44: The Obama Presidency


Dan Balz's Take


Ad Watch

McCain Ad Addresses Obama 'TV Special'

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: Behind the fancy speeches, grand promises and TV special,...

Posted on October 29, 2008 at 09:42 AM ET | Comments (32)

Obama Spot Raises Palin Questions, with a Wink

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: TEXT: "I'm going to be honest: I know a...

Posted on October 29, 2008 at 09:12 AM ET | Comments (77)

McCain Ad: We Are All 'Joe the Plumber'

The ordinary folks in this ad would get a tax cut under Obama, not a hike, if they earned what Joe the Plumber does.

Posted on October 22, 2008 at 09:21 AM ET | Comments (32)

Post-Debate, McCain Steps Away from Bush as Obama Seeks to Tie Him to President

By Howard Kurtz The McCain Ad: (McCain:) The last eight years haven't worked very...

Posted on October 16, 2008 at 03:01 PM ET | Comments (12)

McCain Pushes Guilt-by-Association Tie Between Ayers and Obama

This John McCain ad employs guilt-by-association tactics on two fronts, trying to tie Barack Obama to both the mortgage meltdown and an unsavory character. To say that Obama "lied" about his contacts with Ayers, whose Weathermen group conducted bombings when the senator from Illinois was 8 years old, is simply untrue.

Posted on October 10, 2008 at 11:13 AM ET | Comments (191)

Obama Ad Questions McCain Mortgage Plan

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: (Narrator:) In a time of crisis, our leaders' judgment...

Posted on October 9, 2008 at 05:13 PM ET | Comments (11)

Ads Point Fingers Over False Advertising

Both presidential candidates are using news organizations and fact-checking groups to accuse each other of airing false advertising, though only John McCain goes so far as to call Barack Obama a liar.

Posted on October 7, 2008 at 10:52 AM ET | Comments (25)

McCain Spot Asks: 'Who Is Barack Obama?'

This John McCain ad blatantly distorts Barack Obama's words in an effort to paint him as callous about the role of the U.S. military.

Posted on October 6, 2008 at 11:51 AM ET | Comments (51)

Obama Casts McCain as a Big Spender

This Barack Obama ad is an attempt to capitalize on the public's anger and unease about the current financial crisis and deflect attention from John McCain's charges that the Illinois senator would boost taxes and federal spending.

Posted on October 1, 2008 at 02:42 PM ET | Comments (23)

Obama Ad Mocks McCain Bermuda Trip -- and Donors

This Barack Obama ad uses Caribbean music and a Bermuda newspaper to paint John McCain as a supporter of companies that benefit from offshore tax havens. But it reaches beyond the available facts.

Posted on September 23, 2008 at 11:50 AM ET | Comments (46)

Mum's Not the Word, Despite McCain Claim

McCain ad saying Obama has not responded to Wall Street crisis is inaccurate and misleading in some respects.

Posted on September 23, 2008 at 11:16 AM ET | Comments (156)

McCain Homes in on Obama's Chicago Roots

This John McCain ad is mostly accurate and largely pointless.

Posted on September 22, 2008 at 12:23 PM ET | Comments (169)

Obama Takes On McCain's Health-Care Prescription

Obama takes McCain to task for saying he wants to do to health care what has been done to banking.

Posted on September 22, 2008 at 12:01 PM ET | Comments (46)

McCain Again Hits Obama on Fannie Ties

Adwatch looks at Sen. John McCain's latest attack on rival Barack Obama for having close ties to failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but also details links between those institutions and the McCain campaign.

Posted on September 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM ET | Comments (92)

Obama's Economic Counterattack

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: John McCain admits he doesn't understand the economy. So...

Posted on September 19, 2008 at 09:21 AM ET | Comments (33)

McCain Charges Obama with Taking Advice from Raines

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: Obama has no background in economics. Who advises him?...

Posted on September 19, 2008 at 09:20 AM ET | Comments (250)

Obama, McCain Pivot to Economy in New Ads

John McCain and Barack Obama moved quickly to try to frame the debate over the country's economic crisis, releasing new commercials in which the candidates speak directly to voters.

Posted on September 17, 2008 at 09:05 AM ET | Comments (37)

McCain Ad Has a Familiar Ring

McCain's latest ad picks up an Obama turn of phrase.

Posted on September 16, 2008 at 05:44 PM ET | Comments (69)

Strong Economic Fundamentals? Not in New Obama Ad

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: (Graphics:) Sept. 15, 2008. Lehman Bros. Collapses. Markets in...

