Friday, August 22, 2008


Houses In Motion

Talk about a game-changer. No sooner does it look like Obama might be limping into his convention, on the defensive over "celebrity" and falling poll numbers, than John McCain gives him a gift from the gods.

What was most impressive is how quickly the Obama camp turned McCain's, "I don't know how many houses I have into an attack ad:

The McCain camp responded quickly as well -- with an ad pointing out Obama's mortgage signed with the help of now-convicted embezzler Rezko:

Sorry, but Obama wins this exchange: First, his speaks directly to an issue high in voters mind -- the economy. Secondly, it uses McCain's own words against him. Third, there is the snarky, "McCain became confused; he couldn't remember." line which makes him seem "out of touch" in a way more damaging than just economically.

McCain's ad, on the other hand, looks too "generic" -- much like any other political ad: It's a character slam against Obama that requires too much information for the viewer to immediately assess. Furthermore, it doesn't have the light touch that the "celebrity" ads have accomplished.

Worse for McCain, the gaffe has also sparked multiple press stories examining his and Cindy's wealth -- including a Politico story "correcting" the Democrats, by saying that the McCains actually have eight, not seven homes. And as Ben Smith notes, McCain risks danger by again going to the POW well as an attempted rhetorical shield to ward off any criticism.

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