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The Duality of Celebrity

Over the past two weeks, John McCain has found a soft spot in the previously impenetrable defenses of Barack Obama: attack the Illinois senator as a celebrity.

Huh?

In our celebrity-obsessed culture, it's hard to imagine how playing up Obama as a rock star and an international sex symbol -- both of which McCain has done in recent days in a television spot and a web ad -- would work to the Illinois senator's detriment.

After all, Obama's rock star appeal -- massive crowds wherever he appears, millions of dollars pouring in to the campaign via the Internet -- played an outsized role in his upset victory over
Rodham Clinton
in the Democratic primary race.

And yet, as evidenced by Obama's response ad released yesterday, the "celebrity" tag appears to have stuck to the Democratic nominee in a way that few things have in his political life.

Why?

As always in politics, it's never one thing, but the conflicted relationship we have with celebrity in American culture certainly has a lot to do with it.

Most people follow the goings-on in Hollywood relatively closely (The Fix gets all his celeb info at Liz Kelly's "Celebritology" blog), reading and watching to see who's dating whom and, as often, who's divorcing whom.

There is a level of interest and attraction to these beautiful people doing cool things that many of us will never get to do.

And yet, it's the rare person who will say they "admire" a celebrity. You might like how they look or even act but generally celebrities are dismissed as light as air; with very few exceptions (Bono and Angelina Jolie, this means you), they are regarded as pretty faces without much else going on.

"The McCain camp seems to have gotten some traction by associating Obama with two tabloid stars that no one would ever even think would have anything important to say," explained Ted Johnson, editor at large of Variety and author of the "Wilshire & Washington" blog. "McCain's team picked two celebrities that middle Americans associate as pampered, frivolous stars -- famous for being famous -- and it is hard to argue otherwise."

It's that sentiment that McCain is seeking to tap into with all of his praise for Obama's rhetorical gifts and star-status around the globe. Sure, Obama is a good-looking guy who can give a good speech, McCain seems to be saying, but is that all there is? And, if so, are those the traits that what you want in the next leader of the free world?

McCain was particularly blatant in his weekly Saturday radio address:

"Even the most stirring speeches are easily forgotten when they're short on content. Taking in my opponent's performances is a little like watching a big summer blockbuster, and an hour in realizing that all the best scenes were in the trailer you saw last fall."

Later in the address, McCain offered a "plot summary" of the Obama campaign -- yet again reinforcing the "Obama as celebrity" meme.

Strategically, McCain is using one of the oldest tricks in the book: take your opponent's greatest strength and turn it into a weakness.

During the 2004 Democratic primaries, Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) emerged victorious in large part because of a belief among party regulars that his decorated military service in Vietnam made him unassailable on foreign policy and military matters. Not so, as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth managed to raise questions about that service and, in doing so, shook the core of Kerry's campaign.

Back in 1980, Ronald Reagan painted President Jimmy Carter, a man who had been elected four years earlier thanks to his soft-spoken mannerisms and call to restore normalcy in a country rocked by Watergate, as out of touch and too small for the office of president.

There's little question that in this campaign, Obama's status as a movement candidate onto whom the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans have been foisted has, to date, been a strength for the Illinois Democrat.

As we said many times during his race against Clinton, the only way in which Obama could beat the New York senator was to turn a vote for him into a vote for a different kind of politics, to transcend the back and forth of the campaign and present himself as a once-in-a-generation change agent.

He accomplished that gargantuan feat with relative ease. But, in doing so, Obama opened himself up to just the sort of attack that McCain has delivered over the past few weeks.

By not only ceding the celebrity card to Obama but accentuating it, McCain is trying to draw a blunt comparison: Obama's campaign is about one man while his own campaign is about the country as a whole.

McCain has even begun to connect those dots himself in his stump speech. During an appearance last week in Ohio, McCain had this to say: "I will always, always, always put my country first. I have done that from the time I was in prison and was offered a chance to go home before my comrades.... I put my country first then and will continue to put country first," he said, according to the Associated Press' Beth Fouhy.

In an election where the average voter trusts Obama far more than McCain to handle nearly every major issue and at a time when the Republican brand is as badly damaged as at any point in modern political history, turning the contest into a battle of personalities may well be the best -- and only -- chance McCain has at winning in November.

Obama's decision to respond with a celebrity-themed ad of his own yesterday speaks to the fact that the Illinois senator and his advisers know that they can't let this dynamic -- the rock star versus the selfless war hero -- take hold.

Whether it will or not remains to be seen. What's clear is that the McCain campaign has seized the offensive -- at least for the moment -- and forced Obama into a defensive crouch.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 12, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Ad Wars  
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Comments

What a bunch of bull feathers!!!! The most important job in the US, and people are focusing on "celebrity". We already have an air head as president, elected because of garbage like this.

Please, let's remember what is important. The results of an election have incredible consequences, as proven by the last 7 1/2 disasterous years. PLEASE do not elect another w clone!!!!!!

Posted by: FLTNVA | August 13, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

EXTREMELY WELL STATED VICTOR FLORES PLEASE KEEP POSTING AND NEVER NEVER BACK DOWN WHEN THESE CRAZY OBAMA PEOPLE SEEK TO INTIMIDATE AND HARASS YOU INTO NOT POSTING ANYMORE


**************************************

to " sequoia"

Please don't patronize me, this election should have been referendum on Bush, instead it is about Obama. Obama got the nomination by discounting white votes in Michigan/Florida, by the back room deals (Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.), blackmailing (Edwards and his marital malfunction) and arm twisting (Governor Richardson) by Howard Dean, race baiting (President Bill Clinton) branding the Honorable Bill Clinton into a racist. We, the electorate can spot a fake and a dishonorable man (Obama) when we see one. You (sequoia) have drank the "Obama Koolaid" and you would know the truth if it hit ya! Oh, by the way, I am Hispanic, I vote, and have been a life long Democrat, but I am voting for John McCain and if by chance McCain does lose at least I know in my heart I voted for the right man.
BLUE VOTER, VOTING RED.

Posted by: Victor Flores | August 12, 2008 9:48 PM

.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

The poster at 8:44 is not offended - it is simply the paid staffers at the Obama campaign calling someone "racist" everytime the Obama campaign does not like the TRUTH.

Obama paid staffers your shift is over!


