McCain ad: “Nothing New”

posted at 10:50 am on September 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

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.


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Awesome!

jgapinoy on September 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

Lock and load, baby.

David Rasbold on September 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

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.

There are people tuning in now who have not been paying close attention. They need to be reminded of EVERYTHING and they need to hear it all several times and with lots of visual aids.

D0WNT0WN on September 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM

keep em coming Mac..

stlpatriot on September 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM

The Straight-Talkin’ Mac-n-Cheese(cake) Maverick/Barracuda Express cranks out another hit!

jgapinoy on September 19, 2008 at 10:53 AM

In your face.

surfer girl on September 19, 2008 at 10:54 AM

What did he call it, ARG?

Is Barack rooting for the Nitaly Lions this weekend, against Tinfoil?

We need an Obama-isms calender. I guess being able to speak properly isn’t a requirement if you want to be a community organizer.

NoDonkey on September 19, 2008 at 10:54 AM

I hope they can keep this up. When I see the polls start moving back in Obama’s favor, I get ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome). I think my television and radio are going to remain off for the next three days.

bopbottle on September 19, 2008 at 10:56 AM

My only concern is that the McCain ad group may run out of ammunition if they keep up this pace.

Not a chance! This is the bottomless pit of corruption, gaffes and idiocy.

carbon_footprint on September 19, 2008 at 10:56 AM

I love this one almost as much as the Jim Johnson ad! Plus the Patriotic Taxes ad was delightful at subtly poking fun at Sen. Obama’s pretentious DNC acceptance speech.

Jill1066 on September 19, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Get him John, you’ve found his greatest weakness . . . he’s a feckless fool.

Keep up the offensive and don’t let up.

rplat on September 19, 2008 at 10:57 AM

I saw a speech in which John McCain said, “You can’t vote present when you’re President”. Very effective.

TooTall on September 19, 2008 at 10:57 AM

This is good. McCain needs to keep pressing the fact that the president must make decisions constantly and that Obama can’t seem to make up his mind about anything.

Jvette on September 19, 2008 at 10:57 AM

I guess when he “voted” present, he expected a “present” …. or is the a veiled request for a bribe?

grapeknutz on September 19, 2008 at 10:58 AM

How far out of agenda control in the State House does someone have to be, that the framing of legislative issues is so unsatisfactory to them they have to vote “present” over 100 times?

I look at a record like that, and I see Obama chanting “I am a leaf on the wind.”

DrSteve on September 19, 2008 at 10:58 AM

The bright side of this is, that in our country, the people with the guts and the brawn to do things like this (murder the elderly), are exactly the people who WOULDN”T do this.

Our leftists are about as scary and as able to act on their totalitarian fantasies as this old hag is.

You give some athiest lefty a license to kill old people in America, and he’s going to get his ass capped before he offs his first granny. That’s how we ‘mericans roll.

NoDonkey on September 19, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Are these just internet adds?

KBird on September 19, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Run out of material? Pffft. This is just the stuff from the past two weeks. Obama and Biden have archives of commercial-worthy idiocy to be mined. 5 new commercials a day until election won’t scratch the surface.

Sugar Land on September 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM

My only concern is that the McCain ad group may run out of ammunition if they keep up this pace.

Never . . . they’re still at the top of the garbage can and digging deeper will really produce a stench.

rplat on September 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Voting “present” is spineless. Taxpayers, to the Right or Left don’t send you to Congress to vote “present.” That’s a complete betrayal of the oath of office, especially when you do it 130 times! You are elected to office to make decisions on the proposed legislation and either support it or oppose it, not to hide behind a non-vote for your own political advantage.

Maxx on September 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM

“NoDonkey on September 19, 2008 at 10:58 AM”

Whoops, wrong thread.

NoDonkey on September 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Look, with all the creeps on the O!’s team, McCain’s team will never run out of ammunition.

JimK on September 19, 2008 at 11:00 AM

After all this time and we’re still having this conversation. When will people wake the hell up?! Obama couldn’t pass an FBI background check to work in the mailroom at the Pentagon but, he is qualified to be President. Obama is about Obama, end of story.

MarkABinVA on September 19, 2008 at 11:00 AM

My only concern is that the McCain ad group may run out of ammunition if they keep up this pace.

We’re Republicans. We are NEVER outgunned!!

CurtZHP on September 19, 2008 at 11:01 AM

They have another one up tooling on Joe Biden for saying higher taxes are patriotic. I just saw it on TV here in Philly.

rockmom on September 19, 2008 at 11:03 AM

We’re Republicans. We are NEVER outgunned!!

In the movies we are!

Right-brained on September 19, 2008 at 11:04 AM

NO convictions. He wakes up every morning NOT knowing what he truly believes in or cares about other than just becoming POTUS. The Hollow Man continues.

New comic book on him?

