The RNC has launched its first ad for the political season, a $3 million buy in four key states that focuses on energy policy. It paints John McCain as an agent of change, while Barack Obama as a defender of the party line. The Republicans want to start defining Obama as an obstructionist on energy, and in three of the four states, they may already have a head start:
Record gas prices, a climate in crisis. John McCain says solve it now, with a balanced plan — alternative energy, conservation, suspending the gas tax AND more production here at home. He’s pushing his own party to face climate change.
But Barack Obama? For conservation, but he just says no to lower gas taxes. No to nuclear. No to more production. No new solutions. Barack Obama: Just the party line.
The ad started running last night in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Obama lost in the first three states during the primaries, and with his refusal to produce more energy, the three Rust Belt states have little prospect of rebounding from economic turmoil from the loss of manufacturing. The kind of energy needed to create those kinds of jobs will be out of reach with continued obstruction of new energy production as well as the emissions caps that Obama envisions for his environmental policies.
That is just one aspect of this ad. It also targets Obama’s pose as a post-partisan figure who reaches across the aisle for solutions. Conservatives will gag on the “pushing his own party to face climate change”, and rightly so, but it makes the point that McCain’s the one with a track record of bipartisanship, while Obama gave a couple of speeches on the subject. It also signals that the RNC plans on highlighting Obama’s hard-Left instincts on policy, a welcome bit of hardball from the GOP, which leaves McCain free to stay positive.
Republicans lost Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in 2004, the latter by a hair. If the GOP can take two of these three, it will almost certainly spell defeat for Obama in the fall. Expect to see the RNC producing a lot more advertising in these states, and with their large money advantage over the DNC, they may make a lot of progress towards their eventual goal.