Obama contributors: Be aware your money is going to pay staffers who harrass and intimidate posters who are exercising their First Amendment rights on the internet.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

McCain's line of attack - attacking Obama as another bimbo-eruption celebrity - is absolute GENIUS.

Obama is obsessed with his own ego which is hard to do.

McCain has found a way to define Obama and when a candidate is defined in a campaign it helps if it is true - and defining Obama as a bimbo-eruption is extremely accurate.

The people who support Obama have not evaluated his actual qualifications or skills which he will need to perform the actual position - their support has become a quasi-revival meeting joke.

The contrast between the two men can not be starker - when McCain was offered the opportunity to be released by the Vietnamese McCain stated "See that guy over there in that cell, it's his turn to go home first, BRING IT ON BABY I'M STAYING AT THE HANOI HILTION."

OK

Compared to a guy who has maxed out every affirmative action program he can find including democratic delegate selections, McCain is SOLID, McCain is tougher and McCain can lead this nation's economy to strength.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

This is such useless dribble. We live in an oligarchy, wake up. Everyone we vote for is selected by the corporations, the same ones that will benefit later. This is why other countries mock us. Its ok to love your country, I do, but I also admitt to myself whats really going on. Yes thats right I am saying that its a conspiracy because it is. This is now a fascist country (Mussolini coined this term by saying he was the face of the corporations-fasist comes from the Italian for face) and its getting worse all the time. What are we going to do, lie to ourselves and cower, attack eachother and accomplish nothing. Or shall we take this country back?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

It's all Hillary's fault. If only she had dropped out immediately after Barack announced, like she would have if she was a decent person.

I love you Barack!

Posted by: Paul | August 12, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The Dems are an obtuse lot. Who have been out witted by a college dropout and a graduate of the University of Wyoming. The dolts that ran Kerrys campaign had no reponse prepared for the swift boat ads? His testimony to congress. Thowing away his medals. Winter Soldier group. Christmas in Cambodia. What planet were these people living on? Oh yes MA.

Finally, having lived in Boston for 3 years the democratic party should NEVER nominate for president a native of the bay state. Kerry thought France has more electoral votes than Kansas.

Posted by: Red Stater | August 12, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I do not know who the Celebrity add was targeted toward. I am an Obama supporter and I spent last week with Republicans (my family) in Pennsylvania. They are seriously questioning why McCain would stoop to such an add. Obama's national polls have either stayed the same or gone up. He is still way ahead in the electoral count. Now I wish to God he would start firing back at the old man, I believe when he does Obama will crack the 51% mark.

Posted by: jmr1601 | August 12, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

What the celebrity ad did was show McCain's base he was willing to fight back. If McCain thought it was going to be a cordial campaign with a respectful give and take, he needed a swift kick in the pants. The Beauty of the ad is the fact that everyone is hyped over it, it shows that it worked. He just needs to be aware that any criticism of the liberal Messiah will automatically be responded to with calls of racism.

Posted by: TexasProud | August 12, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Debra:

All of the things you describe do make McCain a celebrity. He sound a lot like Brittany and her problems.

Being old, he has a longer pattern to follow. The press just want to give him a break and start from about 2000.

Hero celebrity? Just a celebrity.

Posted by: Tom A | August 12, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Mccain has no new ideas, no strategy, and a vision of the past. He is a big part of the problem over the last 30 years yet he has followers that call his non-solutions experience? Give me a newbie then.

Posted by: Bill C | August 12, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The idea of someone crashing 4 planes, being almost last in their class at Anapolis (to which he should never have been admitted), cheating on his wife, pandering to Charles Keating, voting for Gore, flip-flopping on every principal he once held, really qualifies someone for president.


Posted by: Debra | August 12, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse


WhoCares said:
"McCain is Toast."

Now you say that McCain is just toast
Sounds to me like a rather idle boast.
But Obama is the Dude
Who's gonna' get screwed,
'cause in November his arse we will roast.

Yea!!! Go McCain


Posted by: Billw | August 12, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

McCain is Toast.

Posted by: WhoCares | August 12, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Try reading a book about Obama and not by Obama such as "Obama Nation."

Oh, you mean a smear job. Sure, that's insightful.

Posted by: FastMovingCloud | August 12, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Examining Obama's reaction and comments to the Russian incursion and comparing them to McCain's comments and actions, it is clearly obvious that Senator Obama is totally unprepared for serious and dangerous world events like the situation in Georgia. And on national TV just this morning, when confronted with Obama's totally inadequate response, one of Obama's main supporters chided the commentator and stated that foreign policy should not be used as a political point. What exactly has Mr Obama been doing all this time regarding Iraq and Afghanistan if not using foreign policy as a political point? Obama simply can't have it both ways. Obama is simply un prepared to lead the free world in foreign policy. Obama is inexperiencd, clear and simple! Obama has clearly demonstrated that he is totally unprepared for the complex world of foreign policy! Russia's Putin to Obama - "NO YOU CAN'T!"
Visit this website and take a careful look and see more clear proof, in Obama's own words, that Obama is not ready for Prime Time dangerous Foreign Policy. http://www.harvybing.com The world is simply too dangerous to vote according to what's chic at the momemet. It may be considered to be "In Vogue" and "Fashionable" to be an Obama supporter, but unfortunately the dangerous people in this world aren't swayed by fashion statements.
Marie Antionette was unprepared to address the severe economic situation facing her countrymen. When confronted by mass starvation she said, "Let Them Eat Cake". In like fashion Obama, when confronted by his countrymen, who are suffering under high gas prices and who now can't afford to feed and house and educate their children indicated, "Let Them Inflate Their Tires" as a solution to High Gas Prices and the US dependency upon foreign oil. Obama is out of touch pure and simple. He is an elitist who has no common man experience.
Unfortunately the dangerous situation of world politics won't allow the American People to enjoy "On The Job Training" for our next president. On The Job Training Doesn't work for Presidential employees. It simply doesn't work in a dangerous world like we face today.
To hear an even more serious Obama mis statements in Obama's own words regarding the security of the United States, visit http://www.harvybing.com

Posted by: Gerald-D | August 12, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

To Jon at 12:38 p.m.:

Do you realize what you have done with that post?

You may be getting an unexpected visitor.

Posted by: USSS | August 12, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Chris Cillizza your interpretation of Sen. McCain ad is excellent. However, I think that Sen. McC ad is not very clear, and it needs refinement; so people will pick up the point of the ad in the 30 secs.. All of Sen. McC ads have these faults I mentioned. I would advise Sen. McC to be more direct, refined, and specific with his ads because it is the only way he could get his point across within 30 secs..

