation of black supremacists headed by Jeremiah Wright, who were celebrating the murderous attack on America by Muslims, on 9/11.

Hillary supporters for John McCain, a true patriot!

Posted by: Manolete | July 8, 2008 6:24 PM

Ax yawat'aayi x'éit yis.á Yeil!

Right now this is the "Summer of free Hugs" as Democrats court Independents, Republicans and Hillary Clinton before the Olympics. The Olympics are our second love so to speak this summer! For all Americans We are also starting a Happiness Factory too to bring a smile to all Americans reading this post. The 2008 Summer of "Free Hugs" vs the John McCain's 1968 "Summer of Love".

Barack Obama '08

Posted by: Eagle Ch’áak’ | July 8, 2008 6:14 PM

OMG! This article was so plagiarised from The Newsbreak Times ( mean, The Newsbreak Times published it about 1 hour before!

Visit it if you don't believe me!

Posted by: Michael | July 8, 2008 5:42 PM

McCain's ads provide further proof this man is out of touch with today and needs to retire. He's still living in the 1960s.
This country needs to be looking forward, not looking backward, not dealing with his issues with Viet Nam but rather dealing with our current wars. We need a new approach since the last 8 years have been a disaster.
I guess the reason McCain wants the troops in Iraq for another 50 years is so that he can be part of winning a war, somewhere, sometime.

McCain, the Viet Nam war is over. The war in Iraq needs to be over (and in fact should never have been started). May I suggest retirement where you can reminisce all you want about the 1960s?

Posted by: abby0802 | July 8, 2008 5:42 PM

JB....McCain showed plenty of character when he dumped his faithful wife who waited for him during POW ordeal because she let her looks go, and marrying a blond floozie half his age for her daddy's money. Presidential material....NOT!

Posted by: Playa | July 8, 2008 5:36 PM

One more time....what does being a pow have to do with being a competent president? NOTHING. He's turning into a real windbag on this issue - I hope americans are smart enough to see through the image and look for substance. Just like his old pal Rudy - McCain is a noun, a verb, and viet nam.

Why bring up the 60's when such a small portion of the voting population was even alive then? We get it, you're older than dirt.

Posted by: JDB | July 8, 2008 5:29 PM

What the hell does getting shot down over Vietnam 40 years ago have to do with being qualified to be President today?? Nothing, but refusing special treatment does. It shows character. Conversely, sitting in a pew for 20 years listening to anti-American rhetoric and then giving a lecture on Patriotism does not show character it shows arrogance. I want a President that will put the US first.

Posted by: JB | July 8, 2008 5:23 PM

Horrible ad. It's John Guliani - a noun a verb and viet nam.

Enough of the pow stuff - that has nothing to do with being a competent president.

Posted by: Julie | July 8, 2008 5:22 PM

If you really want an unbiased view of the news (including about Barack Obama and John McCain), visit the Newsbreak Times, the only newspaper run entirely by teenagers! --

Posted by: Michael | July 8, 2008 5:13 PM

McCain has no hope.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 4:50 PM

My problems are here in 2008 you idiot.

It's amazing how much he talks about his military service, I guess when you got nothing to offer. Being president is about ideas and leadership, what direction will he take the country in besides you know bomb bomb bomb Iran.

Posted by: Julian | July 8, 2008 4:34 PM

Vote for me, John McCain, I was a POW.

Vote for me, John McCain, I was shot down.

Vote for me, John McCain, I have sacrificed for this country.

Vote for me, John McCain, I missed out on all the sex, drugs and rock and roll of the '60s so you owe it to me!

Posted by: carolinagirl | July 8, 2008 3:32 PM

McCain blaming the hippies is just hypocritical. Let's talk about what McCain did after he came back from the POW camp in Vietnam....that's dump his wife who waited for him because she had grown fat and ugly, have affairs with many women playing the "I was a POW in Nam" card, and finally marrying a woman half his age for her money. A man of integrity.....NOT! At least hippies are honest about their relationships and don't judge others.

