All It Takes Is A Little Scrutiny and A Little Prodding And The Press Will Figure It Out

Josh Marshall, yesterday:

In a sense the revelations of Mark Penn’s ‘xenophobia’ memos is old news, a post-mortem on a campaign that was all-consuming three months ago and now part of history. But seeing the memos beyond the message is instructive, highly instructive for another reason.

During the campaign there was a lot of clucking about whether the campaign’s message just accidentally stumbled on to charged words and associations. And now we can see what was obvious at the time — that the people in charge of the message weren’t sloppy and unlucky but rather what you would expect, professionals following a detailed plan.

Now how about Sen. McCain? You see his ads lining Obama up with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, a new ad with the tagline “hot chicks dig Obama” (yes, those are the actual words in McCain’s ad) and countless montages of Obama as pop music sensation. How do you think McCain’s memos read?

Only the deeply naive or the deliberately oblivious — which regrettably includes the greater number of the people covering the campaign — don’t know the answer to that question.

Jake Tapper, today:

Today’s Campaign Contest: Count the Young White Women in McCain’s Anti-Obama Video

August 12, 2008 9:30 AM

How many young white women professing adoration for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, can you count in this anti-Obama web video that the campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, was sending out yesterday?

One…two…three…four…sure are a lot of young white women in this thing….

Why do you think they put so many young white women professing their love for Obama in what is clearly an anti-Obama video? What would possibly be negative about young white women liking Sen. Obama?

And magically, the video disappears, leaving Michael Goldfarb in the lurch:

Posted at 3:08 PM on 8/12/2008 by Michael Goldfarb

Celebrities Fight Back

Obama’s celebrity friends are bringing their considerable resources to bear in this election, hosting fundraisers at their estates in Geneva, offering advice on Middle East policy, and now threatening this campaign with legal action over our latest ad, “Fan Club.”

Poor Michael. That was such good snark.

On a serious note, has a presidential campaign ever run such a ridiculous campaign? Who does McCain think he is? Shecky Greene? I half expect the next campaign commercial to be John McCain erecting a festivus pole to tell us all how Obama has let him down in the last year.

I am not a stuffed shirt, I have a good sense of humor, but the McCain campaign is just a joke, not Obama. It really is just silly and, I hate it when people say this, unpresidential.

*** Update ***

The ad is back at a different location. Apparently copyright issues and not the result of cooler heads in the McCain camp asking themselves “WTF are we doing?” Which, I guess, is not at all surprising when you have types like Goldfarb and Schmidt running the show.






55 replies
  1. 1
    rawshark says:

    Look! over there, something to distract you from the fact that McCain has nothing to offer.

  2. 2
    John Sidney McCostanza says:

    “I gotta lotta problems with you people, my friends!”

  3. 3
    BFR says:

    but the McCain campaign is just a joke

    Word. Forget about the racial stuff for a sec – McCain’s punchline in the ad seems to be ‘vote for me because my opponent is way more popular and better looking than I am.’

    This is a winning strategy?

  4. 4
    Darius says:

    Actually, the ad’s back:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIOvJ0L2Rys

    (Apparently the original version had a copyright infringement issue, with the “Wayne’s World” reference.)

  5. 5
    PeakVT says:

    Who does McCain think he is?

    A guy who thinks he can win by acting dumber than the last guy?

    There is still the possibility that it might work.

  6. 6
    Kirk says:

    I’m trying to decide which bothers me more. The “Law and Order” crowd suddenly trying to pretend copyright doesn’t matter? Or the attempt to do Harold Ford Redux?

    Hypocrites.

  7. 7
    binzinerator says:

    Well, I thought this was silly and unpresidential too. The leader of the freeworld, aspiring to a decorum suitable for a NASCAR tailgater. Redfaced and befuddled like an ordinary beer-swilling buffoon too.

    When you have a political party that celebrates ignorance, mean-spiritedness, pettiness, sophomoric put-downs, bigotry, and callousness and lauds the uncouth as folksie charm, you got a sure-fire recipe for unpresidential behavior.

    You surely understand they and their followers see that as a grace not a vice.

  8. 8
    binzinerator says:

    As for McCain’s ‘Where da white women at?” strategy…

    “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    Or overestimating their bigotry.

  9. 9
    Noah says:

    Does Obama have a giant BBQ range in his house? A BBQ range I can believe in?

