Friday, March 28, 2008

John McCain: An American President

John McCain's organization has released its first general election campaign ad, a 60-second spot that pumps up the Arizona Senator's all-American credentials (via YouTube):

The spot includes the announcer intoning, "John McCain: The American president Americans have been waiting for."

I love the ad. As regular readers here know, I'm a long-time McCain backer, for precisely the reasons mentioned in the ad: I believe McCain is best prepared to lead our country, and I don't think he'll flinch in meeting the challenges of the day.

Does that make me a bigot, or anyone else who identifies with the advertisment? Does trumpeting unabashed patriotism turn one into a raw
Babbit-esque conformist, or worse, a jingoistic crusader for some puritanical American hegemony?

Absolutely not, but you wouldn't know it by the early smears around the web:

* Hold Fast, "American President?":

This ad is a clear signal that the McCain campaign and likely the GOP more generally are going to push narratives that imply that Barack Obama would not be an “American president.”

* Mother Jones, " McCain Ad: Cue the Ugly "American" Campaign":

Could the implication be that Barack Obama is not quite American and that he is not interested in protecting our country, which the ad describes with the feminine pronoun. In other words, the half-black dude with a funny name--who might be a secret Muslim--can't protect her. Has Lee Atwater been resurrected?
* Talking Points Memo, "New McCain Ad: "The American President Americans Have Been Waiting For":

Could the slogan be meant as a contrast against Barack Obama, with his foreign name and background?

I don't think there's really any serious debate over whether Obama's American.

Where there is some question is how much he truly loves this country and to what depth he's willing to defend it?

The same's not true for John McCain.

See my earlier post on this topic, "GOP Will Appeal to Craven Prejudices, Essayist Alleges."

Hat tip: Memeorandum.