Ad Wars: McCain vs. Obama

July 31, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
John McCain is poking some fun at Barack Obama in a new television ad. Obama said Republicans are talking about him because they have no new ideas. Now he has his own ad attacking McCain. The current dialogue between the campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama is comparable to a pair of twelve year olds.

An Obama supporter criticizing McCain's wearing $500 dollar European shoes, while McCain's latest television ad likens Obama to celebrities, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

According to George Stephanopoulos with ABC News, "This week they wanted to get attention. They are getting attention."

McCain is getting attention for his attack ads, but political experts say he should be careful he isn't viewed as mean-spirited. Obama, no longer hob-knobbing with world leaders, but flipping burgers with Missourians brushed the ad aside as a schoolyard tactic. "If somebody doesn't have anything nice to say about anybody, that means they've got some problems of their own," said Obama.

But experts said Obama needs to be careful as well not to appear presumptuous.

While Obama dismissed the ad, the campaign did launch a response ad.

Regardless of what they hope to achieve, there's also a political risk for both Obama and McCain. The focus of these political ads on name calling, and not issues like the faltering economy that is weighing down many Americans, runs the risk of alienating voters.

Dan Schnur, Director of Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, USC said, "It's a very fine line to walk because you want to draw contrasts between yourself and your opponent but you want voters to see that as valuable contrasting information rather than as simply name calling."

Both Obama and McCain are campaigning in the heartland, holding town hall meetings with voters. Obama is in Iowa, McCain in Wisconsin.


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