Thursday, June 19, 2008

2004 is not 2008

The media continues to talk about the electoral map as though it's 2004. We hear that Obama is in trouble because he's behind in some polls in Florida or Ohio or Pennsylvania. That's like analyzing the Lakers-Celtics series as though Magic and Larry were still playing. It's a whole new ball game now. To put it even more in perspective, here are some of the other things that were true in 2004.

"You can't have him"

Sorry about the light posting; my other life has me distracted. I've been meaning to write about the MoveOn ad since I first saw it on Tuesday. In case you haven't seen it, here it is:

I sat in silence for a few moments after watching this initially. The ad is nothing if not powerful. But is it fair? And if it is, is it smart politics? My answer to both questions, after two days of thought, is yes. That probably isn't surprising given my past writings on McCain's "100 years" and "not too important" comments.

The ad is personal, and given the response from others that watched the ad in my presence, it is too personal for some. The idea of a webcam video, filmed in a new mother's bedroom makes it even more effective. The tone, though, is what makes the ad really work. The mother is joyful about her son, not angry at McCain. She is confident, not defensive. She is saying enough is enough.

Those who think McCain's comments have been taken out of context will surely cry foul at the ad, but they will be wrong. MoveOn has used the exact context of McCain's quotes and pushed back. He said that it doesn't matter if troops are in Iraq, so long as they aren't being killed. This ad shows that it clearly does matter; it clearly is "important."

My thoughts on the ad aren't surprising, but I would love to hear other people's views. To me, the ad goes to the heart of what this short general election has been about. It highlights the flawed McCain foreign policy strategy. And it's sure to pull at people's emotions. So, take a minute and give your thoughts. Does the ad work, and if so, why?