Sapwolf on September 19, 2008 at 11:04 AM

According to Drudge, Obama is going to hold off presenting his economic recovery plan. Hmm that coupled with Harry Reid stating that Congress had no idea what to do. Isn’t it comforting that these fools know when to shut up and let the grownups clean up the mess.

red131 on September 19, 2008 at 11:05 AM

It scares the hell out of me that Barack wants to be POTUS.

He really has shown no interest in governing during his entire career. Every step has been about advancement without doing anything.

His motives are highly suspect.

Elizabetty on September 19, 2008 at 11:06 AM

Hmmmmmm.

30 sec spots, which have been incredibly good, every few vs. 24/7 favorable MSM coverage. Tough call on who has the advantage.

Right-brained on September 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM

When he wakes up and looks at Michelle’s mug in the morning, I bet he wished he’d been noncommittal at the altar.

marklmail on September 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM

You’re missing the point.

Being a Democrat means never taking on difficult issues with positive recommendations — issues like Social Security and Medicare insolvency. Or like Democrats Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who actively resisted reforms like the one McCain proposed to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the past several years.

No, better to sit back and then second-guess real leadership like Bush’s steadfastness in the Iraq war. Obama’s got this down pat; he’s the perfect Democrat.

capitano on September 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM

I don’t think you have to worry about McCain running out of funds. I’m betting that these ads are only being released in very select markets with most of their penetration coming via the web and the ‘free play’ they get when the media talk about what an outrage they are.

Knowing that Obama simply can’t stop himself from responding means they don’t have to spend a lot of money to get these messages out – they only need to make sure it gets The One viewing. ;)

KCSteve on September 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM

There are people tuning in now who have not been paying close attention. They need to be reminded of EVERYTHING and they need to hear it all several times and with lots of visual aids.

D0WNT0WN on September 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Yes! Exactly.

In the not two distant future all those voters that have been purposely tuning the election out for over a year are going to start actually listening. And when they do it will be time broadcast his whole rotten history. This strategy has some advantages:

1. For those just tuning in the information presented is more or less new and won’t become old hat for a couple days.

2. The generous breadth of his political scandals almost ensures that the voter/viewer won’t get bored hearing the same message over and over.

Timing is everything.

Browncoatone on September 19, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Team McCain continues to score direct hits with a Barrett 50 caliber sniper rifle, while Team Jo’Bama has been yielding a miss firing blunderbuss.

By mid-October the election will be close enough for Team McCain to put all that ammo in the M2 Browning and begin rapid firing.

phreshone on September 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Finally

Jdripper on September 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM

at the end these ads should end with Sarah Palin saying: “I’m sorry if I hurt Barack Obama’s feelings”

jp on September 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM

on Obama’s site, they called AIG the wrong name too.

They referred to it as “American Insurance Group”

its “International”

jp on September 19, 2008 at 11:10 AM

at the end these ads should end with Sarah Palin saying: “I’m sorry if I hurt Barack Obama’s feelings”

jp on September 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM

You can put lipstick on an Obama but……

Right-brained on September 19, 2008 at 11:11 AM

According to Drudge, Obama is going to hold off presenting his economic recovery plan. Hmm that coupled with Harry Reid stating that Congress had no idea what to do. Isn’t it comforting that these fools know when to shut up and let the grownups clean up the mess.

Just imagine an Obama presidency. Obama, Reid and Pelosi all pushing their agenda with no-one to stop them. Ugh.

lodge on September 19, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Are these just internet adds?

KBird on September 19, 2008 at 10:58 AM

The 30 Second range are meant for TV. Now if they are played ad nausea or once that is the big difference.

tjexcite on September 19, 2008 at 11:13 AM

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.

Ixnay on the ammunition talk:
Michelle O will accuse you of threatening to shoot an empty-suit-who-shall-remain-nameless.

Better to humiliate him in the general election – with lots of commercials.

Right_of_Attila on September 19, 2008 at 11:13 AM

RNC better make an ad with Reid’s “We don’t know what to do”

marklmail on September 19, 2008 at 11:14 AM

They should have plenty of funds. It doesn’t cost much to create a 30 second clip in Final Cut.

These are direct and to the point, very well done.

digitalintrigue on September 19, 2008 at 11:15 AM

LOL!!!

at the end these ads should end with Sarah Palin saying: “I’m sorry if I hurt Barack Obama’s feelings”

jp on September 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM

You can put lipstick on an Obama but……

Right-brained on September 19, 2008 at 11:11 AM

GOOD ONE!

freeus on September 19, 2008 at 11:16 AM

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.

“Snort” ;)

Wildcatter1980 on September 19, 2008 at 11:18 AM

I like the ad, I like the approach. However, I’d hate to break it to anybody here, but there’s nothing “new” to the ad beyond the :09 mark when the announcer says, “It’s nothing new…” that couldn’t have been readied months ago to hit on the theme of Obama’s many “present” votes. Watch it again, you’ll see what I mean.

