A logical progression from the “celebrity” ad, which, as I said yesterday, was just a polite way of calling attention to the (benign) cult of personality on which The One’s appeal rests. McCain can’t accuse Obama of leading a “cult” so he dialed the adjective down to a lower grade of worship. Today he dials it up, accusing him of believing he’s the Messiah while taking care not to accuse his supporters of (necessarily) agreeing.
An occasional goof on Obama every few weeks as part of an ad mix selling McCain’s own brand is all to the good, but this would work best as a contrast (lightweight vs. experience) and lately there’s been, er, no contrast. It’s all “everybody loves Barack,” all the time; needless to say, Maverick’s starting to look obsessed. It also strikes me as not a particularly bright idea to constantly remind people of how beloved your opponent is. But then, what do I know? The “Celeb” ad is up to 1.2 million views and Obama’s polls are down fully nine points in five days, with he and McCain now all even at 44. Dude’s doing something right. Although how he neglected to include this immortal moment of Obama mockery in the highlight reel below is beyond me.
Here’s some background on the part where Barry talks about a light shining down. Was he being ironic? Hmmm. Exit question: What will Josh Marshall see when he applies his secret racial decoder ring to this? Anti-semitism, perhaps, per the fact that Obama’s being compared to a Jewish prophet?
Update: Such is my love for that Hillary clip that I’m going to re-post it as a garnish. For old time’s sake.
Update: Tapper’s cranky about it, and takes issue in particular with McCain’s characterization of what Obama said a few days ago about his popularity having less to do with him than with his being treated as a symbol of America’s return to greatness. Fair enough — but that’s how cults of personality work. The hero at the center is always regarded as an embodiment of some (usually national) value greater than himself. Hence the unbelievable creepiness of those Shepard Fairey posters, juxtaposing a giant image of The One’s face with a single all-capped word expressing some universally adored value.
Update: Here’s the tsk-tsk that was being circulated by the DNC this morning. Let Obama’s numbers drop another three or four points and we’ll see how they feel about negative ads then.
Update: We’ll see how the ad plays with independents, but if our commenters are any gauge, the base will be in raptures. Assuming it does 500,000+ views on YouTube, which shouldn’t be difficult given its prominence on Drudge right now, where does this leave the conventional wisdom that Obama owns the Internet? McCain is simply destroying him lately on viral vid. Which, oddly, makes this a nice companion piece to the GOP’s savvy use of new media to spread the word about the revolt in the House.
Update: Team Barry responds, interrupting their race-baiting to scold McCain once again for ducking the issues.
“It’s downright sad that on a day when we learned that 51,000 Americans lost their jobs, a candidate for the presidency is spending all of his time and the powerful platform he has on these sorts of juvenile antics,” said spokesman Hari Sevugan. “Senator McCain can keep telling everyone how ‘proud’ he is of these political stunts which even his Republican friends and advisors have called ‘childish’, but Barack Obama will continue talking about his plan to jumpstart our economy by giving working families $1,000 of immediate relief.”