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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Three Commercials I Hope the Obama Campaign Is Working On

posted by on September 9 at 15:18 PM

That’s good news about the changing nature of the West, but that’s kinda the only good news I’ve read all day. Two bits of inauspiciousness: a Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that Sarah Palin’s popularity is taking off among women (“most of McCain’s surge in the polls since the Republican National Convention was due to a big shift in support among white women voters”) and a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey finds her popularity taking off among men (“62 percent of men questioned have a favorable opinion of the Alaska governor, nine points higher than women”). Women love her and men love her even more. Well that’s just about everyone, isn’t it?

Let’s set aside all the caveats about polls and surveys and how they can’t be trusted and young people don’t have land lines, etc., and just admit that Palin is a better choice than any of us thought, even with her clown car of issues, and that Obama really should have chosen Clinton as his running mate (laugh if you must), and that the only silver lining to all this is that competition makes you better and the Obama campaign might have been getting a little too comfortable. They’ve gotta step up their game. The Palin-is-pro-life-so-women-won’t-vote-for-her isn’t such a comforting argument considering, as a friend of mine (who is adamantly pro-choice and happens to be pregnant right now) said over the weekend, “Pro-choice women are much more willing to accept a woman being pro-life than a man because women think women should be allowed to decide.” That’s a little circular, but it’s probably true.

So what should the Obama campaign be doing with all that money we’re all giving them?

1. Make ad after ad with these words in huge letters: “Sarah Palin’s Religious Views Are More Radical Than a Fundamentalist Muslim’s.” Over, like, a photo of some Muslim radicals in a cave. The assertion isn’t just rhetorically satisfying, and a nice flip on the Obama-is-a-Muslim meme—it’s true:

On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will, and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts… Palin’s stance [on abortion] is even stricter than that of the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran…

2. Make a “Sarah Palin Is a Liar” ad. The new they’re-not-mavericks ad that pivots on the Bridge to Nowhere (“Sarah Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it”) doesn’t land. That only means something to Democratic insiders still stinging over Kerry’s defeat at the hands of “Kerry was for the Iraq War before he was against it” line—that’s too many leaps for a couple screen seconds. An average viewer is going to see that and think: She changed her mind about a bridge? Who cares? But if they make an ad about what a liar she is—she stands up there and tells the world she is a foe of earmarks after securing more earmarks per capita than any other state in the nation—and then cut to, say, footage of Bush lying to us about Iraq and an announcer saying, “Do we really want another lying Republican in the White House?”, that would go far and be perfectly justified. Because make no mistake: she’s a liar.

3. For that matter, make a “John McCain Is Lying to You, Too” ad—about his distortions about Obama’s tax cuts and the middle class. With that same footage of Bush lying and that same announcer saying, “Do we really want another Republican bending the truth for his own political gain in the White House?”

I just got yet another email from David Plouffe, and Savage is banging the penny jar obligingly, but the email Plouffe sent had that weak they’re-not-mavericks ad attached to it and, frankly, I don’t wanna give up money I don’t have for weak ads.

RSS icon Comments


Your friend is out of her damn mind. As a pro-choice woman, I am far more against a pro-life woman. I could handle a pro-life man because they don't get it, but a pro-life woman should know better than to try and place restrictions on someone's body.

Posted by SARS | September 9, 2008 3:27 PM

Thank Christ you aren't in charge of the campaign.

Posted by Just Sayin' | September 9, 2008 3:27 PM

I voted for Clinton in the "who should Obama pick as his running mate" polls.

Thank you, thank you. I'll be signing autographs at Slog Happy.

Posted by w7ngman | September 9, 2008 3:32 PM

"...frankly, I don’t wanna give up money I don’t have for weak ads."

My sentiments exactly! Bring on the big guns with all those $5.00 donations!

Posted by SDizzle | September 9, 2008 3:33 PM

I approved this posting.

Posted by Christopher Frizzelle's Enormous Whozeewhatsit | September 9, 2008 3:33 PM

The big bounce McCain has gotten is from rallying his base, not from defectors. (Evangelical approval of McCain went from 24 percent to 48 percent.) Picking Clinton would not have helped Obama--it would have rallied McCain's base (probably not as much as having Palin on the ticket does, but still).