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think every time McCain tries to sully his opponent by saying "he gives a great speech" he is inviting voters to listen and, quite possibly, agree that he does give a great speech. One of the reasons of course is because to a LOT of people, his speeches make sense. McCain is trying a very tricky path that may turn out to backfire.

Posted by: dch | August 12, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Any over/under on how many times we'll see the phrase "gives a good speech" before election day?

Posted by: DDAWD | August 12, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching Washington for a very long time. I feel that our country is not being led anymore, rather, it is being managed. I haven't seen a leader run for this office since I could vote. (1969). A leader leads by example. That leader does what is best (and right) for the country in spite of the polls. I for one, am sick and tired polls. I want my news coverage to be neutral. I still believe Americans can make their own decisions if given the straight facts. Some of you folks have pointed out the bias shown by the media. I agree, but, I feel that it goes both ways depending on who you're listening to. I still believe in the old saying. "The greatest good for the greatest number." We need a candidate who will spell out step by step their proposed policies. We really need to stop looking at ourselves as "African-American, Hispanic-Americans, Irish- Americans etc" and start looking at ourselves as Americans. There is only one race...the Human race. If we, as a nation, can't get our act together soon, we will stop being a nation.

Posted by: jc in Tennessee | August 12, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Try reading a book about Obama and not by Obama such as "Obama Nation.

Posted by: Kathy | August 12, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I am a registered independent and I don't understand when it became a fault to be able to give a well thought out and inspiring speech. That's just politics-as-usual spin. Barack Obama seems, to me, a very thoughtful individual. He's written two books so far and if you've actually read them, you can see the kind of person he really is. And while I'm concerned about his energy plan, I think he's the kind of person who's not afraid to admit when he's wrong and right the course before it's too late (a quality that is completely foreign to our current president). There was a time when I would have voted for John McCain. I had a lot of respect for him when he used to cross party lines for what was right. It seems like many aging politicians, he has become increasingly accepting of the party boilerplate rhetoric and sadly, bumbling. I miss the old McCain and I actually see a lot of his former self in Obama. Lastly, as an American, it is important to me that we send a clear message to the world that we don't like what's gone on in the White House for the last 8 years. How much clearer a message can you send than to elect Barack Obama?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully McCain will attack Obama next on his policies and voting record in the Senate. His Global Poverty Program(read Global Poverty Tax), His record of voting for partial birth abortion, his actual tax plans, his blatant Marxist rhetoric and on and on.

Posted by: Kathy | August 12, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

With such a quick rise to stardom and how the media are eating up what ever Obama feeds them you must wonder what ties/sacrifices did he have to go through to get the celebrity backing that he has? Women in Hollywood usually will visit the casting couch or some type of explicit scene in a movie to get her name out in the media. Men on the other have to do action packed movies that do not require much skill. So where does Obama fit in all this? There needs to be more digging into his background.
One thing I cannot shake is why would Jesse Jackson be so admantly opposed to this guy privately when he thinks the cameras are off and yet still try to say he supports this Senator? I think Jackson's words were that he wanted to castrate Obama.

Posted by: brasilia05 | August 12, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

If "Hey, where do you get off being so POPULAR?" is the best McSame can do, This is going to be a very, very painful election for the Right...and rightfully so.

Posted by: Newt | August 12, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

One bullet can change everything

Posted by: Jon | August 12, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse


It stuck because it is true. He is all outside, no inside. Similar critiques were made of Jack Kennedy, and he had 6 years in the House, 8 years in the Senate, was a veteran and war hero, was in residence at the US Embassy to the UK just before war broke out, having the experience of two previous generations of family in public service. This is what used to be considered lightweight.

Now here you have a man from the Illinois Senate. 9 out 10 people here do not even know their state senator's name: they run unopposed and live on their own planet. Then he was in the US Senate for 2 years or so, accomplishing nothing, before abandoning his post to present himself as president.

I am a Democrat. The lesson of 9/11 is do not have an inexperienced lightweight at the helm. Indeed, this was already a problem for Kennedy. It is not responsible to vote for Obama. It is too bad the Party nominated him.

Posted by: Chicago1 | August 12, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

First of all, "McAdulterer," be careful what you wish for: Celebrities are usually bulletproof. He's gained no ground since the ad started running.
Obama is still statistically tied or ahead in 13 states the W. won in 2004.
Didn't Obama get like 100,000 donations as a result of this flap? Having a fan does have its advantages. Except he doesn't 7 houses like many celebritys do. Paris made a fool of "McAdulterer" with her ad calling him the "Cryptkeeper" with about 6 million internet hits. At least she can read a tele-prompter! If I were the Obama campaign, I enlist her and the commercial as a running joke.

Posted by: Dan | August 12, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Then again, I am just a hot chick for Obama (yeah, we vote too)!"

You all make Obama events a lot more fun as well.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 12, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse


jamesCH:
"You schmuck. Try putting a quote in context. Barack Obama said that as a JOKE, mocking something that Hillary Clinton had said during primary season."

Typicam Obama supporter response. You name-call and read minds. Wierd.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign has done it's job in defining Obama, however, as you have often noted, and as is most certainly true, McCain needs to make sure he defines himself as well if he is to make a good run at this election. The Kerry campaign lost largely because it made the entire campaign about Bush. The public largely disliked Bush, but at least they knew who he was.

The McCain campaign should be wary of the fact that, at this point, they may be making a bunch of people distrust Obama, but at least they know who he is.

Posted by: Andy | August 12, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

to pocketnunu:

You could just as easily say, about the 'media-celebrity' syndrome that afflicts us, and by extension, Barack Obama: 'He's the new kid on the block so he MUST be green. He has worked most of his life in employment that did NOT give him a national profile so he must not know enough to do such a public job.. Everyone seems excited about him so it MUST be hype.' You are quite right that he is a politician. Last time I checked, everyone who aspires to elected office is and of right ought to be a politician. Obama is new, there may be a little of the flavor of the month thing going on early in his campaign, but he is running for President. ALL Presidents have to be politicians and good ones. That means nothing more than finding a means, through rhetoric and positions, to effect change; to enact policy. You say that you have seen nothing underlying Obama's 'celebrity' to give you confidence. As the communicator-in-chief, he will need to do a lot of what he is doing as a campaigner to be successful.

