So far, it looks as though the John McCain campaign has plenty of funds to get through the general election. Their ad team released their third ad of the day, and the West Coast hasn’t even arrived at work yet. In this new ad, Team McCain attacks Barack Obama for waffling on the AIG bailout, noting that his 130 “present” votes in the Illinois Senate means this is nothing new:
It’s nothing new.
The Times reports Obama “voted ‘present’…nearly 130 times as a state senator.” On teaching discipline. Providing patients’ rights. Tough penalties on criminals.
He voted present.
The answers may seem obvious to you. But not to him.
The ad comes from a weak response on Tuesday to the news that the Fed had agreed to bail out insurance giant AIG. Jake Tapper noted that the response was, in effect, a non-response, which made it look like the failure caught Obama by surprise so badly that even three days after AIG’s position became obvious, he still couldn’t formulate a policy. In fact, initially, Obama couldn’t even get AIG’s name right, a point Tapper missed.
This will also recall Obama’s floundering in the first days of the Russo-Georgia war, when Obama struggled for a clear response. McCain, who knew the situation in the Caucasus well, immediately took the right tone — scolding Russia for invading Georgia and demanding an immediate withdrawal. Obama issued a call for restraint from both sides, even though Georgia had been invaded by a foreign army and was barely hanging onto its life. It took Obama a couple of days to finally end up agreeing with McCain, and the embarrassment led him to pick Joe Biden to make up for his embarrassing debut on the foreign-policy stage.
It’s a good ad, effective at showing a lack of leadership on the part of Obama that extended to the US Senate. Obama has never led on any controversial issue, especially not in opposition to the doctrinaire positions of his party’s leadership on Capitol Hill. On yet another opportunity to demonstrate leadership, Obama punted with a clip from his stump speech. That’s not leadership, not even by Capitol Hill standards.
My only concern is that the McCain ad group may run out of ammunition if they keep up this pace. Fortunately, Obama and Biden seem happy to replenish their supplies.