The John McCain ad starts out with images of America in 1968, the so-called Summer of Love, and moves halfway across the globe to tell us that he was gettin' busy with some hot-and-steamy love of country back then. Of course, he ended up in a Hanoi Hilton and was forced endure unspeakable Guantanamo torture tactics at the hands of his captors. We know.
The thirty-second spot then lets the American electorate know the world is a dangerous place, and that our economy keeps going down like Ted Haggard at a meth party. We know.
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But then the narrator drops one on Barack Obama by simply uttering a single word with an almost imperceptible hesitation after it: "John McCain doesn't always tell us what we hope (pause) to hear." And with that slight sleight, the McCain campaign has offered up the first attack in an ad that I can remember that didn't make me want to shake the nearest infant.
In mocking the monosyllabic slogan of McCain's Democratic opponent, the Arizonan's ad team launched a subtle attack on the youthful optimism that has spread like wildfire through the ranks of Obama supporters and implied that what America needs is the kind of hard-headed pragmatism only an old white guy can deliver. But by political standards, it's subtle. Almost civilized. The kind of attack ad that gives its audience some credit for having a little bit of intelligence and awareness. Could this be the election that brings tact back to presidential politics? Probably not -- but as a Barack supporter, I'm glad to see that Karl Rove seems to have come nowhere near this contest yet.
Find the ad by clicking "More." -- Sean Cronin