Tide of Attack Ads Rises until even Heston’s Moses Plays a Role

McCain’s attack ads continue, highlighting Obama’s real or imagined differences from ordinary Americans. A new ad called “Painful” repeats the theme that Obama is an out-of-touch celebrity like Paris Hilton or Britney Spears (see Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts). Here’s the “Painful” script:
    “Life in the spotlight must be grand, but for the rest of us times are tough. Obama voted to raise taxes on people making just $42,000.  He promises more taxes on small business, seniors, your life savings, your family. Painful taxes, hard choices for your budget. Not ready to lead. That’s the real Obama.”
   An even more widely circulated video, “The One,” depicts Obama as a politician with a messiah complex. It includes phrases from Obama’s speeches with religious overtones. “The One” even includes a cameo of the late Charlton Heston in the role of Moses parting the Red Sea.
    Take a look below:

    Obama attempts to counterattack with ads such as “Maverick,” which mocks McCain’s maverick label and argues that he is really a George W. Mini-Me. “National Priority,” continues the maverick-mocking theme by painting McCain as a Washington insider who has done little to help ordinary Americans. Here’s the first part of that script:
   “John McCain. He’s been in Washington for 26 years. And as gas prices soared and dependence on oil exploded, McCain was voting against alternative energy, against higher mileage standards.”
    If you haven’t seen “Maverick,” take a look below:


    I say that Obama “attempts to counterattack” because I think McCain’s ads are more effective and that Obama’s have not rebutted them or effectively attacked McCain’s character. I’m not commenting on the factual truthfulness of the ads or whether I like them. It just seems to me that McCain’s ads do a better job.
How are these ads working — or not working — on your attitudes toward the candidates? There are a lot of potent associations being made in these videos. I’m also interested in how you think the candidates are manipulating our values in such advertisements. Do you think they work on that level?

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