Calling Palin a liar is probably too harsh (though true). I read this morning a suggestion that she be tagged a "fibber." (My preferred alternative would be to say that just can't help telling a "fish story"--you stretch your hands wider as the size of the fish grows upon the telling.) That sticks more easily, is not so harsh and cannot be so easily countered, but still makes the point that you're not in for character assassination, but this is not who you want as a leader of the free world. That's why "flip-flopper" worked so well against Kerry and the "exaggerations" meme worked so well against Al Gore. They didn't seem mean-spirited, but they very effectively made powerful men seem inconsequential. "Fish Story" Palin. I like it!

Posted by kk | September 9, 2008 3:33 PM

People believe the Republican lies because they want to believe them, facts be damned.
No ads based on facts are gonna change that.

If Fox News told its repulsive audience that the sky was green and grass is blue, they'd roundly condemn anyone who told them otherwise.

My armchair advice: The Obama campaign needs to retake control of the conversation and put Bush and his catastrophic failures front and center. They should show any pictures they have of Bush and McCain together over and over and over again. Even that should eventually sink in with this country's dumbest voters.

Posted by Original Andrew | September 9, 2008 3:34 PM

Damn right SARS, I want to have your aborted fetuses

Posted by vooodooo84 | September 9, 2008 3:35 PM

The land line issue is actually a valid one. Most pollsters poll via telephone. They use land lines, not cellphones. It could be assumed that a very large block of likely Obama voters are of the type that, like me and I'm sure many Sloggers, have a cellphone but see no need for a land line.

The young demographic--one that Obama can count in his column--also tend to be the ones that abandon old fashioned tech for the new hotness. I wouldn't be surprised if we could assume a +8% hidden jump for Obama with those voters in November--if they actually vote, which I'm sure they will.

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey | September 9, 2008 3:39 PM

Did you like Bush?
Then get ready for more Republican incompetence with McPain and Ailing.

more uninsured
more home foreclosures
more Iraq war

Posted by chicagogaydude | September 9, 2008 3:40 PM

Palin isn't running for president. McCain is.

The way forward is clear: FEMINIZE HIM. It worked on Kerry. It worked on Gore. They'll try it on Obama if he doesn't beat them to the punch. McCain is vulnerable: hiding behind Palin's skirts, living off his wife's inheritance, he's a kept man, he can't control his wife's (300K outfit), etc. Demean him in the eyes of the pussy-whipped GOP millions who vote based on resentment & spite.

It's sexist & horrible, but if it wins I do not give a fuck. This time, it's war.

Posted by max solomon | September 9, 2008 3:41 PM
Obama really should have chosen Clinton as his running mate

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Clinton as Obama's running mate would have roughly the same bounce affect on McCain's numbers as the addition of Palin did. Except, they would be permanent, and I don't think the Palin bounce will last.

What Obama needs to do is focus on beating the crap out of McCain. Forget Palin. Stop giving her attention already.

Posted by Mahtli69 | September 9, 2008 3:42 PM

@9 - I don't think it's wise to count on the vast "no land line" contingent to save the day come November.

Posted by Mahtli69 | September 9, 2008 3:45 PM

i think the democrats should have another convention. a 2 month one with free booze for the press.

Posted by cochise. | September 9, 2008 3:57 PM

So... Alaska got the nowhere bridge money. Except that they get to do whatever (or at least moreso) they want with the money. How is that not better than the earmark? Restricted vs unrestricted...

Posted by daniel | September 9, 2008 3:58 PM

Um... I think Obama just called Palin a "pig"...

ECB... Thoughts?

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | September 9, 2008 3:59 PM

I am finally glad to see that people are tying Palin's views to those held by Hamas, Saudi Arabia and Iran. This can win the west.

Posted by Sasha | September 9, 2008 4:02 PM

What I want is for the media (and everyone else) to stop focusing on Palin. I just saw a piece on CNN about her GLASSES. (Apparently everyone is buying a pair just like hers.) Let's get back to the issues!

Posted by WTF | September 9, 2008 4:07 PM

If someone pointed me to a 527 that was crafting extremely effective, extremely negative ads, I'd give them my cash in a second.

