Blog Buzz: Democrats Praise McCain in New Ad, Congressional Primary Gets Ugly, Karl Rove Gives Bad Advice, and the Weight of Debates

McCain gets odd advice from Karl Rove and releases an ad; a congressional candidate plays dirty.

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Democrats for McCain! (Not Really)

The newest ad from John McCain features prominent Democrats praising the Republican presidential candidate, including Sens. John Kerry and Joe Biden and even Barack Obama. Bloggers are quick to point out that only one of the sound bites is recent and highlight the negative responses of Howard Dean and John Kerry, who say the McCain of 2008 no longer deserves that praise. Conservative bloggers especially like Hillary's quote in the ad and say the ad demonstrates the wide base McCain has to straddle between GOP and median voters.

A Racy Congressional Election

Liberals and conservatives alike are appalled by the ugly, "race-baiting" attacks of Democrat Nikki Tinker, who will challenge liberal Rep. Steven Cohen in the Democratic primary in Memphis today. Her ad says of Cohen, who is Jewish, "While he's in our churches, clapping his hands and tapping his feet ... he's the only senator who thought our kids shouldn't be allowed to pray in school." One liberal blogger called the ad "Jew-baiting." One liberal blog notes more disturbing details about Tinker's campaign, including another ad that links Cohen to the KKK. For her efforts, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named her the Worst Person in the World on August 6 and Barack Obama condemned the attacks. Tinker's campaign apparently pulled the spot from YouTube, but don't worry, Politico's got it.

Karl Rove Gives Nonsense Advice

Liberals and conservatives and all of the above are wondering what planet Karl Rove is on after his recent advice that John McCain needs to be less private and "share more about him, especially his faith." The consensus is that McCain has offered plenty of biography and is not very religious, so Rove's advice will be hard to follow.

The Weight of Debates

Bloggers aren't buying David Broder's claim in the Washington Post that the lack of town-hall debates between Barack Obama and John McCain has resulted in a more negative, less substance-driven campaign. Michael Crowley at the New Republic gives several examples of how the argument doesn't fly, while Christopher Orr isn't happy with Broder's conclusion that Obama is more to blame than McCain.

—Gretchen Hannes