McCain ad: “Jim Johnson”

posted at 9:52 am on September 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

John McCain continues attacking Barack Obama over his connections to Fannie Mae.  Yesterday, Team McCain released a 30-second spot introducing voters to Franklin Raines, who has served as an informal adviser to the Obama campaign.  Today they hit harder at Jim Johnson, who not only served as an economic adviser to Obama but also originally ran his running-mate search committee:

ANNCR: What Obama says…

BARACK OBAMA: It would be unacceptable for executives of these institutions to earn a windfall.

ANNCR: …Is not what he does.

Meet Jim Johnson, former Fannie Mae CEO. Fannie cooked the books and Johnson made millions.

Then Obama asked him to pick his VP. And raise thousands for his campaign.

Barack Obama. More empty words.

After yesterday, the Obama campaign knew this ad was coming soon. They tried to pass Franlkin Raines off as a mere acquaintance, but the Washington Post twice reported that Raines was advising the campaign — once using Raines himself as a source. Raines narrowly avoided criminal charges for his stewardship of Fannie Mae and had to surrender $2 million in cash (paid by, ironically in light of AIG’s failure, his insurer) and his outstanding stock options, which had been rendered worthless anyway.

Jim Johnson represents more of a challenge for Obama.  He was no mere “informal adviser”; Johnson bundled money for Obama, and at least briefly helped run his VP selection committee.  What else did Johnson do?  He took over $2 million in sweetheart-deal loans from Countrywide Mortgage, through the “Friends of Angelo” program, while Fannie Mae did business with Countrywide.  He hid two-thirds of his executive compensation at Fannie through evasive techniques designed to disguise it.  In fact, both Johnson and Raines exemplify the kind of CEOs that Obama routinely demands regulation to control.

While John McCain tried to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Obama took boatloads of their money.  While Obama talked reform and demonized CEOs, he took as advisers the very people responsible for Fannie Mae’s failure.  Which candidate will bring change, and which will bring more of the same?

Update (AP): Does running a Jim Johnson ad mean McCain’s not racist now?

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Comment pages: 1 2

Actually, skunks are half black and half white.

MarkTheGreat on September 19, 2008 at 10:11 AM
Actually, so is Senator Obama….


CapedConservative on September 19, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Obama’s what – 1/2 black and white or a skunk? Both.

tru2tx on September 19, 2008 at 11:02 AM


I guess his advisors didn’t like McCain’s plan enough to steal it like they did with Hillary’s and Edwards’s work, huh? Or it would be too “conservative” or “republican” sounding to work for Mr. Hopeychange’s followers?

funky chicken on September 19, 2008 at 10:14 AM

It was on Fox this am. Give it a little while and I’m sure it will end up in the headlines or perhaps even in the blog section. Hey maybe even the top picks.

csdeven on September 19, 2008 at 11:02 AM

I don’t know what I just did with strike thru.

tru2tx on September 19, 2008 at 11:03 AM

I showed this story (McCain trying to reform oversight, warning of problems with Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, Obama’s ties to them) to a journalist with a financial newspaper here in Norway. Know what she said?

Not interested – looks good for McCain.


Seixon on September 19, 2008 at 11:03 AM

These ads are great but I truly believe McCain’s speech on this financial crisis in Green Bay today is absolutely brilliant. It is measured, shows considerable wisdom and demonstrates a complete command of the issue. I hope Ed posts on this today as I like to read his thoughts. Here’s a link to the entire speech posted at National Review Online:

JonPrichard on September 19, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Any detailed scuttlebutt on what the fed plan will be? Hopefully it will incorporate elements from the proposal Mac tried to legilate 3 years ago.

ManlyRash on September 19, 2008 at 10:10 AM

I was blogging here with the tube on in the back ground, but I think they just got done laying out the plan just before Bush’s remarks.

csdeven on September 19, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Indeed, Jamie Gorelick!
She Democrats has done more damage to this country then Jimmy Carter.

carbon_footprint on September 19, 2008 at 10:36 AM

Fixed it for you!!!!!

grapeknutz on September 19, 2008 at 11:05 AM

According to Josh Marshall’s and Karen Tumulty’s racial calibrations, the black male shown at the beginning and end of this ad is about to STEAL YOUR TELEVISION SET.

