Unlike some of his other efforts, this new ad for John McCain keeps its time to 30 seconds. It’s obviously meant to dispel the image of McCain as some sort of warmonger. No one prays more for peace, as the saying goes, than the soldier, and McCain makes this clear in recounting his family’s history of service:
JOHN MCCAIN: Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war.
When I was five years old, my father left for war.
My grandfather came home from war and died the next day.
I was shot down over Vietnam and spent five years as a POW. Some of the friends I served with never came home.
I hate war.
And I know how terrible its costs are.
I’m running for President to keep the country I love safe.
I’m John McCain and I approve this message.
It’s effective, but will it convince those who think of McCain in terms of “Bomb, bomb Iran”? The subtext is that while McCain deplores war and has been damaged by it like few others, he doesn’t fear it so much that he will hide from tough decisions on national security — hence the “Safe” title. It takes more than 30 seconds to fully develop that theme, but this looks like a good start.