Ad Roundup: Trying to Connect McCain with Bush, Obama's Celebrity Fan Club, and McCain as Washington's Own Celebrity

Obama issues new aggressive ads, while the candidates trade celebrity charges.


This week, the Obama campaign became more aggressive with its advertising, even releasing a handful of attack ads. The McCain campaign continued to drive home its argument that Obama is all celebrity and no substance—and he'll also raise your taxes. For both, the economy was again the big issue.

Barack Obama: "Book"
John McCain's campaign has already put out a slew of attack ads, and some Democrats were worried that Barack Obama's campaign wouldn't hit back. They have, in part with this ad that debuted on August 12. "Book," which will run in 16 battleground states, tries to connect McCain with the Bush record, and also to link the slumping economy to the war in Iraq. It shows pages of a fictional book, titled "Economics by John McCain." While the ad focuses on the all-important issue of the economy, it refrains from attacking McCain over his many ads poking fun at Obama's celebrity status.


John McCain: "Fan Club" (Web Only)
On the same day that the Obama camp released "Book," the McCain campaign released this Web-only ad that continues to poke fun at Obama's celebrity status. In this one, viewers are asked to join "the One's" fan club here in America—after seeing him in London, Paris, and Berlin. "The perks are amazing," the ad says, attacking Obama's tax policy and calling the Democrat a rock star. It also shows clips of Obama enthusiasts. "What I love the most about him is that he has very soft eyes," one girl gushes. Another fan equates Obama to the band U2's lead singer, Bono. "Even though he doesn't have much experience, and he's not ready to lead, that doesn't mean he can't be dreamy," the ad concludes.


Barack Obama: "Embrace"
Obama punched back at McCain in this ad, which turns the term "celebrity" on its head. "For decades he's been Washington's biggest celebrity—John McCain," the ad says, showing a McCain appearance on ABC's The View and on CBS's Late Show With David Letterman. "And as Washington embraced him, John McCain hugged right back," it continues, with a shot of the Republican candidate hugging President Bush. The Obama ad calls out McCain for having "lobbyists running his low-road campaign" and for giving millions in tax break to oil and drug companies. It also tries to portray McCain as a flip-flopper. The Obama camp is attempting to label McCain as the Washington establishment's "celebrity" candidate, hoping that this charge will stick.


John McCain: "Painful"
In this ad, the McCain camp attempts to drive home one simple point—Obama will raise your taxes. It starts again by depicting Obama as an out-of-touch celebrity, seen in stadiums and on magazine covers. Then, it goes through all the groups of people that the McCain camp claims his tax increases could affect, from seniors to families. "Painful taxes, hard choices for your budget, not ready to lead...that's the real Obama," the ad says.