It may be that Obama has cultivated the celebrity aspect of his campaign, but I doubt it. Something is going on here that is DIFFERENT and it is from that difference that the real truth of his celebrity lies. Nobody thinks Obama is pure as the driven snow but from where I stand, he actually offers the possibility of dramatic change. That fact alone might justify the celebrity moniker.

Posted by: dch | August 12, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Chris, an excellent analysis. Obama may still pull out a win, but McCain has landed a major strategic blow, by defining Obama. I believe that McCain should cast the potential for drilling off both coasts as an immediate ECONOMIC STIMULUS. If Exxon and all the others are given the right to drill, they will be using their own financial power to lift the economy up. The best economic stimulus program ever invented is a private sector job.

Posted by: Peter Parrott | August 12, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

To: scrivener, you might want to check the zoo and see if any monkeys have died you and Mark the pig Penn need a brain transplant Soon! OBAMA/BAYH 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Connie | August 12, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I think a lot of people are missing the point about the celebrity status of Obama. And he IS a celebrity, make no mistake. No other candidate has risen so fast and so completely. He's the new kid on the block, and he's absolutely green. So that must mean he's also absolutely fresh and unspoiled and as pure as the wind-driven snow. I dunno, maybe he is.

His meteoric rise was hailed by the media, just like the latest rock or movie star. And like such a *star*, people have fallen in love with him. But it is the media's love for the photogenic and the young and the controversial that keeps Obama's celebrity status alive. And they just can't get enough of a profitable cover boy. Obama sells; Hillary doesn't; McCain doesn't. It is not just the public's love affair, it is the media's as well.

And like any media love affair, it is blind. Critics, debunkers and detractors are brushed off as cranky, jealous and resentful. I dunno, maybe they are.

And while Obama has thrown back the celebrity card against McCain, it doesn't stick. Why? Because McCain, while a well-known, even *famous,* brand name in politics, just doesn't measure up to being a celebrity.

I have reservations about politicians in general, and even more reservations about a politician who has the *sheen* of celebrity. When the *sheen* wears off, what do we have? Do we have a *real* leader or just another pretty face? I dunno.

Obama could be the next leader of the free world. While I am no supporter of McCain, I don't have confidence in whatever lies under the layer of Obama's celebrity. Because I haven't fallen under Obama's spell, and I haven't been enthralled by his charms, I am taking a jaundiced view: let's face it, folks, he's a politician. And like any other politician who aims for the highest office in the land, he will make promises he can't keep. Change is one of those promises.

Posted by: pocketnunu | August 12, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

MARK PENN WAS RIGHT. OBAMA IS UNELECTABLE.
AND TOO MANY DEMOCRATS ARE SPELLBOUND.

• A "AL-le-GORE-y foretold by John Lennon?


"Oh!" The pundits gasp. "That Mark Penn! How COULD he say those mean things?"

To which I say, yeah, how could Penn speak the unvarnished truth and find his on-point prophecies so derided by Hillaryland appeasers?

Events are proving Mark Penn right. Obama has failed to lead. He has failed to fight. He has failed to adhere to the core positions that won him a loyal following among cockeyed lefties.

And yes, too often Obama has projected the disconcerting image of a stranger in a strange land, an outsider, someone who says he's from Kansas but whose manner seems like it came straight out of Oz.

Beware the man behind the curtain.

Geraldine Ferraro was right, too; Obamanauts fell in love with a dream, and succumbed to the siren lure of a personality cultist, a too-clever-by-half dream-weaver.

It was not enough that he aspires to be the American President after only three undistinguished years on the national scene. No, Barack Obama had to present himself as the President of the World. He is, as the GOP mocks, "The One" who professes to transform humankind not by adherence to principle but by expediency and compromise masquerading as "change."

And maybe Hillary was right, if impolitic, with HER mocking: "And the celestial choirs will SING!..."

Obama has turned out to be yet another false prophet. He started out as a visionary who dared to dream. Then the dream transmogrified into mass hypnosis, a soul-less trance. Obama executed the spell, but also fell victim to his own voodoo.

John Lennon wrote a song about a man like this:

He's a real nowhere man / living in his nowhere land / Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn't have a point of view / knows not where he's going to / Isn't he a bit like you and me

Then, a second verse relevant to the Obama Odyssey:

He's as blind as he can be / Just sees what he wants to see / Nowhere man, can you see me at all?

Obama bought into his own dream. He failed to perceive the real needs of the people he would save. And now, he cannot see that the dream is over (to evoke the words of yet another Lennon lyric).

It is over because it is a dream bereft of a soul. Obama's dream is Obama. He has become his own graven image, the object of his own blind idol-worship. He committed a cardinal sin: He bought into his own hype, believed his own press.

Now, even Obama's most loyal core supporters, the starry-eyed legions who set him upon his "improbable journey," have awakened from the dream.

Thank the Lord, and Mark Penn, that the revelation has come just in time for the Democratic Party to save itself.

Hillary has assumed the mantle of savior, although she will not be the one to return to "the promised land"(read, White House). Her loyal delegates will prevent Obama from being nominated on the first ballot, and then Hillary will power-broker a winning strategy: Recognizing that her marital baggage proscribes her from the nomination, she will throw her support, and her delegates, to Al Gore.

Even before the final roll call, Gore will have signaled that he would name Barack Obama as his vice presidential designate, defusing any opposition that might arise from Obama diehards. And Gore will go on to decisively defeat Obama on the final roll call.

Obama, now chastened, will accept the vice presidency with an appropriate mixture of pride and humility -- the humility that was lacking in his over-reaching campaign for the top job.

A fantasy, you say? Please let us quote from yet another John Lennon verse:

You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one

Why don't you come and join us / And the world will live as one

Just so happens that in '08, "The One" may turn out to be "The Gore-acle," not Barack Obama.

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN COUNT? Not if gov't.-supported "vigilante injustice" squards are targeting Americans outside of the bounds of the law:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

Posted by: scrivener | August 12, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA: 'This is the Greatest Country in the World! Lets change it!'

That doesn't make much sense... All I hear from the Democrats lately is everything that is wrong with America. I am sick of it, because there is So much in this country to be proud of. I found that when I started to look for the good things in life, my own life became alot more rewarding. A candidate that only points out our failures is a sad sad soul.