Hope it works, though.

Captain Scarlet on September 19, 2008 at 11:20 AM

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.

I wondered the same thing. This “present” ad doesn’t mention his votes in the US Senate. If I recall, he did plenty of present votes there also. Although I could be getting the two confused.

csdeven on September 19, 2008 at 11:20 AM

Here;s McCain’s next ad, courtesy of Drudge:

OBAMA SAYS WILL HOLD BACK FROM PRESENTING HIS DETAILED RECOVERY PLAN…

McCain:

Obama says he has a plan to help with economic recovery.

If the One cares so much about our economy, why not offer it to congress now, instead of letting working people suffer more?

Maybe he’s voting present.

lorien1973 on September 19, 2008 at 11:21 AM

The only thing that worries me is that so many of us seem to like these ads. Doesn’t worry me a lot, but it does worry me.

And no, there is absolutely no danger of running out of ammo. The next step isn’t more repetition of charges, but responding to the inevitable attempts by Obama to blur distinctions, by claiming, for instance, that McCain advisors who lobbied for Freddie or Fannie intermittently are the same as Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines. (I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Obama tried to make something out of the fact that Fred! endorsed McCain…) The tactical situation and further events will determine whether the campaign choose to hammer on these same themes, expand on them, or move laterally to parallel ones.

On an aesthetic note, I like the way that all of the McCain ads together develop a story using the same graphic approach going back to the first Team of Mavericks ad with the sliding headlines… It’s like an animated graphic novel unfolding in short chapters. (I’m looking forward to the climax and am hopin lotsa **** blows up.)

CK MacLeod on September 19, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Anybody want to bet the “present” is the next racist code word???

Susanl on September 19, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Hope it works, though.

Captain Scarlet on September 19, 2008 at 11:20 AM

People weren’t paying attention at that point, though.

Now they are.

It’s almost time for McCain to bring up Wright and Ayers too. If McCain doesn’t “go there” and loses, he’ll regret it.

lorien1973 on September 19, 2008 at 11:23 AM

You can’t vote ‘present’ as President. That’s an ad that was cryin’ out to be made.

Barry played for time enough to read the poll results, and McCain nailed him on it.

petefrt on September 19, 2008 at 11:23 AM

One thing missing: After the announcer says (paraphrased) “It’s not obvious to him,” they should have cut to Obama at Saddleback saying “That’s above my pay grade.”

irishspy on September 19, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Why is Ahnuld the best politician republicans have?

VICTORY: Lawmakers cede to Schwarzenegger budget demands…

He fought the state legistlature and won.

Think republicans.

lorien1973 on September 19, 2008 at 11:26 AM

irishspy on September 19, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Yep.

lorien1973 on September 19, 2008 at 11:26 AM

petefrt on September 19, 2008 at 11:23 AM

“You can’t vote ‘present’ as President.” They should have used that line.

Mccain has to use every opportunity to get back the advantage on economy. Obama will be a disaster, more so than ever.

promachus on September 19, 2008 at 11:29 AM

My only concern is that the McCain ad group may run out of ammunition if they keep up this pace.

You are kidding, right?

SaintOlaf on September 19, 2008 at 11:32 AM

…the embarrassment led him to pick Joe Biden to make up for his embarrassing debut on the foreign-policy stage.

Maybe we can make an exception and allow The One to have a second VP to advise him on economic issues. In fact, it could be like a bank: VPs everywhere! I still bet Hillary would not be one of them.

Kafir on September 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM

I expect alot more ammunition will be available after the debates.

ctmom on September 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Obama,

IF you don’t STAND for SOMETHING, you will fall for ANYTHING and that is why we WILL NOT vote for YOU.

And quit throwing that RACISM bullshit at us. You can’t handle the job

originalpechanga on September 19, 2008 at 11:40 AM

I expect alot more ammunition will be available after the debates.

ctmom on September 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM

These just set the table for the debates. Isn’t the first one next week? McCain is prepping the battlefield so that these can be talked about live.

Imagine being asked about these guys, and Obama going “um uh um uh present.”

lorien1973 on September 19, 2008 at 11:43 AM

I expect alot more ammunition will be available after the debates.

ctmom on September 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Then there’s the OTHER Kurtz–Stanley Kurtz, digging into the Annenberg files. There might be some juicy red meat in there…

By the way, is ctmom from Connecticut?

Steve Z on September 19, 2008 at 11:50 AM

This is a wonderful ad, direct, to the point and it eviserates the opposition with the facts. He is always voting present, on Georgis, the Economy, on energy dependence.

Its 3 a.m. in the morning. Is he present?

skatz51 on September 19, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Oops that is Georgia, not Georgis. Sorry, I am excited!

skatz51 on September 19, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Great message…….Crappy ad.

