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Strong Economic Fundamentals? Not in New Obama Ad

By Howard Kurtz in The Trail:

The Ad: (Graphics:) Sept. 15, 2008. Lehman Bros. Collapses. Markets in Turmoil. Job Losses at 605,000 for the Year. Foreclosures at 9,800 a Day. And John McCain Says?

(McCain:) Our economy I think, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong.

(Graphics:) The fundamentals of our economy are strong?

(McCain:) The fundamentals of our economy are strong.

(Graphics:) How can John McCain fix our economy if he doesn't understand it's broken?

Analysis: This Barack Obama commercial uses the Arizona senator's own words to make him appear out of touch with the havoc wreaked by the Wall Street meltdown -- and therefore is accurate in its portrayal.

The McCain campaign quickly realized that its candidate had struck the wrong note yesterday morning, and soon sent reporters new remarks in which John McCain declared the economy to be "in crisis."

But while McCain may have stumbled politically, his statement is defensible on economic grounds. While Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers have been sold, seized by the government or declared bankruptcy in recent weeks, few would argue that the underpinnings of the American economy are collapsing. Still, the word "strong" is not what most voters want to hear after a one-day stock market plunge of more than 500 points.

The newsreel-style ad, with headlines unfolding to dramatic music, ends with an image that furthers the Illinois senator's "third term" argument -- McCain and President Bush together in front of the White House. Implicit in that picture is that McCain backs the man who presided over the current financial mess, and would represent a continuation of his policies.

The production of this spot in less than 24 hours underscores how modern technology has quickened the pace of campaigning and how the ad wars are increasingly driven by daily developments.

By Ed O'Keefe |  September 16, 2008; 10:40 AM ET Ad Watch , Barack Obama
Previous: McCain-Palin Ad Says Economy in 'Crisis' | Next: MoveOn Calls Out McCain's 'Friends'


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As a millionaire and one that would be considered in an "elite" position, I can see why John McCain would feel that the economic fundamentals of are ok. But to us "regular" folks who work at these businesses, Bear Stearns, IndyMac, Lehman Brothers, Merril Lynch, Hewlett Packard -EDS, AIG, seeing the Federal Government having to step in an vitually bail out these companies or watch them fire thousands of workers, I would hardly say the fundamentals are sound. Maybe up in the stratosphere on your private jet, but not down here at the bus stop with the rest of us.

Posted by: Joe Values | September 16, 2008 10:39 PM

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