Posted by: kal | August 12, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

So Obama is steady in the polls, winning on the ground and controlling the message to the voters (note: not the idiot media). Yeah, I am concerned. Those polls from CO, VA, Iowa and OR were just horrible for Obama yesterday. Then again, I am just a hot chick for Obama (yeah, we vote too)!

Posted by: CR | August 12, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

paranoid racist
37th & O Street
aka Jim Crow

Posted by: The Hai-kook | August 12, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous,

You schmuck. Try putting a quote in context. Barack Obama said that as a JOKE, mocking something that Hillary Clinton had said during primary season.

What? McCain puts something in a disgusting ad, using religious imagery in a craven way to scare people, and it's now the truth?

Posted by: JamesCH | August 12, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Who is the real celebrity? Who has 6 housees? John McCain. Who left his stand-by-her-man wife to run off with the rich young blond? John McCain. Who is loved by the press to the point they ignore all his gaffs? John McCain. Who changes his mind on issues almost daily? John McCain. I think it is clear that John McCain is the real celebrity.

Posted by: bradcpa | August 12, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

McCain's line of attack - attacking Obama as another bimbo-eruption celebrity - is absolute GENIUS.

Obama is obsessed with his own ego which is hard to do.

McCain has found a way to define Obama and when a candidate is defined in a campaign it helps if it is true - and defining Obama as a bimbo-eruption is extremely accurate.

The people who support Obama have not evaluated his actual qualifications or skills which he will need to perform the actual position - their support has become a quasi-revival meeting joke.

The contrast between the two men can not be starker - when McCain was offered the opportunity to be released by the Vietnamese McCain stated "See that guy over there in that cell, it's his turn to go home first, BRING IT ON BABY I'M STAYING AT THE HANOI HILTION."

OK

Compared to a guy who has maxed out every affirmative action program he can find including democratic delegate selections, McCain is SOLID, McCain is tougher and McCain can lead this nation's economy to strength.

.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | August 12, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"On Monday, McCain addresses the brutal, Russian invasion of Georgia... and while on vacation, Obama releases the McCain/Celebrity ad.

Puts it all in a nutshell..."

It fits right in that nutshell, along with your brain, and plenty left over. First off, someone had to tell McCain that the Georgia being attacked is not the Peach State Georgia, and his head is still spinning from that revelation. Second, he was probably stunned to learn that it was Russians, not Soviets, on the offensive.

You're going to crack on Obama for taking a summer break, when McShame refuses to work more than five hours a day, and not at all on weekends? That's the only similarity to The Gipper that I can point to.

Posted by: bondjedi | August 12, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse


"I am not impressed with his efforts to respond."

Agreed. WE say this when he refused to debate Clinton, then he refused to join the town hall meetings.

Posted by: Billw | August 12, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse


"I want a serious President. I want someone with a level head, some class, and a great deal of smarts."

Obama said:
"A light will shine down... from somewhere. It will light upon you. You will experience an epiphany... You will say to yourself, 'I have to vote for Barack' "

So... is this your man?


Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I was an early supporter of Obama because I too wanted to see the country move in another direction. I was enthused by his energy and saw him as making the bigger and hopefully, better changes. However, it has been small things (more than likely insiginificant to most) that have turned my opinion. I am a veteran of the military and believe the most important symbol of freedom is the flag. On twoi occassions he has removed the American flag, once from his lapel and most recently, from his plane (replacing it with a symbol of his own creation). Why? I want an answer as to why he felt it was appropriate to do that.

The last thing that has changed my mind is seeing how he has dealt with McCain's attacks. Sometimes you have to hit back and hit back hard, and he has done a terrible job at responding or executing an offensive strategy at all. You can talk about Yucca Mtn and Ohio, but this is a national election. During the next Presidency, we will more than likely have cause to respond to provocation and I am not impressed with his efforts to respond. I wish we lived in a world that didn't require that, but we don't and never will. Please don't put my loved ones and yours in harms way by thinking there are not people out there who want to kill us. We need to make sure we have a President in place that will respond accordingly and I am unsure based on what I have seen that Obama can do that.

When it comes down to it, I want my President (and subsequently, the government) to differ power to the States, work to grow the economy, and keep me safe. I am starting to get the idea that of my choices, McCain can do that better.

Posted by: Chris | August 12, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

McCain's ads are kind of amusing. Like a clown is amusing. Good for him. I am glad to get to know him. There was a time when his name exuded dignity.

The country is going down the toilet! Vote for McCampaigno the Pandering Clown.

I want a serious President. I want someone with a level head, some class, and a great deal of smarts.

We have already had one clownish, drinking buddy kind of President... and he drove the nation into a ditch.

Posted by: Blip | August 12, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

We are what we do when others are not looking...the reason to vote for McCain if Barack/Barry wins the nomination, is McCain's character and courage.

Twice he refused to leave when he was being held captive, and not because he had visions of being the President when he grew up to be 70; but because as an Officer he would be released when others would be released. How many times have you heard of anyone doing something this right?

Barack/Barry has been asked to save those who he claimed to be associated with, but when he found the challenge tough he threw them under the bus...do you really think he is going to save this country before he saves himself?

He is not what we have been waiting for, he has not been honest about who he is, his associations, associates and to which country he is loyal to. Senator McCain may be a white-haired older man, but he is country first, and that is why the other guy may be a up and coming star...but I and many others know that you don't ask the understudy to do the real star's role.

Posted by: donnal1 | August 12, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama is way better then McCain on the issues.
McCain's health care plan is horrible. It raises taxes on us, and the main proposal of McCain's health care plan is to force us to stop using medical services we need. McCain thinks the problem with health care is that we have to much of it. McCain can you be any further disconnected? 16% of American's don't have health care, we need more care not less.
Obama however gets it. His health care plan moves us onto a electornic health care record system saving us 77 Billion a year. He also allows Medicare drug negotiations saving us 30 Billion a year. Obama's health care plan will not cost a dime, it will in fact give us money. Obama's health insurance plan will also reduce our wasteful inefficient health spending. Under his health insurance plan we will see our health pills drop by around 5-10%.

Posted by: Sam | August 12, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

10:47 Anonymous, what executive experience does McCain have? He's never been elected to any executive position, or held any private-sector executive position. How can you criticize Obama for lacking experience that McCain also lacks?