A message I’ve been hoping they’d hit hard, but it just rattled on – no drama, no punch.

The undecided need those “Coulda-had-a-V8!” forehead slaps.

eeyore on September 19, 2008 at 11:57 AM

ARe these ads running anywhere? I haven’t seen them anywhere but here. I want this stuff out there.

petunia on September 19, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Pretty good day so far:

1. Three (3) crushingly, devastating ads; AND

2. This morning’s WaPO editorial

a. Praising McCain for calling attention to the grave risks being posed by Fannie/Freddie’s ongoing highly questionable business practices (back in 2005)

b. Praising McCain for introducing new legislation to properly regulate these run-away, ticking time-bombs (back in 2005) ; and

c. Oh yeah, Pretty much calling Obama a fu**ing liar

alwyr on September 19, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Obama has a new ad out calling McCain a Liar again, and citing the Live Birth Abortion ad by the 527 as a “dispicable lie”

jp on September 19, 2008 at 12:09 PM

Michael Jackson on the Obama Ads: It Doesn’t Matter if You’re Black or White

thedudesblog on September 19, 2008 at 12:22 PM

True to form, Hussein waited after Sen. McCain and President Bush spoke to see what others had said. And, true to form, no solutions, just attacks.

What a d*ck.

madmonkphotog on September 19, 2008 at 1:03 PM

I would have ended it with some reference to the answers being above his pay grade but other than that a great ad.

Stephen Macklin on September 19, 2008 at 1:09 PM

You can put lipstick on an Obama but……
Right-brained on September 19, 2008 at 11:11 AM

I like this one: You can put a donkey in a $4,000 suit, but it’s still an ass.

(I’d give credit, but I forgot who said it).

AZCoyote on September 19, 2008 at 1:22 PM

loving the tough love Mc messages.

makes obbie look childish.

keep ‘em coming…

jimmer on September 19, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Obama is asking his followers, the young and the dumb, to get in people’s face and argue on his behalf.

For those lefties that wish to have tips on how to promote Barack Obama when you get in their faces:

http://www.nextgenerationcorp.com/NextGenBlog/?p=57

Throw Obama away.

AdrianS on September 19, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Maybe I’ll start seeing some McCain ads NOW up here in ND. Haven’t seen ONE ad during prime time NBC or CBS so far.

Badger40 on September 19, 2008 at 2:20 PM

One thing missing: After the announcer says (paraphrased) “It’s not obvious to him,” they should have cut to Obama at Saddleback saying “That’s above my pay grade.”

irishspy on September 19, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Biden also used the “above my pay grade” response earlier this month. I’d put both Obama and Biden saying “above my pay grade” along with Harry Reid stating nobody knows what to do next together in a spot tied to leadership and strenght in a crisis. This is a perfect opportunity for it.

PatMac on September 19, 2008 at 3:33 PM

The video has been pulled:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Fox News Network, LLC

Common Sense on September 19, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Oops.

Fox News:

“We demand that you immediately remove Mr. Garrett’s voice from this ad. As Mr. Garrett is a non-partisan news correspondent covering the Obama campaign for Fox News, it is highly inappopriate, among other things, of your campaign to use him in your ad.”

ROMDOC on September 19, 2008 at 7:35 PM

We demand that you immediately remove Mr. Garrett’s voice from this ad. As Mr. Garrett is a non-partisan news correspondent covering the Obama campaign for Fox News, it is highly inappopriate, among other things, of your campaign to use him in your ad.

So get a new voice over! This ad is worth playing till the end of the campaign, with his delay in announcing his ‘rescue plan’yet another example of his spineless behavior.

When Rudy Giuliani mocked Obama with his ‘present’ votes, I had thought this is something the McCain campaign should really hammer him with. But there were no ads until now. I hope McCain and Palin will bring this up again and again during the debates. There is only one reason to vote present and that is Obama was unsure how it would affect his record down the road or that it would not please his backers.

He must never be President. The only good thing that would probably happen if Obama becomes President is that Al-Qaeda will likely disband because the US in the way to self destruction.

Birdseye on September 19, 2008 at 11:50 PM

When Obomben votes present is he really present?

He is just saying, “I’am here and do not care.” He pushes the present key even when there is nothing to vote for. He uses the present excuse to let everyone know he’s special and deserves everything he whines for and ‘Present’ sounds more elitist.

For those on the fence regarding voting for Obombem, or his voting record, remember Yes requires an explanation while No is a complete sentence/statement. These concepts are so difficult for libs to understand, in Hawaii libs define a blank vote on an issue is a NO vote.

MSGTAS on September 20, 2008 at 9:50 AM

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.

Yet voting in favor of infanticide several times was no problem for this clown.

91Veteran on September 20, 2008 at 4:54 PM