Posted on September 16, 2008 at 10:20 AM ET | Comments (492)

Obama: McCain Not Running an Honorable Campaign

This Barack Obama commercial relies almost entirely on harsh media criticism of John McCain's ads.

Posted on September 15, 2008 at 12:19 PM ET | Comments (315)

McCain Paints Obama as Disrespectful

This John McCain commercial, which contains two significant distortions, is part of a larger effort to rule criticism of his running mate out of bounds and paint her as the victim of unfair attacks from both Democrats and the media.

Posted on September 12, 2008 at 01:27 PM ET | Comments (474)

Obama Paints McCain as a Man of the Past

This Barack Obama commercial, without quite saying so, screams one message: John McCain is old.

Posted on September 12, 2008 at 01:23 PM ET | Comments (135)

Campaign Cease-Fire at an End

With the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks over, the campaigns of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama went back to war this morning.

Posted on September 12, 2008 at 07:26 AM ET | Comments (22)

Schooling McCain? Obama Goes to Bat Over Education Record

This Obama ad attempts to open a new domestic front against McCain.

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 11:47 AM ET | Comments (63)

Obama Response Ad: Palin is 'Lying' About her Record

This mocking response ad from Barack Obama tries to tie the Republican ticket to old, conventional politics.

Posted on September 8, 2008 at 06:41 PM ET | Comments (327)

Claiming the 'Maverick' Brand

John McCain tried to reclaim the "maverick" label, but his record is not as clear as the ad suggests.

Posted on September 8, 2008 at 10:16 AM ET | Comments (153)

McCain Ad for Florida

The new Republican National Committee-McCain campaign ad signals a renewed battlefield: Florida.

Posted on September 5, 2008 at 05:26 PM ET | Comments (62)

McCain to Release New Ad as Obama is Speaking

Campaign says the ad will be a "historic" one.

Posted on August 28, 2008 at 12:16 PM ET | Comments (29)

McCain Attack Ad Makes an Issue of Iran

The ad continues McCain's assault on Obama's foreign policy credentials.

Posted on August 27, 2008 at 01:27 PM ET | Comments (29)

McCain Tries to Rile Up Clinton Voters Against Obama

By Michael D. Shear SEDONA, Ariz. -- A new television ad by Sen. John...

Posted on August 23, 2008 at 10:00 PM ET | Comments (450)

New McCain Ad Uses Biden's Words Against Obama

By Ed O'Keefe DENVER -- You knew this was coming. The McCain campaign has released...

Posted on August 23, 2008 at 10:48 AM ET | Comments (126)

Independent Group Ad Plays Ayers Card

Officials with the American Issues Project, a nonprofit that describes itself as a champion of conservative values, say they will spend $2.8 million to air a stinging television ad.

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 11:03 PM ET | Comments (70)

McCain Targets Obama's Glass House

John McCain ad attempts to drag back into the news Obama's dealings with a corrupt fundraiser.

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 07:55 PM ET | Comments (114)

Obama Paints McCain as Wealthy and Clueless

New Obama spot slams the Arizona senator for not knowing how many houses he owns.

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 12:24 PM ET | Comments (147)

Taxes and Spending at Issue in Clash of Negative Ads

Obama and McCain trade accusations over who would increase the deficit more and be better on tax relief.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 12:53 PM ET | Comments (46)

McCain Ad Slams Obama Tax Plan as "Economic Disaster"

By Jonathan Weisman Just a day after Sen. Barack Obama put the finishing touches...

Posted on August 15, 2008 at 09:59 AM ET | Comments (92)

Obama Set to Air Second Olympic Ad

After two negative attack ads on John McCain, the latest ad is all about Obama, with light music and imagery of a nation at work.

Posted on August 14, 2008 at 11:16 AM ET | Comments (19)

Obama Paints McCain Economics as Bushism

By Jonathan Weisman The Ad: Economics ... by John McCain. Support George Bush 95...

Posted on August 13, 2008 at 01:41 PM ET | Comments (61)

New McCain Ad Hits Obama on Celebrity, Taxes

New spot makes questionable claims on tax hikes.

Posted on August 8, 2008 at 12:39 PM ET | Comments (51)

MoveOn Hits McCain No-Shows

Web spot mocks presumptive GOP nominee for calling on Congress to return despite his absenteeism.

Posted on August 6, 2008 at 07:16 PM ET | Comments (1013)

McCain Web Ad Mocks Obama as 'The One'

Openly mocking Obama as having a Messiah complex, McCain launched a new online attack ad today.

