A John McCain Attack Ad I Can Get Behind

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.

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

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts