McCain ad: “3 AM”

posted at 7:22 am on August 26, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

We knew this was coming, didn’t we? With John McCain essentially recycling Hillary Clinton’s questions about Barack Obama’s experience, the 3 AM question runs as the subtext of all of these ads. Why not make it explicit?

CLINTON AD: It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?

ANNCR: Uncertainty. Dangerous aggression. Rogue nations. Radicalism.

HILLARY CLINTON: I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And, Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

ANNCR: Hillary’s right. John McCain for President.

Presidential candidates have plenty of material on opponents from primary challengers questioning their policies and previous votes, at least when they aren’t running against an incumbent President (who rarely get serious primary challenges). People point out that Obama can make similar ads if McCain picks Mitt Romney as his running mate. However, the difference is that Hillary didn’t attack Obama on policy, primarily because there wasn’t much difference between them in that sense. She attacked his readiness for the office and his experience — even though there wasn’t really all that much difference between them in those areas, either.

Whether Hillary wants to see herself starring in these ads or not, her statements speak on the record to the unreadiness of Obama to assume this office. McCain can make these statements directly with some impact, but undoubtedly Hillary’s statements will have more, because it’s a statement now against interests. Even when made against Obama as an opponent, it resonated sharply enough with Democrats that Obama only won a handful of the final 20 or so contests in the primary and barely made it to the convention with a lead.

Had Hillary used this strategy from the beginning, she would have won the nomination handily over Obama. Instead, she didn’t start attacking Obama until it was too late. McCain isn’t making that same mistake, and he’s not only using the most effective attack, he’s using its most effective spokesperson.


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a gold mine of material for commercials..

DaveC on August 26, 2008 at 7:27 AM

I like it – a lot.

Strange that Hillary isn’t complaining that McCain take her name out of his ads. Or maybe it isn’t.

stenwin77 on August 26, 2008 at 7:28 AM

Does anyone think Hillary (and Bill for that matter), will now repudiate every single attack they have made on Obama? Good luck with that.

m064404 on August 26, 2008 at 7:29 AM

It sure works…

twiggman on August 26, 2008 at 7:32 AM

You know, I suspect Hillary is laughing at this one too.

Oh this is good.

Marine_Bio on August 26, 2008 at 7:33 AM

Hillary, you magnificent bastard!

*Hehehehehe!*

hillbillyjim on August 26, 2008 at 7:33 AM

Great ad and it hits the nail on the head. Obama and his minions will probably issue threats to pull it off the air. We can’t be critial of the Obamessiah.

guitarplayer on August 26, 2008 at 7:36 AM

I hope these don’t backfire when Hill/Bill gives the unity talk this week.

p40tiger on August 26, 2008 at 7:36 AM

Great ad and it hits the nail on the head…

guitarplayer on August 26, 2008 at 7:36 AM

and pitch-perfect timing.

(Of course, somebody’s gotta question the timing)

hillbillyjim on August 26, 2008 at 7:40 AM

It’s almost like Hillary is a part time running mate for Johnny Mac. Is she going to speak at the GOP convention?

ApartforHaShem on August 26, 2008 at 7:43 AM

This is going to leave a mark.LMAO marines for mccain semper fi

Marines for Mccain on August 26, 2008 at 7:45 AM

racists… i’m callig the justice department on you. wah

billypaintbrush on August 26, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Great ad. Team McCain continues to make the Obamatons look like amateurs.

JammieWearingFool on August 26, 2008 at 7:46 AM

I’m gonna have a great day now just because of that. Thanks for posting it.

boomer on August 26, 2008 at 7:46 AM

McCain’s going off-narrative with this ad. The narrative McCain needs to go with is not “he’s not ready” — that was Hillary’s. Yes, it strikes a chord, but it isn’t HIS. The narrative McCain needs to go with is the one that’s working really well for him: that The One is a leftist empty suit who is corrupt and loathes America.

- Britney / Fawning Press
- Ayers/Wright/Rezko/Pfleger/etc.
- Michelle’s “I hate America” Rants
- Statements on Iran, Russia, etc.

That’s what wins — not recycling Hillary’s 3:00 am ad to needle the Dems.

