McCain ad paints Obama as celebrity, not leader

Republican John McCain's presidential campaign released a TV ad Wednesday that compares Democrat Barack Obama's popularity to that of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and questions whether being a "celebrity" qualifies someone to be president. It's called Celeb.

The ad also, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said, makes the case that Obama is unsuited to be president like those two young pop stars and that the Illinois senator favors higher taxes.

Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor replied that McCain had launched "yet another" false and negative attack. Paraphrasing Spears, Vietor said of McCain that, "oops, he did it again."

Wednesday evening, the Obama campaign released an ad, which it plans to broadcast today, called Low Road. It says McCain is "practicing the politics of the past" with his "attacks."

Celeb's script

Narrator:"He's the biggest celebrity in the world.

"But, is he ready to lead?

"With gas prices soaring, Barack Obama says no to offshore drilling. And, says he'll raise taxes on electricity.

"Higher taxes, more foreign oil, that's the real Obama."

The images

The McCain ad mixes scenes from Obama's speech before more than 200,000 people in Berlin last week with photos of Spears and Hilton as the narrator makes the case that Obama is a celebrity — but may not be ready for the White House.


By juxtaposing Obama with Spears and Hilton and calling him a "celebrity," the McCain ad aims to plant doubts in viewers' minds about Obama's depth. Asked during a conference call with reporters Wednesday if the McCain campaign intended to suggest that Obama is "frivolous and irresponsible" like those young women, Davis said "yeah, I mean, look — I think it's exactly what we've been saying."

Where it's playing

McCain's Celeb ad will air on some national cable networks and locally in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Analysis by Mark Memmott