Posted by: Playa | July 8, 2008 3:21 PM

A lot of these comments are just terrible - I can't belive that someone could wish Senator McCain dead. He was and he is a dedicated American who gave up so much for our country. I would like to know how many of you have been a POW for five years and came out still loving your country or if you could have made it in the POW camp. To me, it shows strength, courage and love of country to do what McCain did in the Vietnam War. My brother also served as an PFC in the Army in Cambodia during this time and he has the utmost respect for McCain. You all are just like "back seat" drivers. Shame on you for some of your comments. I will be glad to vote for McCain for President.

Posted by: Sharon | July 8, 2008 2:50 PM

Dear John,
You missed the 60's, that's a shame, might have learned something. I didn't go to a POW camp, but like thousands upon thousands of my fellow soldiers, my service in Vietnam left me with problems that cripple me today. The mind boggles at how crippled your mind must be from the tortures you received.
Shame you didn't get back in time to participate in life in a meaningful way.
The real shame is how the sheep followed the Conservative owned media as they condemned the dreams of the Hippie culture. Maybe if they had heard the real hopes and dreams of the Hippies energy might have been put into building alternate energy systems instead of expanding the control of Oil and Energy corporations have over America. Instead of corporate run prisons filled with the victims of drug abuse we might have doctors helping them be a part of our society.
No John, your time in Vietnam didn't allow you to learn anything but fear. So naturally you are a Republican now, the largest group of paranoid fear mongers in our country today. To be fair the Democrats in power are just as damaging to our country, by being too cowardly to make any real changes and only maintaining the status quo.
No, a sorry day for America is coming and your group is the vanguard of that sorrow.

Posted by: Michael Hurst | July 8, 2008 2:32 PM

Unfortunately Wes Clark was not blunt enough.. Respect John's Service and tremedous sacrifice BUT What the hell does getting shot down over Vietnam 40 years ago have to do with being qualified to be President today?? John's field of experience in Vietnam was the cockpit of a fighter.. His command experience is EXTREMELY limited.. He over the years has demonstrated an unstable temperament, a Clintonesque taste for Bimbo's, a long standing love of the Vegas Craps table, and a willingness to 'go along and get along' with a whole flotilla of rogues and foreign and domestic lobbiests.. NOT the sort of career that prepares one to lead the USA

Posted by: Bob | July 8, 2008 2:21 PM

I like the message. Way more fun than Lolbama's ad showcasing a baby picture for the sole intent of making everyone know that his mother is white. However if MTV, youtube tribute videos and celebrities sporting Obama t shirts, have you sold on him I don't know why you'd care to watch (or comment) on this in the first place.

and to the obama sycophants - have fun with Lolbama supporting federal wire tapping (after promising to filibuster it) as well as the fact that he wants to continue giving money to religious charities. Throwing a vote away on Nader never felt so appealing.

Posted by: TheFastCat | July 8, 2008 2:16 PM

while I am proud of my service to my country and honor John McCain's...for the life of me, I STILL am amazed at how very little is required to be labelled a "hero" in our society. First, it was athletes, now its someone who simply was locked up, and got his azz whup for a few years. Hell
if that is the standard to be president... then there are a lot of young black men wandering the hood who could be president!

Posted by: RETIRED MILITARY... | July 8, 2008 2:16 PM

Wow. I'm saddened at these horrible comments made toward a national hero. Whether you agree with John McCain's policies or not, he is honorable, having suffered terribly at the hands of the enemy.
Did you know that John McCain has *never* voted for an earmark? Barack's "church" received $200K from the US taxpayers to carry on their anti-US, anti-Christian activities.
Folks, look at his record. Yes, he's got a few years on us but he's used that time wisely and has experience that BHO will never have.
He is a man of honor.

