Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on October 8, 2008

There’s a new, fairly sophisticated 13-minute “advertisementary” recently dropped by the Obama campaign which seeks to keep the focus of campaign conversation on economic issues rather than inflated, dangerously untrue accusations about the Illinois Senator’s ties to “domestic terrorists.” As it’s being described, gloves are coming off, especially right before the debate tonight.

The ad may be a leap of faith as an opportunity to shut down the McCain campaign now. It can, perhaps, also insulate Obama from intensifying attacks on his character. It can also drive the campaign conversation by keeping it on the economy. That’s what the McCain camp doesn’t want.

However, there’s a risk in putting the ad out now right before the debate. Depending on how intense that debate is, it could dim the impact of the ad. Additionally, the Obama campaign wants to be careful not to engage in a constant back and forth with the opposition, or engaging in what could be perceived as negative campaigning.

The ad also has value as an Internet marketing tool, in its ability to drive a viral conversation about McCain’s record on economic issues. The way the site is set up and the sophistication of the documentary make it appear as if it’s a sleek, independent documentary film made by an unrelated third party. But, these are fairly heavy charges that can stick to McCain, particularly with the economy front and center. It’s a clever way to not only make McCain appear incompetent on the issue, but to also directly link him to the current crisis by questioning his role in deregulation. The argument, implied by the ad, is that the current economic crisis is a result of McCain’s ties to business elites like Charles Keating.


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