Posted by Time to take off the gloves | September 9, 2008 4:12 PM

@19 - By far the best ads are produced by the Daily Show.

I think Jon Stewart is already rich.

Posted by Mahtli69 | September 9, 2008 4:21 PM

#16, Obama is in Lebanon? Muslim!

Seriously though, idiom comprehension failure?

Posted by w7ngman | September 9, 2008 4:22 PM

You say that "Palin is a better choice than any of us thought," but I knew that she was a great pick from the get-go. I was a Hillary supporter & will now vote for Obama, of course, but voters are tired of boring old white men that have been in congress forever. Palin was a fantastic pick & I wish Obama had thought of it first. He needs to quit wasting time and attack her hard and attack her now. I hope he reads your blog.

Posted by REM | September 9, 2008 4:23 PM

@21: That /b/tard has been spamming every political post with that same damn link and text. You'd think he would have gotten distracted by something shiny before now, but sadly he perserveres.

Posted by Greg | September 9, 2008 4:29 PM

@16, he did not call Palin a pig. Neither was his description of stinking fish a reference to Palin and/or her swimsuit area.

Posted by spencer | September 9, 2008 4:42 PM

@24 That MAY be true. But haven't we all learned that whatever is repeated the most frequently and the loudest becomes the truth?... This sounds like exactly the kind of sound bite the Right will pick up and define for their own purpose. A misstep by Obama.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | September 9, 2008 4:51 PM

Forgive me, but as an African American, I never expected the first black Presidential candidate in history to cake walk into the White House. There may have to be more than one Obama before we see anyone other than a white man in that seat. In the end, this entire race has turned me off to the Dems, and left me disenchanted. I'm tired of watching "Progressives" pee their pants over every poll that does not show Obama up 15 points, while patting nasty Republicans on the back for having a spine. Grow up people. This is politics. One person has to lose, and yes, it might just be Obama. Obama's win means more to the African American community than many of you can ever imagine, but I know so many people who have approached this race with more than a hint of foreboding. If Black people can look realistically at Obama's chances, why can't white people? After all, you're the ones who will make or break his candidacy.

Posted by hal | September 9, 2008 5:14 PM

Oh come on. There is a difference between Palin and fundamentalist Muslims. Palin has stood by Bristol and showed that she is still proud to have her as a daughter. She did not allow the men in their family to kill or beat Bristol for soiling the family honor. People are probably responding to this show of family support and accepted responsibility in the face of perceived error. I would not vote for Palin but I think that the family is doing the best they can to live up to their ideals in the situation.

Posted by oh come on | September 9, 2008 5:19 PM


I now know why you're getting more emails from David Plouffe:

I hadn't realized till now that in addition to campaigning, Sen. Obama must fundraise as well. By rejecting federal funds his only source of immediate campaign income is private. This is definitely constraining.

Posted by lark | September 9, 2008 5:39 PM

oh come on: Yeah, there's a difference. Palin is a much bigger (potential) threat to women here and around the world if she wins.

Posted by batface | September 9, 2008 6:13 PM

Were it not for the fact of American demographics—e.g., the high percentage of Americans who consider themselves Christians—I would suggest that the Obama campaign consider blasting Gov. Palin as a rape advocate.

The logic behind this is simple:

• Presuming that the governor is, indeed, a "Bible-believing Christian",

• Accepting for the purpose of argument the proposition that life begins at conception,

• Recognizing Biblical suggestions (Psalms 51 and 139, First Samuel 2) that conception and gestation are subject to the will of God,

• Abiding by the Christian theological assertion that whatever is the will of God is good, and

• Noting that Palin's stance on abortion does not provide relief for pregnancies conceived by rape ...

... it would seem that the Republican veep nominee is obliged to respond to a logical conclusion that a pregnancy conceived by rape is by the will of God, which would seem to imply that the rape itself was an instrument of His doing. Thus, in some cases—those that result in pregnancy—rape is good.

Those inclined to attempt to quibble the difference between the rape itself and its conception are invited to review the Book of Job, in which Satan suggests that if God stretched out his hand against Job, the otherwise fortunate servant of the Lord would reject Him. God, after considering the matter, tells Satan, "Fine. You do it."