Posted by: JoAnn | July 8, 2008 2:11 PM

It seems McCain has a math problem too.
Let's see Obama is 46 so that makes him born in 1962. So, are we to believe that Obama was attending Woodstock and hippie rallies between the ages of 1-8?

btw, I'm not just hoping for a better life either. I've voting for one. I'm voting for Obama!

Posted by: Tina | July 8, 2008 2:09 PM

Shut down the posting section.

Seeing the hateful comments that have taken over the posts on anything involving the presidential election, makes me think that the WP should just shut down the comments board in the politics section. I read the post for information and insightful commentary, but like a traffic accident, I sometimes can't help looking. Wishing a candidate dead or the many other hateful posts against both major candidates detracts from the WP. Posted by: renu1 | July 8, 2008 1:30 PM

Ah, "Conservatism" exposed as the anti-free speech, anti-freedom cult that it is.

It is entirely fitting and appropriate for supporters of each candidate to TRASH the other.

Let's see what sticks, what rings true with the wavering middle whose votes will ultimately decide the contest.

Politics is more important than policy and should be. That's the difference between a totalitarian state ruled by know-it-alls, whether Philosopher-Kings, Enlighten Depots, Communists, Nazis or Iranian Theocrats.

Put otherwise, Democracy is based on the idea that 100 million dopes collectively know more than one-self proclaimed know it all or even some elite group.

That's one thing that the Republicans have right.

Posted by: mnjam | July 8, 2008 1:46 PM

McCain running ads showing touting his military experience from 40 years ago just reminds voters younger than 55 of how old McCain is. Trying to remind Americans of the his Vietnam service also brings back deep divisions in this country during the Vietnam War. This ad might have worked well in 1988 but it is not 2008, and Americans want to move forward not back!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 8, 2008 1:39 PM

McCain's wife, a drug addict, I'm sure has a different view on the 60s.

...well, maybe thats one thing the McCains have in common - Massive Memory Loss.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 1:38 PM

Shut down the posting section.

Seeing the hateful comments that have taken over the posts on anything involving the presidential election, makes me think that the WP should just shut down the comments board in the politics section. I read the post for information and insightful commentary, but like a traffic accident, I sometimes can't help looking. Wishing a candidate dead or the many other hateful posts against both major candidates detracts from the WP.

Posted by: renu1 | July 8, 2008 1:30 PM

...and now McCain supports TORTURE!

How much more of a traitor to america could he be!?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 1:16 PM

What? Re-ignite the Culture Wars? Is he going to start calling anti-war protesters un American pot-smoking commie, hippy, pinko, foggots! My friend, that was 40 years ago. Your Party is being led by chicken hawks who are also old enough to have served but either had 'other priorities' or were 'serving' at debutante balls in Alabama. The divisiveness of the culture wars have paralyzed America for too long. Nixon started it and Rove perfected it. Get over it, my friend, you're starting to sound like a cranky old man.

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 8, 2008 1:15 PM

Having to live the 1960's forced many young people to identify the good from the bad, the excessive from the moderate, the fads from the substance...accept the challenges of growing up. Sorry, you missed that experience, John, you are the poorer for it.

Posted by: soonipi6 | July 8, 2008 1:09 PM

What a trip?

What does McCain have against the'60s, which after all were his glory days. Crash five planes, the last time managing to do it over North Vietnam, instantly converting this clown into a "war hero." Screwed hundreds of bimbos and floozies, perfecting the techniques need to win his drug-addicted floozie of a wife and the money needed to launch his utterly useless career as leading bloviater.

McCain is now too senile to understand that HALF of the electorate is under 45 -- i.e. born AFTER the 60's or otherwise too young to have any memory of it.


Posted by: mnjam | July 8, 2008 1:07 PM

I wish the SOB had died in that prison camp. If he is somehow elected you will all wish the same thing I am sure.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 12:56 PM

Nice way to remind everyone how old he is. Maybe he can re invade Vietnam, so he can get over his PTSD. We can go to war so John McCain can have a presidential therapy session.

Posted by: Julian | July 8, 2008 12:50 PM

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