Both John McCain and Barack Obama are out today with new TV ads on the economy, each with their own special twist.
McCain's spot is designed to counter Obama's 30-minute commercial in prime time tonight, reprising the criticism of the Democrat as a celebrity without solid proposals.
"Behind the fancy speeches, grand promises, and TV special, lies the truth," the announcer says, as images appear on screen of Obama's speech before the multitudes in Berlin and his performance before the "Roman columns" at the Democratic National Convention.
"With crises at home and abroad, Barack Obama lacks the experience America needs," the announcer continues. "And it shows. His response to our economic crisis is to spend and tax our economy deeper into recession. The fact is Barack Obama's not ready yet."
Obama's spot, on the other hand, does not have either an announcer or a candidate speaking, but instead shows a series of quotations on screen to undermine McCain on the economy with his own words:
"I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” Wall Street Journal, 11/26/05
“The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” Boston Globe Political Intelligence, 12/18/07
“I might have to rely on a vice president that I select” for expertise on economic issues. GOP Debate, 11/28/07
The ad closes with a reference to Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate who polls show has raised questions about McCain's judgment.
"His choice?" it says on screen, with an image of Palin winking.
"On November 4th, You Get to Make Yours."
UPDATE: The McCain campaign rounded up supporters, including former backers of Hillary Clinton, to assail the reference to Palin in the ad.
"I am outraged by the new ad put out by Barack Obama. It is sexist and demeaning to women," said a statement from Shelly Mandell, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women. "These tactics started with Hillary Clinton and continue, growing even more disgusting with Gov. Palin. I was a Hillstar for Hillary and an avid supporter. Trashing two women clearly in a sexist manner in one election is an outrage and must be identified and stopped. There must be consequences. Let female Obama supporters take a good look at this and still believe their candidate supports women's rights and women's dignity."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.