Posted by: Blarg | August 12, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, the first comment on this page at the bottom by Anonymous is a textbook example of the cult of personality that the GOP has been successfully employing in elections for the past few decades. The Democrat is always a pansy and the Republican is always a man's man. Obama is ego-obsessed (he even gets the word 'bimbo' in twice!) while 50 years ago McCain was valiant. He's SOLID. He will physically pummel every American enemy Chuck Norris-style. Then he will swim home across the Atlantic, pausing only briefly to throw John Kerry off his windsurfing board.

That crap would be laughable if it didn't work so effectively. Keep this in the back of your mind as you watch the various narratives unfold this season. The pattern will become self evident.

Posted by: Tim B, Dallas, TX | August 12, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

When McCain was offered the opportunity to leave Hanoi Hilton he did not take it because he knew his career in the military or anywhere else would be over. Meanwhile I understand he kept himself busy avoiding torture by continuously talking to the North Vietnamese giving them every military secret McCain had accessed to. He talked so much the North Vietnamese called him the songbird. When he was not busy having these conversations with the North Vietnamese this star celebrity agreed to star in 32 Jane Fonda anti-American propaganda films where he made statements like we deliberately bombed schools and hospitals and were a bunch of war criminals. I understand this comes from the real POW heroes that were there with McCain. I understand there was an incident on the USS Forrestal that took the lives of 134 servicemen and destroyed 72 million in military hardware that McCain's Admiral Daddy had to get him out of when he had one of his many crashes and got McCain returned to active flight duty when he should have been court martialed. It is known that only the brightest get to train as a pilot yet McCain got in despite graduating at the bottom of his class. How do you think that happened? His Admiral daddy of course. I also understand that McCain is refusing access to his military record. I understand McCain has got it so locked up that even the President of the United States would have a hard time getting a peek. Then of course there is the Keating 5 savings and loan scandal where once again McCain showed his better side costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Yet because McCain did not allegedly steal or embezzle as much as Cranston did and with some help from his rich friends he managed not to get kicked out of the Senate or be put in jail like he should have been. I do not see Obama with anything like this in his past. I also like Obama's positions on the issues better than McCain who only seems to be interested in his rich friends' well being. McCain is the kind of guy that is going to get us into a war with someone like Russia should he ever get the chance. He proved that with his extreme and one sided reactions to this flare up in Georgia and his constant ranting about Russia. Russia and China have been working with us dealing with North Korea and now Iran. How long do you think this will happen when you got someone like McCain spitting all over these countries with his false rhetoric? That is why I think Obama is far more prepared to lead this country because of he shows a more balanced approach to diplomacy. He clearly understood the situation in Georgia far better than McCain.

Posted by: Jake | August 12, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama has been defined by McCain, and Obama has just confirmed that celebrity definition with his response. McCain needs to tell us a lot more about what he would do. He needs to affirmatively define himself, while keeping up the "Rock Star" attack on his left wing rival. If McCain can successfully define himself, he can put this election on ice. Obama would be a disaster as President. Not just a poor President: a disaster on the scale of Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: Peter Parrott | August 12, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

It's ironic McCain tries to attack Obama for being well-liked.
Also ironic is how much of a projectionist McCain is. First McCain says Obama is like Bush when McCain supports Bush 95% of the time and has the same exact Bush policies. McCain doesn't even have the independence to form his own policies, he just copies. He even copies Obama's foreign policy.
Anonymous you are wrong. A poll proved that Obama supporters know more about their candidate them McCain, by double. But hey facts are facts and it looks like you're listen to McCain, meaning you're just getting lies. McCain lies in every breath, be it about Obama's tax positions, his connections to lobbyists, his advent support of Bush, or his over 80 flip-flops.
The media is slanted against Obama. A recent report showed that the media gave McCain double the positive coverage while giving Obama double the negative coverage.
Lets also include the fact that the media doesn't mention McCain's blunders and even goes to lengths to hide them. While they jump on Obama for irrelevant things and hound him for weeks on them.
CP stop lying leave that for the McCain the master liar, even bigger then his hero Bush. The fact is under Obama taxes will decrease more for 99% of Americans then under McCain. In fact McCain is juts like Bush he will cut taxes for the rich and corporations ending jobs of sees and raise them on the middle class. McCain's health care plan is just a huge tax increase that keeps increasing. Reaching a 1,000 tax increase on every member of the middle class after a few short years.

Posted by: Frank | August 12, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The ads that Obama just put out showing McSleaze in all his 'Hollywood' guest spots is brilliant. The cat calling the kettle black, so to speak. Obama seems to have learned from Kerry's mistake, hit back as soon as they throw the punch.

The real race starts after labor day, when the Olympics and the conventions are over. Just wait until old McOld starts to blubber like the old fool he is, when it comes to facts when face to face with Obama in the debates. Then the race will be shaped, not before hand.

Posted by: patrick NYC | August 12, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

My vote will be for McCain based on taxation, leadership and maturity.

Obama lacks in Executive experience. All he has done is teach in a law school and fought for civil rights in Chicago. He can deliver good speeches. And he has an array of advisors on many topics. It still discounts the fact that he had no practical experience.

Real world is lot more complex. And problems here are also lot more complex. It takes practical experience to define problems and propose solutions. Obama is as good as his advisors. He does not have his own ideas.

If he does some more service and proves himself as a Senator, and may be as a Governor for Illinois, his actions would be known better.

Without any credible actions to back his words, I would not vote for Obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

On Monday, McCain addresses the brutal, Russian invasion of Georgia... and while on vacation, Obama releases the McCain/Celebrity ad.

Puts it all in a nutshell...

Posted by: johnny7 | August 12, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I will first like to indicate that 'am an independent. McCain's recent ads throws INTEGRITY out of the window and so also my sympathy for him back in the 2000 Bush's smear campaign.
Now about tax, looks to me like Americans want to eat their cakes and still have it. Your deficits are mounting, you have about the worst and most expensive healthcare system in the developed world, your education system needs funding and your infrastructures need update and upgrade. Fixing these will only be funded in 2 ways. Borrow or sacrifice (tax). ALL reasonable economists in the land agree to this.
Nobody likes tax but when you are sick, treatment oftentimes is unpalatable. If you want a comfortable future, you deny yourself today. We all do it with our savings, 401ks, education accounts and such. I will see how Americans really think in this coming election.

