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Saturday, August 23, 2008

That was fast: McCain's new ad targets Biden and Obama

Maybe they had the ad prepared before Obama's VP announcement. It's a simple piece, using little more than Biden's own words against his new running mate. Biden expressed his mostly negative opinion about Barack Obama during the Democratic primary debates.

What's worse is that, while on the Daily Show (or so I gather), Biden also praised John McCain. The new ad puts the two clips side by side. Here it is:

So Biden said Obama's not ready to be president, but that he would be honored to "run with or against John McCain." Ouch. And then there's Biden's problem with plagiarism...

The New York Times' blog has a little more information regarding the ad.


Heh. Kip Esquire has some other juicy quotes from Biden up on his blog. In 2004, Biden said, "I think that this is time for unity in this country, and maybe it is time to have a guy like John McCain — a Republican — on the ticket with a guy he does like."

Biden was suggesting a Kerry-McCain ticket to beat George W. Bush in the election that year. You know, it wasn't such a bad idea, at least compared to Kerry-Edwards.

He also called Obama "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Like I said: heh.

Posted by Terrence Watson on August 23, 2008 | Permalink


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It's ads like this that are the reason candidates so often weasel out of questions that ask them to name mistakes they have made or to name something good about one of their opponents. They know that there are guys in back rooms preparing ads like this one (and I'm certain they had ads prepared in advance for all the possible running mates).

Will the ad work? With some voters, for certain. The ones who think ads are the best place to get political information and who would not understand nuance if it hit them over the head (is that a contradiction in terms?).

Many voters are dumb. Most swing voters are dumb. And candidates are more weasely than they would be otherwise precisely because voters are dumb.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-23 10:03:07 AM

FC makes a good point. But in a satirical way I always felt that the only time politicians pay any attention to us is when they want our vote.
At that point we are well informed and aware of the issues and they listen to us. Once in office we are just plain too stupid to understand the complexity of all they are doing and we are ignored as the stupid herd they truly see us as...

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-23 10:09:04 AM

Fact Check,

You're right, as usual. At the same time, however, in at least some of the Biden quotations people are digging up, he was praising McCain at a time when McCain wasn't exactly his opponent (in a different party, sure, but they weren't in direct competition.)

That in itself is significant: it looks like Biden was almost eager to praise McCain.

But yeah, given the stupidity of certain voters, it's rational for politicians to be weasely. Obama's going to learn that lesson one way or another.



Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-08-23 10:10:51 AM

"Many voters are dumb. Most swing voters are dumb."

Does this seem logical? Aren't swing voters more likely to study the issues?

Posted by: dp | 2008-08-23 10:17:40 AM

Jeez, I'm not sure I would want that Kerry-McCain ticket comment to get much attention if I were McCain. He is a little too well respected by the left for my comfort.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-08-23 10:37:19 AM


"Aren't swing voters more likely to study the issues?"

No. Most people who study the issues knew where the candidates stand a long time ago and so decided a long time ago. That the polls change from week to week is mostly because the people who are changing their minds are ones most buying in to the spin-of-the-week. It is not new knowledge on issues that moves them around.

I do think that there are some voters who study the issues and do come down somewhere in between McCain and Obama (liking one more on some issues and the other more on other issues or supporting a view different from both and not being sure which is the best available option), but there are a ton of people out there who cannot even identify Obama or McCain when shown a picture of them (as Jay Leno and Bill Maher have proved).

There are lots of people who don't bother to pay attention, and so they can be swayed by bits of nonsense campaigning. That's why smear advertising is done - it sometimes works. And let's be real here, there are also a lot of people out there who really are not very bright. Many of them might even be very nice people, but they do not necessarily have the intellect to figure out what would be a good political idea from a bad one. Those people, if they vote at all, will do so for some of the most peculiar reasons, like being swayed by smear advertising. And if one smear looks good today, a smear for the other guy might swing them back tomorrow.

Make no mistake: The election from here to November is about persuading the dumbest section of the electorate. As we get closer to the election, the IQ of the undecided pool will shrink further and further. As it does, the campaign will get stupider and stupider too. Enjoy the ride!

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-23 10:57:39 AM

Good call MJ. There was a lot of talk about that, and I'm sure it's better forgotten. Androgynous politicians don't usually make it to the top.

Posted by: dp | 2008-08-23 10:58:24 AM

I have this funny feeling that Obama chose Biden because he was the one Democratic Senator who disliked him the least.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-08-23 11:25:36 AM

Obama Bin Biden?

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-23 1:42:55 PM

Fact Check

"Many voters are dumb. Most swing voters are dumb. And candidates are more weasely than they would be otherwise precisely because voters are dumb."

Well. yes. Of course. So...what's your point? They are still dumb whether they believe Obama, Jack Layton, or McGuinty. Why are you posting such obvious irrelevancies again. Oh, yeah. I forgot. It's the ideology, stupid!

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-08-23 1:47:45 PM

Terrence said (about FC): "You're right, as usual." WTF????

Logic Chopper doesn't even know what a "swing voter" is, as his subsequent comments show. A swing voter is someone who is not committed to any party, and will switch his vote for any given election depending on the candidate who promises him the most of what he wants. Often swing voters are single-issue voters, who will stay at home unless one of the candidates makes pleasant noises about his issue.

There's nothing particularly "dumb" about that. In fact, it shows more sophistication than the average voter.

Posted by: Grant Brown | 2008-08-24 12:00:24 AM

That's what I thought, but since FC is usually right, I just assumed I'd made a mistake.

Posted by: dp | 2008-08-24 12:08:19 AM

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