Outlander on August 26, 2008 at 7:49 AM

Solid ad. McCain is finally acting like he wants to be POTUS.

sheesh on August 26, 2008 at 7:51 AM

McCain’s going off-narrative with this ad.

No he isn’t. This clever ad simply adds texture and nuance to the message. It is all of a piece.

hillbillyjim on August 26, 2008 at 7:58 AM

This is a really good ad. I kept saying that the right wouldn’t need to look farther than the materials handed them by the left in the primaries..

Effective!

Pam on August 26, 2008 at 8:01 AM

Yes, it strikes a chord, but it isn’t HIS.

I don’t care if Michael Moore said it first. If it resonates negatively for the Obama, it can only serve to benefit McCain.

hillbillyjim on August 26, 2008 at 8:02 AM

Very effective ad, especially for John McCain’s base who want to see some teeth in the old lion’s mouth.

Maybe that was McCain’s bid all along; sing the Peace and Love chorus to lure a sleepy-headed candidate into false security, and then gouge his eyes out.

I love the smell of battle in the morning!

Joan of Argghh on August 26, 2008 at 8:04 AM

I blew cheerios all over my screen when I heard the words “Hillary’s Right.” Effective ad? Yes, and I’m surprised at the speed by which the McCain campaign is pumping out these ads.

smfoushee on August 26, 2008 at 8:12 AM

Were it not for his support if illegal aliens and the rape of America by illegals via social handouts, I would vote for him to save the GOP.

As it is, I’m sitting this one out.

God Save the Republic.

madmonkphotog on August 26, 2008 at 8:17 AM

It is a great ad that targets Obama’s waffa thin resume without attacking an entire party’s supporters.

Message to all Hillary supporters: Come to our side; we won’t taunt you the way the obnoxious kids… OOPS, I mean Obamanuts do. Grownups welcome.

Laura in Maryland on August 26, 2008 at 8:23 AM

The commercials write themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!

flytier on August 26, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Great ad. This one will help get the SOB gone gone gone. Play it loud!

james hooker on August 26, 2008 at 8:30 AM

He’s not ready, is just a variation of the empty suit charge.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 8:30 AM

I live in the People’s Republic of Illinois, who I vote for was predetermined by the Commissar. I have to find a more palatable candidate for my conscience.

But I think Mac wins this one going away. Obama isn’t getting a bounce at all in over-nights. No one is watching the party conventions because they are nothing more than 3 hour long pre-paid ads.

JP1986UM on August 26, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Were it not for his support if illegal aliens and the rape of America by illegals via social handouts, I would vote for him to save the GOP.

So you believe that Obama will kick the illegal aliens out?

Don’t look now, but the illegals are leaving on their own.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 8:32 AM

I’m surprised at the speed by which the McCain campaign is pumping out these ads.

smfoushee on August 26, 2008 at 8:12 AM

They all have a similar style, which probably reduces production time, and mostly involves pasting together clips and voice overs.

I think this is a good strategy. Rapid response is valuable in politics. The ads are establishing a brand and image so that people begin to recognize what ads are from the campaign. A 527 that rolls their own ad will be different enough to make it easier to for the McCain campaign to distance themselves from it.

BryanS on August 26, 2008 at 8:32 AM

I suspect that viewership will pick up in the next few days as the major players start giving their speeches.

If there is a floor vote on the nominee, I think interest will jump dramatically.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Kudos to the McCain ad team. They are aggressive and very reactive. Keep the pressure on.

Towash on August 26, 2008 at 8:40 AM

This is how to defeat the Dems. Use their own words against them. How soon before someone yells, “out of context!”?

Bigfoot on August 26, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Oufff… Hillary really, really, really didn’t think she was going to lose this one.

Seixon on August 26, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Great ad. Certainly a better version of the 3 AM ad.

jencab on August 26, 2008 at 8:49 AM

HILLARY CLINTON: I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And, Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

Best line of the primaries, and good for Mac to run with it.

Buy Danish on August 26, 2008 at 8:49 AM

Solid ad. McCain is finally acting like he wants to be POTUS.

sheesh on August 26, 2008 at 7:51 AM

That’s the way you need to act to show you want to be the President of the United States?

mycowardice on August 26, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Hillary’s response to these ads?

