Obama Paints McCain as a Man of the Past
By Howard Kurtz in The Trail:
The Ad: 1982. John McCain goes to Washington. Things have changed in the last 26 years. But McCain hasn't. He admits he still doesn't know how to use a computer, can't send an e-mail. Still doesn't understand the economy. And favors $200 billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class. After one president who was out of touch, we just can't afford more of the same.
Analysis: This Barack Obama commercial, without quite saying so, screams one message: John McCain is old.
The spot tries to soften that attack with whimsical music and such amusing images as an early computer and a Rubik's cube. But it clearly paints the Arizona senator as a man of the past.
McCain has acknowledged that he doesn't use a computer and relies on aides to send e-mail, although he says his staff has shown him Web sites and blogs. Sending e-mail has never been deemed a qualification to be president, but it does suggest that he is out of sync with popular culture.
To say that McCain "still" doesn't understand the economy is a stretch. He told the Wall Street Journal in 2005: "I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." McCain didn't say he didn't understand the economy at all, and that was three years ago.
McCain has proposed $200 billion in corporate tax reductions. What the ad leaves out is that Obama told the Journal in June that he would also consider an unspecified reduction in corporate tax rates.
By linking McCain to George W. Bush -- who has faced repeated criticism about being out of touch -- the commercial both ties McCain to an unpopular president and paints him as remote from average people's problems. The ad never mentions that McCain is 72. It doesn't have to.
By Ed O'Keefe |
September 12, 2008; 1:24 PM ET
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