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McCain Ads Jab at Obama
August 4, 2008

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

One of the marks of a great boxer is the combination punch.

You know - the “old one-two,” - when a couple of punches are delivered in rapid sequence. The boxer hits his or her opponent, and while the rival is still defending one punch, he or she is hit with another.

The McCain campaign just may have some former boxers on staff because a series of campaign combo jabs and uppercuts have been unleashed, and they seem to have left the Obama campaign reeling.

First, there was the ad that criticized Obama for passing on a visit to wounded troops but still taking time to shoot hoops. Before the Obama campaign and media friends could explain, the McCain crew released a second jab with a spot that put Obama into the Paris Hilton/Britney Spears category.

Against the ropes, Obama's spokespeople couldn’t even get their counterpunch words together when a third punch came their way. It arrived in the form of an ad that ridiculed Obama’s characterization by some in the media as a messianic figure, and included the idea that he was the “one” who “anointed” himself to lead the world.

That’s when I thought I heard Bill and Hillary chuckling. Something that’s providing a lot of folks with chuckles is a GOP campaign parody.

For months now, the mainstream media have been starstruck over presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Newsarazzi capture his every move. Town halls are celebrity-style junkets. And hitting the campaign trail means going on a world concert tour. Strategists at the Republican National Committee are apparently unimpressed with the star’s celebrity status.

As a matter of fact, they’ve created a questionnaire in the form of an Internet “Celebrity Quiz,” and it has the potential to turn Obama’s hyper-inflated fame into a political negative.

The title of the GOP survey is “Who Said It? Celebrity Edition,” and the visuals on the site look just like celebrity surveys that appear all over the Web.

The underlying tone, however, is one of a smirk, and consequently Obama is given a powerful poke. For example, Web site visitors are shown the quote, “I can play on this level. I got some game.” They then click on the bubble next to one of four names: Ryan Seacrest, David Beckham, Barack Obama, or Mariah Carey. If incorrect, a Barack sporting sunglasses tells them via a cartoon bubble, NOPE try again. or YES YOU CAN try again, or CHANGE your answer.

Mistakes eventually lead participants to a Barack with a dazzling smile telling them via a cartoon bubble, CORRECT!

Another quote has Web site visitors trying to figure out who said, “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?" Is it Cameron Diaz, Barack Obama, Jessica Biel, or Matt Damon?

Personally, I’m still trying to figure out what the heck you do with arugula.

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Copyright © 2008
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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