“I’m Hillary Clinton and I don’t approve of this ad”

(Under her breath: “not in public anyway”)

In any case, unless she completely repudiates her primary comments (and wouldn’t THAT be fun to watch???) it’s too late.

rotorhead on August 26, 2008 at 8:56 AM

Hillary couldn’t figure Obama out initially. Everything changed, though, when the Wright tapes appeared, followed by his SF fundraising comments.

Thankfully, she didn’t get things figured out until it was too late. Hillary would’ve been the tougher candidate. As I point out here, Hillary’s supporters will cause Obama lots of heartache.

LFRGary on August 26, 2008 at 8:58 AM

A year ago would any of us have bet that Hillary Clinton would become a hero of the McCain campaign and its most effective spokesman? Would any of us have even thought it possible that we would be cheering her on the way we are now?

Hillary Clinton – hero of the Right!!! What a strange political year indeed!

t.ferg on August 26, 2008 at 8:58 AM

This election may very well come down to which candidate can win the disgruntled Hillary voters.

Obama is pissing them off at every turn and McCain is reaching out to them.

Elizabetty on August 26, 2008 at 9:00 AM

The best part of this ad is the fact it is coming during the DNC convention and essentially poking a stick at all the Hillary supporters.

highhopes on August 26, 2008 at 9:02 AM

JP1986UM:
It’s the FIRST SOCIALIST STATE of ILL-annoyz.
Do NOT forget it Comrade.
Btw-I was just on your site .
So you’re a “southlander”, huh?
I grew up in U.P.(Crete-class of ’88).
I live on the nort’side of Chi now.
It’s not an improvement.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 26, 2008 at 9:06 AM

As said more effectively by others in these comments, I doubt Hillary is going to go out of her way to dull the edge of the ads using her Primary words against The New Christ Obimbo. She’s got her eye on ’12, and wants Barry Softcock to lose badly. She wants him to flail like a fly in the spider’s web, after which she’ll devour him and leave his dessicated corpse twisting in the wind. As far as the Black Widow is concerned, the enemy of her enemy is her friend.

mr.blacksheep on August 26, 2008 at 9:12 AM

One of the better ads. McCain ad campaign is getting better. He is aiming these at the Clinton supporters because he plans to take those Democrats.

RAH on August 26, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Ahhh… just prooves that McCain CAN and DOES Reach across the isle… this time for ad material… LOL

Romeo13 on August 26, 2008 at 9:29 AM

The BHO ads write themselves. He has no experience and no common ground with most Americans.

While boys his age were in little league playing baseball he was Indonesia learning to recite prayers from the Koran in Arabic.

Can’t wait to see that commercial.

Is this significant ? Maybe, maybe not.But it is a fact.

His childhood was FAR removed from the typical american experience.

They are trying to re-write his personal history to fit the narrative.

It is weak and it won’t work.

DeweyWins on August 26, 2008 at 9:31 AM

HILLARY CLINTON: I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And, Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

Not, “that he can bring” but “that he will bring”

Love the Freudian slip. She knew, deep in her heart, much as she wanted it to be otherwise, that of those three, McCain is most suited to take the White House.

inviolet on August 26, 2008 at 9:35 AM

madmonkphotog on August 26, 2008 at 8:17 AM

I will never understand this kind of thinking. Like Obama is not going to support illegals or give them handouts. If you hated Juan McAmnesty, wait until you get a load of Barack Openborders.

I have liked McCain’s ads so far. I do hope however that once McCain has sufficiently bloodied Obama’s face, he starts running ads that give people a reason to vote for him instead of against Obama.

Kafir on August 26, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Hillary knew what she was doing when she made all these acidic comments in the primary. She knew even if she didn’t win, John McCain would find them very helpful. They were insurance for her 2012 run should things go badly in ’08.

amkun on August 26, 2008 at 9:36 AM

The script of this campaign just writes itself.

RogerOnTheRight on August 26, 2008 at 9:40 AM

This ad is as good as the daisy ad in 64. I am amazed at the McCain guys kicking ass this early.

More popcorn PLEASE!! Oh, this is going to be fun

Kempermanx on August 26, 2008 at 9:41 AM

…Barry S——k…

mr.blacksheep on August 26, 2008 at 9:12 AM

There’s no need for that kind of language. Unless you’re deliberately giving the Kossacks ammunition.