Posted by: T. Ola | August 12, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

During an appearance last week in Ohio, McCain had this to say: "I will always, always, always put my country first. Except when it's politically expedient for me to do otherwise, such as when I voted to preserve waterboarding. Yes, I know I am on record as strongly supporting the Army Field Manual standard of interrogation, but over the past few years people have come to expect nothing less than jaw-dropping, mind-numbing hypocrisy from today's Republican party. And that's why I'm a strong contender for Bush's 3rd term. Now what about that prissy Obama guy, eh?"

McCain then transformed back into bat form and flew out of sight.

Posted by: Tim B, Dallas, TX | August 12, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

About this observation: "Obama's campaign is about one man while his own campaign is about the country as a whole."
This is actually counter to why Obama appeals to me. Obama is not proclaiming to be the lone maverick, but is calling upon each of us to do our part and work together to get things done. It's not about Obama. It's about us. He knows that and is trying to lead US.

Posted by: cmmoore1 | August 12, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

This is like ha ha got you back-------very childish Obama...

Posted by: carolyn | August 12, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I never understood what the hell McCain would do if he were president, and I am even more confused with these ads. The man is completely clueless, and is hopelessly out of touch with the world.

Is putting up ads with celebritards going to assist in assembling a coherent energy policy? Is arranging a TV spot mocking foreign leaders going to be the cornerstone of McSame's foreign policy? How long until he gets into a tiff with Pelosi and he drops a c-bomb on her?

Posted by: bondjedi | August 12, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

How can McCain say Obama is all about himself when the theme of his campaign has always been "Change, WE can believe in".

Posted by: Blake | August 12, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza offers, as per the usual, another utterly inept analysis. Given his complete lack of intelligence, there's only one place for him: The White House.

Posted by: Chris Cillizza | August 12, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

What if Paris ran? Would her wide reaching appeal help her get elected? Coming from a state where we elected a Professional Wrestler as our Govenor my hunch is yes, she would.

Translate that to Obama's rockstar persona & appeal & you have something bigger than just a label. You have a *winning* personality.

Watch the turnout this year.

Posted by: Sarah | August 12, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

CP's comparison of McCain's and Obama's proposed taxes has already been debunked on factcheck.org. Please research the facts first, then you won't spread lies.

Posted by: sim | August 12, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

So McCain had free room and board in Hanoi for years.

BFD.

Posted by: Abul Hassan Bani Sadar | August 12, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

CP,

That email was a hoax, and has already been debunked. Check on factcheck.org and snopes.com. None of those taxes are in Obama's plan.

John McCain's new web ad is possibly the stupidest thing I've ever seen a national candidate put out. It doesn't seem to me that insulting voters who you are hoping to win over is the smartest strategy to go with. The very definition of a leader is someone who can get people to follow him. How is it bad if millions of people like Barack Obama's message and policies ?
How is it a bad thing to have a president who people actually like to listen to?

Posted by: Atlliberal | August 12, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

McCain has long benefitted fromthe celebrity status he had from his "Straight Talk Express" of the year 2000. In fact it was the media who made him, not his own acts or positions. Going after Obama is just the act of a fading screen star angry at no long controlling the spotlight.
McCain's whoe strategy is aimed at grumpy old people (40 and older)like himself who are being pushed off the stage by a younger generation with their cell phones and You Tube and text messaging and internet and global warning and declining American position in the world and different dreams than their parents and grandparents. This election will boil down to a battle between old vs. young, past vs. future, and yes change vs. clinging to a past that is passing us by.
McCain claims Obama is an empty suit, but a wickedly popular one at that. Obama needs to push that McCain has by far the emptier heart and soul and has the emptiest of positions, as evidenced by his willingness to eject his old positions and wrap himself in the mantle of W, the emptiest headed President in centuries.
This is another election about fear, but now the fear points are age, and race and embrace of the future.

Posted by: nclwtk | August 12, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"The people who support Obama have not evaluated his actual qualifications or skills which he will need to perform the actual position"

As one of the people who support Barack Obama, I can assure you that I have evaluated the many strengths he would bring to the presidency. I have also evaluated the strengths McCain would bring and I find there is no comparison. McCain's "maverick" status derives from stands he has taken that were at odds with his own party--stands that he has reversed, hedged or blurred until he is unrecognizable from the current occupant of 1600 PA AVE.

I find the fact that Obama really can stir people with his rhetoric one of the most hopeful signs of this campaign. He is going to NEED to be persuasive to bring this divided country together. I'm afraid that what this really comes down to is a little bit of old-fashioned fear. What the McCain campaign seems to be trying to do is say "Sure, the guy gives a good speech, but we don't know if he can do the things he says he wants to do. With McCain, you don't need to worry, you KNOW what he will do"--the trouble is, what he would do is more of what has made voters so unhappy with the Republican brand to begin with.

For the record, I do NOT believe that Obama is an empty suit, and I don't think that McCain is evil, but I do believe that there is a generational change underway here. Will McCain capture enough of the fearful, older electorate to eke out a win or will Obama's message energize a whole new segment of the electorate?

I am encouraged mostly by the paucity of ideas offered by Republicans and the conventional wisdom that seems to have replaced political acumen among their ranks. The more Repubs believe that Obama only got where he did because of Affirmative Action or believe that simply because his work experience has been largely out of view of the public eye, it must be inconsequential the more they play into his hand. It was just this sort of underestimation that did Democrats in when confronted with the Bush candidacy.

Both McCain AND Obama are "celebrities"--do you want a "celebrity" president who achieved celebrity because of his ideas or a "celebrity" president who's fame rests on shoot-from-the-hip frankness that, once push has come to shove, has morphed into cranky Republican boilerplate?

Posted by: dch | August 12, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with your take on Obama being on the defensive. His ads in Ohio and Nevada are taking McCain on on local issues and are very effective. He's also way out ahead on GOTV and local field offices.

As for the hypocrisy of McCain's celebrity ads, someone had to point it out, and since the media won't criticize their bar-be-wue buddy, I guess the Obama campaign had to point out how the Rovians always accuse their opponents of being what their candidate actually is. I guess next they'll call Obama confused.

Posted by: Greg in LA | August 12, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Your observations are astute. But I question whether there is unilateral agreement on Obama being more trustworthy for the voters. His tone is less clear and decisive since the primaries. He has altered his position on several key issues. His economic policy hasn't come together. His immediate response to the Georgia conflict was vague and vacillating. He doesn't project himself as a strong leader yet. Maybe he never will.

Posted by: Sharonella | August 12, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Why isn't anyone picking up the McCain plagarism story? Portions of his speech on the Russia/Georgia conflict were lifted straight out of wikipedia...."