  10. 10
    DragonScholar says:

    binzinerator,

    Actually, you summed it up very well. McCain’s campaign lacks any kind of presidential decorum whatsoever. It’s not just a bad campaign – it’s an UNPRESIDENTIAL campaign. What does it say about a McCain administration?

    Despite his rhetoric on Georgia, maybe McCain’s first action will be a “chicks dig Vladimir Putin” campaign.

  11. 11
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I am not a stuffed shirt, I have a good sense of humor, but the McCain campaign is just a joke, not Obama. It really is just silly and, I hate it when people say this, unpresidential.

    The North Vietnamese broke John McCain’s funny bone, my friends. Seriously.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    Pains me to have to write this; a close family member is so freaked out at the idea of a Scary Negro getting his oh so dark hands on the presidency that she fully flipped – switched parties and everything. If she had daughters she would lock them in the basement in the event of an Obama win.

    I am hoping that she is not only an exception but a rare one. But the sad fact is that there are those out there who this vile shit works on. It’s desperate. It’s unpresidential. It is flat out disgusting. But the McCain camp has obviously decided that if they can win, it’s going to be with 50% + 1, and that’s the low road they are embarking on.

  13. 13
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    When you have a political party that celebrates ignorance, mean-spiritedness, pettiness, sophomoric put-downs, bigotry, and callousness and lauds the uncouth as folksie charm, you got a sure-fire recipe for unpresidential behavior 47.5% of the vote, at a bare minimum, not including Diebold.

    Fixt.

  14. 14
    chopper says:

    Actually, you summed it up very well. McCain’s campaign lacks any kind of presidential decorum whatsoever. It’s not just a bad campaign – it’s an UNPRESIDENTIAL campaign. What does it say about a McCain administration?

    yeah, for a guy constantly decrying the popularity of his opponent mccain sure is treating this election with the vapidity and cynicism of a high-school-student-council-type popularity contest.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Pains me to have to write this; a close family member is so freaked out at the idea of a Scary Negro getting his oh so dark hands on the presidency

    I’d be a little nervous about Ray Lewis or Willie Horton becoming President too but this is cute lil halfwhite Obama, fercryingoutloud. If your close family member can’t tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones, she might be a racist. ;)

  16. 16
    blueintheface says:

    Is anyone else getting this pop-up instead of the video?

    This is a private video. If you have been sent this video, please make sure you accept the sender’s friend request.

    I guess they really want to make sure only the racists hear the dog whistle.

  17. 17
    ploeg says:

    Just so you know, cindymccaindigsobama.com is available.

  18. 18
    rawshark says:

    What does it say about a McCain administration?

    That the RNC is looking to 2012.

    The Moar You Know Says:

    Pains me to have to write this; a close family member is so freaked out at the idea of a Scary Negro getting his oh so dark hands on the presidency that she fully flipped – switched parties and everything. If she had daughters she would lock them in the basement in the event of an Obama win.

    I am hoping that she is not only an exception but a rare one

    She’s not.

  19. 19
    BFR says:

    The Moar You Know Says:

    Pains me to have to write this; a close family member is so freaked out at the idea of a Scary Negro getting his oh so dark hands on the presidency that she fully flipped – switched parties and everything. If she had daughters she would lock them in the basement in the event of an Obama win.

    I am hoping that she is not only an exception but a rare one

    Some voters are becoming R’s because they’re afraid of Obama’s race but they are vastly outnumbered by the voters become D’s because they are tired of electing blockheads.

    I’m sure your family member isn’t alone, but the GOP already has the market pretty well cornered on bigots, fundies etc. There aren’t that many left to be converted.

  20. 20

    John McCain and his campaign act like they’re running for class president…of the 3rd grade. What’s next? Ads saying Obama is a big doodie head who has cooties? I wish the American people as a whole would reject this purile bullshit but then again we got 2 terms of Bush.

  21. 21
    Ricky says:

    Once again Jake Tapper finds a reason to inject race into the campaign. And TPM keeps either ignoring what Jake is doing, feeding it, or applauding it. Amazing.

  22. 22
    Ricky says:

    Jake, of course, will not let me question him in his comments section anymore. I guess when I suggested I would rather play “Count the lobbyists on McCain’s campaign staff” that was a little to far off the race thread for ABC to tolerate.

