Saturday, October 4, 2008

October Is a Dirty Month

Now it's going to get really nasty. The McCain-Palin campaign has been steadily losing ground in the polls for almost two weeks as undecided voters grew sick of McCain's impulsive grandstanding, Palin's obvious unreadiness, and the growing economic collapse.

John McCain's campaign has not been about issues, but about the "maverick" tale, and it is not working. The obvious next move is to attack Barack Obama, and that is evidently what the campaign has apparently decided to do. Whether it will work -- or boomerang -- nobody knows, but it will surely be unpleasant.

See Michael D. Shear, "McCain Plans Fiercer Strategy Against Obama," Washington Post, 4 October 2008.

Moments after the House of Representatives approved a bailout package for Wall Street on Friday afternoon, the McCain campaign released a television ad that challenges Obama's honesty and asks, "Who is Barack Obama?" The ad alleges that "Senator Obama voted 94 times for higher taxes. Ninety-four times. He's not truthful on taxes." The charge that Obama voted 94 times for higher taxes has been called misleading by independent fact-checkers, who have noted that the majority of those votes were on nonbinding budget resolutions.

A senior campaign official called the ad "just the beginning" of commercials that will "strike the new tone" in the campaign's final days. The official said the "aggressive tone" will center on the question of "whether this guy is ready to be president."

McCain's only positive commercial, called "Original Mavericks," has largely been taken off the air, according to Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ads.

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