Posted on August 1, 2008 at 03:32 PM ET | Comments (239)

McCain Defends 'Celeb' Ad

"We're proud of that commercial," McCain said today.

Posted on July 31, 2008 at 02:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Enviros Tag-Team with MoveOn to Attack McCain over Big Oil

The Sierra Club has teamed up with MoveOn to attack John McCain on oil drilling today.

Posted on July 31, 2008 at 12:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Knocks 'Old Politics' of McCain

This response ad by Barack Obama uses a classic jujitsu move to turn the attack back on his Republican opponent.

Posted on July 29, 2008 at 07:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

McCain Mocks Media 'Love Affair' with Obama

John McCain's strategists have unveiled a new weapon against what they view as fawning coverage of his Democratic rival: mockery.

Posted on July 22, 2008 at 12:31 PM ET | Comments (246)

McCain Drills Obama on Gas Prices

But an Energy Department report last year said production would likely not start until 2017 if offshore drilling rules changed, and also no "significant" effect on prices or supplies until 2030.

Posted on July 21, 2008 at 12:07 PM ET | Comments (66)

McCain Strafes Obama on War

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on...

Posted on July 18, 2008 at 05:04 PM ET | Comments (64)

Obama's Working Class Pitch

Analysis of new campaign ad "dignity."

Posted on June 30, 2008 at 05:57 PM ET | Comments (19)

McCain's Declaration of Independence

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: John McCain stood up to the president and sounded...

Posted on June 17, 2008 at 10:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Responds to Clinton Spot with Own Ad

Barack Obama's response to a late-breaking Hillary Clinton spot tries to refocus the debate. --Howard Kurtz

Posted on April 21, 2008 at 06:19 PM ET | Comments (55)

Clinton Challenges Obama's Readiness

Osama bin Laden has made his first appearance in a Democratic primary ad, released today by the Hillary Clinton campaign. --Howard Kurtz

Posted on April 21, 2008 at 01:55 PM ET | Comments (101)

Clinton Releases Tough New Anti-Obama Ad in Pa.

Hillary Clinton launches a new ad in Pennsylvania, in which voters accuse her rival Barack Obama of having insulted them. --Anne E. Kornblut

Posted on April 14, 2008 at 07:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Ad Ignites Questions on Oil Money

In a new ad for Sen. Barack Obama, it all depends on the meaning of the words "oil companies."--Howard Kurtz

Posted on March 28, 2008 at 05:31 PM ET | Comments (76)

McCain Casts Himself as President Americans Are Waiting For

Sen. John McCain starts the general election campaign--regardless of his opponent--with an ad that focuses on his heroism and his calls to "never surrender."--Alec MacGillis

Posted on March 28, 2008 at 04:26 PM ET | Comments (60)

Clinton as Commander in Chief

Howard Kurtz looks at Clinton's red phone moment.

Posted on February 29, 2008 at 11:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Fires Back at Clinton Debate Ad

Hillary Clinton fired the first shot -- with an ad attacking Barack Obama in Wisconsin, and now Obama has answered back.--Matthew Mosk

Posted on February 14, 2008 at 03:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Super Bowl Super Tuesday Spots

Sen. Barack Obama, who raised over $32 million last month, will put some of that money to use on ads that will air in selected media markets during tonight's big game. --Matthew Mosk

Posted on February 3, 2008 at 04:37 PM ET | Comments (4)

McCain Seeks Reagan Mantle

John McCain's latest ad on national cable has one goal: reassuring conservatives at a time when Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other commentators are attacking his candidacy and Ann Coulter is even vowing to campaign for Hillary Clinton if McCain is the GOP nominee.--Howard Kurtz

Posted on February 1, 2008 at 12:51 PM ET | Comments (10)

McCain Tells 'Tale of Two Mitts'

Sen. John McCain has launched a series of negative radio and web ads against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, hoping to convince Florida voters headed to the polls tomorrow that his chief opponent is both unelectable and unreliable when it comes to taking conservative policy stands.--Juliet Eilperin

Posted on January 28, 2008 at 01:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Return of National Advertising

National television advertising has not been a regular part of presidential campaigning for years now. But it became clear today that the unusual demands of February 5 -- where candidates will have to compete in 22 states at once -- have changed the dynamics for political advertising. --Matthew Mosk

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 12:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

In Florida, Giuliani Hits Romney in New Ad

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been left out of the campaign for much of the last few weeks, but a new ad his campaign is running in Florida seems certain to put him back in the mix. --Chris Cillizza

Posted on January 17, 2008 at 12:01 PM ET | Comments (4)

Obama Touts War Opposition, Lobby Reform

New Nevada ads highlight Obama's opposition to the war in Iraq and his experience.--Howard Kurtz

Posted on January 16, 2008 at 02:03 PM ET | Comments (25)

Giuliani vs. the Talking Heads

By Howard Kurtz The Ad: With pundits and politicos handicapping the campaign like the...