The Monster on August 26, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Beeeeeautiful!

This ad works on so many levels. Keeps those Hillaryites pissed off that she lost out to the empty suit, and reminds them that Hillary really likes John McCain. Reminds undecided voters that of the three major candidates in this race at the beginning of the year, the Democrats picked the least qualified one. Keeps the unrest in the world at the front of the campaign while Democrats are trying to get back to talking about the economy.

rockmom on August 26, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Nice.

CP on August 26, 2008 at 9:54 AM

The enemy of my enemy, may not be my friend, but she can be my ally. For now.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 9:57 AM

This is why McCain should pick Hillary.

Imagine Hillary’s speech going something like this:

I had prepared comments for tonight about unity and change; but McCain just called me up and asked me to be his Vice President – something this party never bothered to do, even after xx years of service, half the delegates during the primaries and millions of enthusiastic supporters. I’ve graciously accepted, so I’m taking my 18 million votes and supporting McCain. Obama can shove it.

Would Obama’s speech matter after that? All he could do is hummina hummina hummina for the rest of the week.

Cut to commercial.

McCain ad is simple:

PWN3D. I’m John McCain and I approve this message.

It’d be awesome!

lorien1973 on August 26, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Kafir on August 26, 2008 at 9:36 AM

There seems to be a strong streak of Puritanism in American politics that I don’t see elsewhere.

Unless a politician fits your agenda, 100%, you dump on him.

The more extreme one’s view of politics, the more prone to this you are.

You see it in hard core leftists. You see it in hard core rightists.

In my opinion, it’s attitudes like this that are the biggest problems with the Libertarians.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Great ad, although McCain should have waited two more days before airing it, until Obama officially wins the nomination. You never know whether Hillary might drag out the roll-call vote, and since neither candidate has enough pledged delegates to win, the super-delegates might bail on Obama and nominate Hillary.

But going after Hillary voters is a good strategy. If McCain can pick up about 20% of them, he wins the election. Obama’s biggest weakness is his inexperience, and letting a Democrat (Hillary) point it out is devastating.

Steve Z on August 26, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Even if McCain were suicidal enough to pick Hillary, there’s no way Hillary would accept the nomination.

The Republicans would never, and I do mean never, nominate her as president, no matter how loyally she may serve McCain.

After such a move, the Democrats would never take her back.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 10:03 AM

The best part of all is that if Hillary’s ads help to torpedo Obama, they may also torpedo her future presidential prospects, at least for a few years. They might even torpedo her reputation in New York if the ads are run there. (Or they might just blow up in McCain’s face if they are run in New York; hard to tell.)

njcommuter on August 26, 2008 at 10:04 AM

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 10:03 AM

No doubt; but in 8 years, Hillary ain’t gonna be nominated anyways. She’ll be like 68 or something right? This is the last shot, unless Obama loses.

lorien1973 on August 26, 2008 at 10:06 AM

The truth hurts, but Hillery is being truthful in this ad and body language says she is telling the truth and believes it.

MSGTAS on August 26, 2008 at 10:07 AM

The closest Obombem ever got to making a 3 a.m. decision is to wake up and hit send on his blackberry to announce Bribem is his choice for V.P. (virtual pet).

MSGTAS on August 26, 2008 at 10:09 AM

The Monster on August 26, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Please accept my apologies if you were offended; the intent was humorous, admittedly the execution was a little weak.

mr.blacksheep on August 26, 2008 at 10:15 AM

At the Repub Convention, each state’s sign/pole should have an empty suit (same type O always wears) on a hanger attached to it…

Slimm on August 26, 2008 at 10:24 AM

Of course McShame is up at 3AM…he goes to bed at 4PM right after his early bird supper at the VFW hall. Sorry NeoCons…this fear campaign won’t work for you in the fall. The voters don’t want any more myserious hunts for WMD, or radical terrorists, cave-dwelling thugs or even shadowy killers. The curtain has risen and your little parade is coming to an end in about 2 months.