  23. 23
    Jeff says:

    Who does Mike Myers thinks he is invoking copyright law. Damn Canuck!! and teh gay too!!!

  24. 24

    McCain isn’t running a presidential campaign; he’s engaging in performance art. The bulk of his financing is from an NEA grant. It’s a lot like having a naked woman pour chocolate on herself, except that, when your done, you have neither a naked woman nor a bunch of chocolate.

  25. 25
    croatoan says:

    I really wish Obama would start is acceptance speech with “‘Scuse me while I whip this out.”

  26. 26
    croatoan says:

    I also wouldn’t mind a little “There’s a new sheriff in town” from 48 Hours.

  27. 27
    Cain says:

    Some voters are becoming R’s because they’re afraid of Obama’s race but they are vastly outnumbered by the voters become D’s because they are tired of electing blockheads.

    +5 They’re just heading where they most naturally fit. If they are willing to switch parties for sake of race rather than their own financial benefit, then we don’t need them in the Democratic Party (or hell they shouldn’t even be independent)

    cain

  28. 28
    Tsulagi says:

    McCain’s crack campaign has picked up some real creative talent to produce this ad and a similar styled one I saw a week or two ago. Maybe the same genius talent assembled to create that conservative version of The Daily Show. They would have been available.

    How long before McCain’s ads come with laugh tracks? You know, to help out the more challenged in the R-base.

  29. 29
    skippy says:

    does mccain think he is? shecky greene?

    now you’re just insulting shecky greene.

  30. 30
    BFR says:

    McCain’s crack campaign has picked up some real creative talent to produce this ad and a similar styled one I saw a week or two ago. Maybe the same genius talent assembled to create that conservative version of The Daily Show.

    I think it’s fairly clear that the point of these ads is just to get free publicity – ie Jake Tapper to report on it in the hopes that it gets airplane on the nets later on.

    This is not a sign of a strong campaign and is probably subject to pretty diminishing returns over time.

    Who knows, maybe two months from now, McCain will have to resort to screaming the N word in front of a webcam in order to get any traction.

  31. 31
    BFR says:

    McCain’s crack campaign has picked up some real creative talent to produce this ad and a similar styled one I saw a week or two ago. Maybe the same genius talent assembled to create that conservative version of The Daily Show.

    I think it’s fairly clear that the point of these ads is just to get free publicity – ie Jake Tapper to report on it in the hopes that it gets airplay on the nets later on.

    This is not a sign of a strong campaign and is probably subject to pretty diminishing returns over time.

    Who knows, maybe two months from now, McCain will have to resort to screaming the N word in front of a webcam in order to get any traction.

  32. 32
    skippy says:

    i really wish obama would start is acceptance speech with “’scuse me while i whip this out.”

    have you gone beserk? can’t you see that candidate is a ni?

  33. 33
    Incertus says:

    Who knows, maybe two months from now, McCain will have to resort to screaming the N word in front of a webcam in order to get any traction.

    Okay, now I’d pay money to see that.

  34. 34
    BFR says:

    Okay, now I’d pay money to see that.

    It’d be a fitting denouement for movement conservatism in a way – Atwater’s explanation of the race tactics brough full circle in a manner of speaking.

  35. 35
    The Moar You Know says:

    If your close family member can’t tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones, she might be a racist.

    Yeah. She is. It sucks.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    dslak says:

    Is it leave Barry alone or leave Brittany alone ?

    I’m sure Brittany would like you to pay a visit.

  38. 38
    ploeg says:

    McCain’s crack campaign has picked up some real creative talent to produce this ad and a similar styled one I saw a week or two ago.

    McCain puts the “crack” in “crack campaign,” doesn’t he?

  39. 39
    Helena Handbag says:

    I predict that the hip, clever creators of McCain’s ads will show this telling clip of Barack Obama in their next ad:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB7tClTaQbg

  40. 40
    The Briscoe Kid says:

    So McCain is referencing Wayne’s World to show us how “with it” he is. Next he’ll be comparing Obama to that Fonzi character all the young girls are so crazy about.

  41. 41
    Kevin says:

    have you gone beserk? can’t you see that candidate is a ni?

    The sheriff is a ni- ?

    Ahh, Mel Brooks.

  42. 42
    zuzu's petals says:

    Okay, I’ve had the “he’s inexperienced” meme up to here.

