John McCain’s latest ad is one of his more clever and effective efforts. He somehow manages to lump George W. Bush (“The last eight years haven’t worked very well, have they?”) in with his opponent’s ideas (“Telling us paying higher taxes is ‘patriotic’? And saying we need to ‘spread the wealth around’?”). And he also gives an effective summary of his plans for low taxes, energy independence and less spending. It is odd for him to leave out national security and judges, but perhaps the campaign has decided voters simply don’t care about these topics.
This is what McCain will need to do 24/7 between now and Election Day: paint a substantive contrast with his opponent. If America is still a center/right country then voters need to know who is the center/right candidate. He hasn’t done that very effectively–until now–on issues which voters care most about. He’ll need to continue this day after day if he is to have any shot at winning.