Perhaps this plagiarism story is neglected for the same reason our leading media neglect the implications of McCain's relationship with telecommunications lobbyist Vicki Iseman.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

The guy that approves these celebrity ads targeted on Obama comes across as an aging, fading star who is envious of the newcomer and his trenchant plans for careful change, notably to our ludicrous energy "policy" and our backward healthcare system.

Posted by: First Mouse | August 12, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't anyone picking up the McCain plagarism story? Portions of his speech on the Russia/Georgia conflict were lifted straight out of wikipedia, and yet no one seems to mind.

If it had been Obama who did this, every news organization in the country would have been all over it, and McCain would already have a "not ready to lead" ad out about it...

Posted by: oscars2212 | August 12, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Look, it's another Fix post about how brilliant the McCain campaign is, including excerpts from McCain's ads and speeches. Your "liberal" media at work.

Posted by: Blarg | August 12, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"John McCain has found a soft spot in the previously impenetrable defenses of Barack Obama..."

Yawn. This implies that Obama's polling numbers are down measurably/substantially. If I go to RCP:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/national.html
I find that, oddly, they aren't.

Try a different tack, CC. Delusional posters aside, that dog won't hunt.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 12, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

....More neo-cons creating more and more lies...."Rasmussent Reports"....pathetic propaganda baloney.......

"McCain's line of attack - attacking Obama as another bimbo-eruption celebrity - is absolute GENIUS." ....mindless moronic crapola......

...looking to get some McCaint points....

If you try hard enough and close your eyes really tight....maybe the lies the RNC/GOP fear machine will be telling truth......not likely..."my friends"....

Interview At Fox News...the RNC/GOP fact checkers must be embarrased....

WALLACE: Mr. Davis, especially that last sentence, isn't that misleading?

DAVIS: Nothing misleading about it. Barack Obama voted for a budget resolution that would have increased taxes on people, families, making $42,000. What's misleading about that?

WALLACE: Well, in fact, it only would be single people making $42,000. It would be families making over $60,000. But Obama — as you say, he voted for a non-binding budget resolution that overall talked about doing away with the Bush tax cuts.

In fact, he says, that's not his tax plan, that he supports a middle-class tax cut. And I want to put something up on the screen. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center says someone making $37,000 a year under Obama's plan would get a tax cut of $892. Under McCain's plan, they get a tax cut of $113.

"...The candidate does not speak for the campaign...."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtuTnk5hjcU

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 12, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't have much ground to stand on when attacking McCain. He's the perfect example of "the same old" Washington garbage. And his recent policy changes on just about EVERY major issue are a clear indication of what he's willing to do to fulfill his narcissistic ego.

I'm voting on tax issues since I feel like both candidates are less than weak. Here's some info I've pulled together to help make my decision.


Proposed changes in taxes after the 2008 General election:

CAPITAL GAINS TAX

MCCAIN
0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

OBAMA
28% on profit from ALL home sales

How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.

DIVIDEND TAX

MCCAIN 15% (no change)

OBAMA 39.6%

If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that 'Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.'

INCOME TAX

MCCAIN (no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)

Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750

Under Obama, your taxes could almost double!

INHERITANCE TAX

MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)

OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax

Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes.

NEW TAXES PROPOSED BY OBAMA

New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet.

New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already)

New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity)

New taxes on retirement accounts, and last but not least....

New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

Posted by: CP | August 12, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Democrats: When will you learn to say "buyer fatigue" and distrust. If you catch on before a possible roll-call, you might still pull this one out. How can you not understand that despite the yearning of America's voters for something better than Bush, a slim lead for Obama at this stage of the campaign should be sending a loud message: This empty suit cannot win! Even worse for your aspirations, Bush is likely to have a slight bump in his own performance ratings by November (since there's no way to go but up) making the crusade against McSame a lot more hollow. Don't blame your loss of the White House on race. Sure, it was a factor; but a relatively accepting American public did not reject Obama because of race...it rejected him because it couldn't trust soaring, but platitudinous rhetoric over performance.

Posted by: jayjay9 | August 12, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Your comment that Obama leads McCain in most categories of voter concerns is not very accurate. If you check out Rasmussent Reports you'll see that McCain now leads Obama in 9 out of 14 categories of voter concerns. As for Obamas celebrity as an avenue of attack, why not? Obama is a media creation and is constantly being promoted by the media. If you can't beat them join them. Drive home that point that Obama's celebrity is his only presendential qualification. Use the media's fawning glorification against him. By the way I loved the Obama Love video.

Posted by: RobT1 | August 12, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Just like Bush taking Kerry's military service and Vietnam honors and turning them into a liability. It's all about spin in a campaign like this.

And that Obama response ad was about a week late.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | August 12, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how "solid" Sen. McCain is. He seems to have a bit of a problem with remembering which end is up. Gets his information about Georgia from Wikipedia. That's sound foreign policy.

He wants to be the POTUS, and they are restricting his telephone usage, not allowing him to talk to the press that travels with him.. it's like bad kabuki theater.

Posted by: Jeanne | August 12, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

While McCain's celebrity ad attack is definitely a stroke of political genius, this does not by any means make the point that he is correct. Instead what he is doing is latching on to peoples emotional connection with celebrity, and exploiting that relationship. I think the Obama camp needs to push back just as hard that McCain himself, in his 26 years in Washington has also been somewhat of a celebrity among the Media, especially back when he had yet to sell out and was still the "maverick" Senator.

Floatingthroughmymind.blogspot.com

Posted by: James | August 12, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

McCain's line of attack - attacking Obama as another bimbo-eruption celebrity - is absolute GENIUS.

Obama is obsessed with his own ego which is hard to do.

McCain has found a way to define Obama and when a candidate is defined in a campaign it helps if it is true - and defining Obama as a bimbo-eruption is extremely accurate.

The people who support Obama have not evaluated his actual qualifications or skills which he will need to perform the actual position - their support has become a quasi-revival meeting joke.

The contrast between the two men can not be starker - when McCain was offered the opportunity to be released by the Vietnamese McCain stated "See that guy over there in that cell, it's his turn to go home first, BRING IT ON BABY I'M STAYING AT THE HANOI HILTION."

OK

Compared to a guy who has maxed out every affirmative action program he can find including democratic delegate selections, McCain is SOLID, McCain is tougher and McCain can lead this nation's economy to strength.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

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