DanKenton on August 26, 2008 at 10:27 AM

lorien1973 on August 26, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Hillary’s angling for 2012, she’ll only be 64 then.
Besides, if McCain wins, she’ll be running against a 76 year old. She’ll look like a spring chicken against him.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 10:28 AM

DanKenton on August 26, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Do we always get a rush from the paranoia brigade everytime enrollment is opened up?

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 10:29 AM

I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And, Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

Does anyone have a link to the question that answer was ask which this answer was a response to?

JeffinSac on August 26, 2008 at 10:35 AM

No wonder BO is bitter at Hillary.

jgapinoy on August 26, 2008 at 10:39 AM

McCain’s ads are on fuego. They are kicking butt. Keep it up!

John the Libertarian on August 26, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Excellent ad. The McCain team has been very impressive lately. First “Debra” telling Hillary supporters it’s OK to vote for McCain and now McCain saying “Hillary’s right.”

Message: Welcome, PUMAs. We’re glad to have you.

MarkTheGreat on August 26, 2008 at 10:28 AM

The paranoia brigade has always been with us. They’re disproportionately loud n’ screamy, being the One True Keepers of the Truth and all. They’ve been feeling a little lost and unfocused since that whole blimp thing fizzled out, if you know what I mean.

Gilda on August 26, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Please accept my apologies if you were offended; the intent was humorous, admittedly the execution was a little weak.

mr.blacksheep on August 26, 2008 at 10:15 AM

I’m not “offended” by such language. Hell, I can curse like a sailor. But a comment like that doesn’t help us, and will be used by the other side to paint everyone here as racists. If depictions of “phallic symbols” such as the Tower of Pisa are “coded” references to frighten people over black male sexuality, your little gem requires no decoding.

The Monster on August 26, 2008 at 10:50 AM

I think McCain just needs a good swiftboat ad campaign and be done with it.

You know, really connect the dots on Obama’s connections to extreme socialists and radicals. I’m sure there’s a Soros connection out there somewhere.

Of course the liberals would hate on John as much as they did Bush, but they’re going to do that anyway aren’t they?

Goodeye_Closed on August 26, 2008 at 10:51 AM

This ad is schweeeeet!

Especially in the wake of the Russian invasion of Georgia. That was a real 3 am call, that Glibama blew completely…

Hillz-a-poppin!

RocketmanBob on August 26, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Run this again, and again, and again- a perfect political ad that will resonate with the base and the undecided.

jjshaka on August 26, 2008 at 11:06 AM

McCain/Clinton ’08?

factoid on August 26, 2008 at 11:19 AM

I really think pundits haven’t been giving the McCain campaign enough credit for knowing what they’re doing. These ads over the past summer have been great.

irishspy on August 26, 2008 at 11:27 AM

DanKenton: your tinfoil hat has sprung a leak…..rofl!

ex-Democrat on August 26, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Ahhh… just prooves that McCain CAN and DOES Reach across the isle… this time for ad material… LOL

Romeo13 on August 26, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Priceless!!

leftnomore on August 26, 2008 at 12:31 PM

Strange that Hillary isn’t complaining that McCain take her name out of his ads. Or maybe it isn’t.

It’s VERY telling. Excellent point.

CliffHanger on August 26, 2008 at 12:37 PM

In the words of Rush, “right on, right on, right on”

rtsidedragon on August 26, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Hammering the point home. Hit Obama where it hurts. Right on, McCain.

Xolom on August 26, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Gotta love it!
.
The liberals are such back-biting dweebs they provided an entire campaign season worth of material against their own.
.
I’m glad McCain’s people are paying attention and coming up with some good ads…

stacman on August 26, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Strange that Hillary isn’t complaining that McCain take her name out of his ads. Or maybe it isn’t.
It’s VERY telling. Excellent point.

CliffHanger on August 26, 2008 at 12:37 PM

.
Hillary isn’t as stupid as she looks. She knows if Barack Hussein wins it’ll be at least eight years before she gets another chance. Between her an Willy, that’s a lot of time for them to be roaming free, and getting in trouble again. So she’d never succeed in a run then. With a loss, she’s the logical choice to go again in 2012.

stacman on August 26, 2008 at 4:58 PM

We put MP3s from the spot up here.

chiefeditor on August 26, 2008 at 5:39 PM