Posted on January 10, 2008 at 12:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

Romney Harnesses Anti-McCain Voices

New ads from Mitt Romney and John McCain.--Howard Kurtz

Posted on January 3, 2008 at 02:32 PM ET | Comments (12)

Incomplete Picture in New Obama Health Care Ad

Sen. Barack Obama is touting his health care plan in an Iowa ad unveiled today, six days before the state's caucuses. But the commercial misrepresents some newspaper assessments of the Illinois Democrat's proposal. --Howard Kurtz

Posted on December 28, 2007 at 06:55 PM ET | Comments (40)

Romney Rips McCain on Senate Record

Mitt Romney, who targeted Mike Huckabee in an earlier commercial, is now running the most negative campaign of any presidential candidate in either party. --Howard Kurtz

Posted on December 28, 2007 at 10:38 AM ET | Comments (52)

This Time It's Personal

Is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney feeling a bit queasy about his chances in Iowa or New Hampshire? His campaign says "no" but his latest television ad may suggest otherwise. --Michael D. Shear

Posted on December 21, 2007 at 06:53 PM ET | Comments (11)

Showing Their Softer Sides

Campaign ads go seasonal, and personal.--Howard Kurtz

Posted on December 19, 2007 at 05:46 PM ET | Comments (11)

New Spot: Romney "Helped Save My Daughter"

Michael D. Shear

Posted on December 19, 2007 at 11:16 AM ET | Comments (15)

Actors and Soldiers

Anne E. Kornblut

Posted on December 18, 2007 at 07:15 PM ET | Comments (3)

Romney Hits Huckabee on Crime

A new Romney ad questions Huckabee's record on crime.--Howard Kurtz

Posted on December 17, 2007 at 06:10 PM ET | Comments (19)

Romney Goes Negative in Iowa Ad

Is Romney suddenly running scared?--Michael D. Shear

Posted on December 10, 2007 at 06:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Huckabee Talks Tough on Immigration

Huckabee says he'll fight to secure the borders.--Howard Kurtz

Posted on December 10, 2007 at 10:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Romney Recasts Abortion Record in New Ad

TV spot in Iowa engages in some revisionist history.

Posted on December 7, 2007 at 12:50 PM ET | Comments (2)

Obama the Orator Invokes "Dream"

Obama's new ad.

Posted on December 6, 2007 at 05:50 PM ET | Comments (15)

Edwards Goes After 'Corporate Democrats'

A new ad from John Edwards urges: out with corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats.--Howard Kurtz

Posted on December 5, 2007 at 02:00 PM ET | Comments (7)

New Giuliani Ad in N.H. Ratchets Up Security Message

Giuliani's latest ad focuses on standing up to "tyrants and terrorists."--Michael D. Shear

Posted on December 5, 2007 at 08:18 AM ET | Comments (15)

Giuliani Hits Democrats on Taxes

Rudy Giuliani's latest ad.

Posted on November 29, 2007 at 12:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

McCain Stresses Maverick Roots

John McCain's latest ad.

Posted on November 26, 2007 at 02:44 PM ET | Comments (1)

Clinton Hits Back at Republican 'Machine'

In a new ad, Hillary Clinton attempts a form of political jujitsu, portraying herself as the victim of unfair Republican criticism without specifying what that criticism is.

Posted on November 20, 2007 at 10:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Selective History of Giuliani's NYC

Rudy Giuliani's first television ad hits in New Hampshire.

Posted on November 14, 2007 at 11:20 AM ET | Comments (7)

An Impossible Promise From John Edwards

John Edwards's new health care ad.

Posted on November 13, 2007 at 01:19 PM ET | Comments (24)

Romney's New Entry in Immigration Fray

Mitt Romney's new immigration-focused ad.

Posted on November 9, 2007 at 11:17 AM ET | Comments (0)

Romney's MBA Pitch Belittles Clinton

Romney's new add criticizes Clinton's lack of experience.

Posted on November 2, 2007 at 11:38 AM ET | Comments (17)


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