    Whenever I hear a Repub foist that one off, my response will be:

    “Yet in 2000 you voted for a man who held public office for ONE HALF the time Obama has.”

    Hellllloooooo ? ? ? ? ! ! ! ! !

  43. 43
    Michael Gass says:

    Of course McCain is going “low road” now… Rove is advising him. Will it work? Unfortunately, it just might.

    The independent voters overwhelmingly spoke out in the ’06 midterms and gave Congress to the Democratic Party. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Conyers — all of them — have done nothing so far except cave to the minority GOP.

    Independents are now split between McCain and Obama. Why? Because who do you elect; a) crooks who will give you nothing, or b) cowards who do nothing to stop the crooks even as a minority?

    That is now why the “low road” may just work; some conservatives will probably stay home because of McCain, but, so will some independent voters as long as the Democrats do nothing.

    It isn’t enough to say “Obama is better than McCain” when every criminal act has gone unpunished, when every lie gets swept away with a “whatcha goin’ do” smirk, as the Democrats in Congress wring their hands in angst over how not to do anything.

    It’s almost to the point I say elect McCain, put the GOP back in control of Congress, and let this country I fought for (I’m a veteran) really go into the toilet… maybe then people will actually do something.

  44. 44
    Barbara says:

    I don’t mind that Jake Tapper is pointing this out — because Obama sure can’t. These kinds of appeals to racial tension usually work best when they are simply too subtle — so the fact that Tapper is pointing out how obvious it is probably makes it less effective.

  45. 45
    Rick Taylor says:

    What did Bill Clinton say? Something about how wonderful it would be to have Hillary Clinton and John McCain running against each other because it would be such a respectful event?

  46. 46
    jbarntt says:

    Funny thing, McCain uses footage of an Obama campaign event and it is racist because there are white women in the audience. It’s racist that some white women support Obama ?

    Sounds like something a Democratic senator from NY might have said ! Democratic identity politics is an interesting thing.

    Perhaps McCain should have emailed the Obama campaign in this manner:

    Dear Barack,

    We need footage of you speaking to a large audience, but all we can find includes white women, and we wouldn’t want you to play the race card on us, so please do an event where you exclude white women. Feel free to make an exception for Muslim white women who can be found under your bus.

    Best Regards,

    John

    LOL

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Original Lee says:

    Bother. I guess my first click didn’t work or something. Anyway, that link is to Obama’s rebuttal ad.

  49. 49
    dslak says:

    Shorter jbarntt: Dog whistle? I don’t even know what kind of animal a dog is!

  50. 50
    Bedlam UK says:

    Ah Kevin, I was just thinking of that Mel Brooks scene.
    Bloody funny stuff.

    I think McCains been watching some classic movies to get his ideas.

  51. 51
    Xenos says:

    McCain’s people are from a deeply cynical generation of GOP insiders who, like Jonah Goldberg, think some pop-cultural references can cover for a lack of expertise, understanding of political philosophy, and mental discipline. They are being clever in the American sense of the word, not the British sense of the word.

    If McCain is relying on them for anything more than web-video production he will be in serious trouble once the battle is truly joined in September.

  52. 52
    dbrown says:

    As Cleavon Little (as Bart) in Blazing Saddles says to the KKK members (McSame) “Where are the white woman?”

    I guess even Mel Brooks couldn’t, thirty-four years ago, realize that repubics would still use such a low raod; worse, know that it would still work!

    I don’t know which is worse – McSame and his sick repubics or the so-called independent voters who believe that fucking shit.

  53. 53
    harlana pepper says:

    Has the Josh Marshall article been pulled? When I click the link, I’m taken to the TPM site but says “File not found.”

  54. 54
    harlana pepper says:

    The McCain ads grow increasingly juvenile and petty, like some middle school kid who is jealous of a more popular rival. It’s very silly and really reflective of the mentality they’re trying to appeal to. These ads and McCain’s constant griping are the epitome of the depths to which republicans have sunk in their desperation to hold on to power. It’s quite a spectacle, like watching Sean Hannity drink the cartoon alum and his head starts shrinking and his voice turns more desperate, squeakier, shreikier, and finally, more distant until it just disappears.

  55. 55
    harlana pepper says:

    Of course, all this is irrelevant, since the shit-hole republicans have put us in over the last eight years will be constantly and consistently blamed on the Dems. Give ’em till December.

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