I switched on The View today after not watching it for a few days. One lead topic was a recent political ad that was done by the McCain campaign. The ad was saying about how Barack Obama was the “biggest celebrity in the world”, while flashing pictures of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and then Obama. When the panel was asked for their opinions, I think Elizabeth Hasselbeck had a near meltdown while she defended the ad, saying that it was “somewhat successful because we’re talking about it, that’s what advertising is" and that Obama will double taxes, and that Obama did agree to be on Access Hollywood, etc. etc. After she continues to try to talk over anyone who tried to get a word in edgewise, and when I couldn’t clearly see the point she was trying to make, I began to tune her out.
Elizabeth is wrong when she says that the point of advertising is to get people to yalk about your ad. The real purpose is to sell your product. In the ad in question, it seems the McCain campaign is more concerned with smearing Barack Obama, rather than selling John McCain. If anything, it sold the public John McCain as a person who is jealous of Obama’s popularity and charisma. And, by spending time attacking Obama’s celebrity over the issues, it seems that McCain may think it’s easier to attempt to promote discomfort with Obama’s popularity, rather than make the public have concerns about Obama’s platform.
And seriously, why on earth would McCain’s team chose Paris Hilton and Britney Spears as the celebrities with which to compare Obama? I really do not understand the connection that I, as a voter, am supposed to make. Is that because these people have all appeared at one point in time on an entertainment show or entertainment publication?
OK, let’s get back to Elizabeth Hasselbeck. I imagine that for her, being a staunch Republican, it has to be difficult to sit on a panel with other people who seem to clearly lean Democratic. But, she comes across as a puppet for her party, parroting some perceived party line without showing an ounce of thnking for herself. It’s almost as if she goes out of her way to providing almost ludicrous arguments in support of Republican candidates. While others on the panel also often show their strong opinions in opposition to hers, many times they can at least verbalize their points in a much more rational manner. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is going back to being the same close-minded, brainwashed person that we saw when the other close-minded, left-leaning brainwashed person was host of the show – Rose O’Donnell. I do not mind hearing Elizabeth’s opinion, but I think she needs some training in order to get her opinions across calmly and rationally – or she needs to learn when to quit and keep her mouth shut. I sense it will be a long, tumultuous political season for the show.
I know this political season is going to be ugly. It was bound to be that way regardless of the candidates selected for each party. But, once Barack Obama was selected to represent the Democratic Party, the Republicans seem to be going right to the negative ads. It seems clear that they perceive Obama’s popularity with the American people - and the world - as a threat. And, as I mentioned in my blog the other day (here), even the negative political emails, originating from who-knows-where but being spread by grassroots methods like email and political forums, are becoming uglier and uglier.
The Republican Party needs a different approach if they want to impress the voting public. They should look at the campaign as if they were someone interviewing for a new job. No one wants to tell the person doing the hiring what’s wrong with the candidates with which they are competing. The person being interviewed should be talking about what makes him or her better for the job. If the Republican Party wants to have a chance – any chance – in this election, they need to begin to seriously argue the issues. It isn’t helping them to get too personal or too negative.
My own personal opinion is that this negative ad only strengthened the resolve of the Barack Obama supporters, and made John McCain look jealous and insecure. He may think he got his ad money’s worth from all the buzz about the ad, but I don’t think it helped him to his product – John McCain. And that sounds like a fizzle, not a buzz, to me.
Here's the ad, if you haven't seen it:
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