As I watched Barack Obama’s thirty-minute infomercial this evening, one question kept popping into my head: is this really happening?
Indeed, it is hard to understand why a candidate who is so far ahead in so many polls would broadcast a program that only creates new openings for his opponents to rehash old criticisms of his campaign. In this vein, the absurdly dramatic background music that couched Obama’s every word calls to mind the absurdly dramatic Greek pillars that stood behind Obama during his convention speech. Meanwhile, the broadcast’s nonstop sloganeering only bolsters the criticism that Obama’s vision of “change” is entirely devoid of real substance. And then there were the neatly tailored vignettes of “ordinary Americans” describing the challenges they face while lavishing praise on Obama. Naturally, these segments only remind voters that Obama is far less magical when he’s addressing “ordinary Americans” without absolute editorial control (see: Plumber, Joe the).
Most damaging, however, the $3 million that the campaign spent airing this half-hour of pure Hollywood is already reminding the media of candidate Obama’s most hypocritical act to date: his decision to opt out of public financing despite his previous pledge to accept it. Simple math beautifully illustrates Obama’s duplicitously achieved advantage: $3 million would be a significant 3.5% of the McCain campaign’s legally limited budget, but is less than 0.5% of Obama’s unlimited war chest.
Of course, John could be right: maybe nobody was watching. But to the extent that this broadcast made Obama look ridiculous, the McCain campaign might want to hold its own series of airings.