Cuffy Meigs on September 19, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Time dimwit Karen Tumulty, who immediately declared the Raines ad as racist, now wants to know why this didn’t run first.

JammieWearingFool on September 19, 2008 at 10:36 AM

just giving you the chance to make a fool of yourself, dear.

funky chicken on September 19, 2008 at 11:28 AM

HELLO!!!!!!!!!! Anyone in there. It is a great AD but NOBODY Is running the f*cking ad on TV!! It’s spinning in the ether. The MSM is burying this story!!

AYNBLAND on September 19, 2008 at 10:40 AM

What’s the story on this? Are these ads going on TV or only on the Web?

McCain needs to follow up on this with an ad about Jamie Gorelick, another Fannie Failure, and then with another about HIS bill to reform Fannie and Freddie back in 2005, which was voted down in the Senate by Democrats.

He’s got to hit this issue hard, because out in New York Slimes–la la land, it’s the “Republicans” who messed up the banks. The Democrats who REALLY perpetrated this and got rich from it are under the radar–McCain needs to leave no stone unturned–and ON TV!

Steve Z on September 19, 2008 at 11:30 AM

At least this ad identified Johnson as the CEO of Fannie Mae. The Franklin Raines ad failed to do even that.

I like this add better than the Raines ad.

dKap on September 19, 2008 at 11:41 AM

I’m sure some one has mentioned it prior, but if not, ahem: This is clearly a raAAAAAAcist ad as it depicts a WHITE man of questionable repute being associated with Pastor Barak Jessie Farrakan (peace be upon him).

Alden Pyle on September 19, 2008 at 11:52 AM

If you check out Karen Tumulty’s piece (linked by Patterico), she actually responds to a couple of commenters, me (“time-blogger”) being one of them.

I pointed out to her that McCain IS running a Johnson ad, and she actually responds with this:

Time-blogger: Please see my post above this one on that ad, which I think is a fair ad. Which raises the obvious question: Why didn’t they put this one up in the first place?

Oh. My. Stars.

My response to her:

Oh, I see. So if Team Mac had released the Johnson ad FIRST, then you’re telling us (presumably with a straight face) that you wouldn’t have thrown out the intellectually lazy “racist” charge when the Raines ad came next?

I’d be surprised if she responds again.

crushliberalism on September 19, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Update (AP): Does running a Jim Johnson ad mean McCain’s not racist now?

No. Karen Tumulty is not backing down from her racist charge against McCain.

Cuffy Meigs on September 19, 2008 at 12:09 PM

This account, linked below, of the origin of the mortgage lending crisis in racial politics seems quite helpful. It also connects Obama to the crisis via ACORN.

“Affirmative action lending,” so to speak, appears to have severely damaged the Americans’ financial institutions. Now that subprime lending has largely stopped, I wonder if the accusations of “red-lining” will make a return.

Kralizec on September 19, 2008 at 12:42 PM


McCain is obviously preying on white men’s fears regarding their Johnsons.

Natalie on September 19, 2008 at 12:47 PM

I suppose that if Hussein/Biden get elected, we can see massive corruption never before seen at the federal level. Good ole boy politics.

madmonkphotog on September 19, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Obama is corrupt when is the Obama-Rezko-Auchi Lehman Brothers Collapse going to come down the pipe?

Chakra Hammer on September 19, 2008 at 2:08 PM

Next up: Penny Pritzker.


ex-Democrat on September 19, 2008 at 2:18 PM


McCain is obviously preying on white men’s fears regarding their Johnsons.

Natalie on September 19, 2008 at 12:47 PM

LOL that must be why its a short ad!

skatz51 on September 19, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Duck out of that one, Obama!

chiefeditor on September 19, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Perfect ad.

Keep ’em short and sweet then let the viewer google the rest.

The Ugly American on September 19, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Comment pages: 1 2