If Satan can be an instrument of God's will, there is no reason that a rapist cannot.

Palin's one way around this, of course, is to divorce her anti-abortion stance from her Christian faith; in other words, the best she can do is undermine her own integrity as a Christian.

And no, I don't think the argument will fly, given the number of Christians who simply don't wish to consider the implications of their faith in any significant terms other than going to Heaven.

Posted by bd | September 9, 2008 6:24 PM

Correction (clarification):

Damn it. Ever have one of those days when you recognize a syntactical error immediately after it becomes too late to correct it?

In my prior comment, I wrote,

Those inclined to attempt to quibble the difference between the rape itself and its conception ....

The word "its" invokes a potential ambiguity, such as the conception of the rape itself—the consideration and commitment to the act. Obviously, I should have written, "Those inclined to attempt to quibble the difference between the rape itself and the resulting conception ...."

Please accept my apologies for that error.

Posted by bd | September 9, 2008 6:30 PM

We won't support spineless NO-Bama and will re-defeat him in November !!! Go Hillary 2012 !!

Posted by clintonsarmy | September 9, 2008 6:43 PM

I love Republican trolls who wax poetic about the great Hillary and swear they're now voting for McCain because of Sarah Palin. Right.

I do think there are women out there who've not paid any attention to Palin's positions and history. They are unaware of the fact that she's a Fundamentalist Christian mouth-breather and oil industry lackey. The media must expose her and McCain to the light of day and the Democrats must define her by her actions. This is no time to be afraid of Republican accusations of sexism.

Democrats sound dispirited and need to buck up. All Palin did was read a speech that was a collection of Rush Limbaugh quotes. It's time to take her down.

If you know anyone whose thinking of voting Republican, send them this link:

Posted by Jim Demetre | September 9, 2008 8:41 PM

The poster above who said that people believe what they want to believe is right. We can't win the culture war. The middle doesn't care enough to sift through it all. They just don't.

I have read and heard comments from people who are planning to vote Republican because "Democrats raise taxes." The economy and gas prices are pressing people hard, and some number of them seem to be thinking, well, I can't afford more taxes on top of all this. Because, "Democrats raise taxes."

Obama needs to paper the airwaves with his tax cut message. No lengthy explanations of the ins and outs, extending the Bush cuts or not, just -- if your household makes under 500 grand (or whatever the precise # is, I think I've read $250 individual), your taxes will go down.

Posted by Terry | September 9, 2008 9:31 PM

Hey, have you guys seen the letter being circulated around the internets written by a politically-active citizen of Wasilla?

It's pretty damaging.... I have it at my blog...

Posted by Bill-O | September 9, 2008 11:07 PM


the post you mention is small town sour nipples

who cares... read it again, it whines then admits s
Sarah is a fighter and pushes hard

sour nipples stuff

Posted by Anna | September 9, 2008 11:31 PM

...Ya gotta love how 100,000 little Republican trolls nationwide have apparently been tasked to respond to one citizens view of Palin - every blog I read was simultaneously inundated with them trying to do damage control.

The truth hurts, doesn't it, "Anna"?

Take heart, folks, this is the smell of fear.

Posted by Mr. X | September 10, 2008 1:01 AM

I agree with people saying drop the stupid Palin thing, it's really shooting the Democrats in the foot. McCain is the one people are going to be voting for. And the objection of most Americans to Muslim Fundamentalists isn't how religious they are.

@16 Well if you look at it in context he actually didn't, but he probably should have, since she is a pig.

Posted by EmmiG | September 10, 2008 5:40 AM

When supporters from the peanut gallery start giving a campaign risible advice like this, you know the bandwagon has come to a Defining Moment.

Obama should drop everything and focus on attacking Hillary. (At least he was good at that ... agreed?)

Then remind the world how Hillary is just like Bush ... how Palin is just like Hillary ... and finally how McCain is just like Palin.

QED! Dance around hollering "McCain? FAIL!", go back to Mom's basement, get wrecked, sleep happily through the election.

It's not a perfect plan, but it's a damned sight better than the one you've put up here.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | September 10, 2008 8:08 AM

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