Adwatch: Scrutiny over lobbyist leaves out key points

— -- Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign released an ad Sunday called His Administration. The campaign says the ad is in response to a Time magazine report that Republican candidate John McCain has chosen "one of Washington's steadiest and most senior inside players" — lobbyist William Timmons — to plan a potential McCain administration.

The script

Narrator: "His campaign is run by lobbyists. Now we find out McCain's White House will be lobbyist-run too.

"McCain just picked a Washington super lobbyist to plan his administration. A 'consummate insider' who lobbies for oil companies. The credit card industry. Corporate special interests rigging the system against hard-working Americans … pushing failed Bush economics.

"Does that sound like change to you? We just can't afford more of the same."

The images

The ad begins with a picture of McCain that's covered over with photos of McCain staffers. Two photos of Timmons follow. Two of the final images show President Bush and McCain together.

Reality check

The ad continues a theme that the Obama campaign has been pushing for weeks: McCain would be "more of the same" and would continue many of the policies and practices of the Bush administration.

It does not point out that McCain was instrumental in exposing the misdeeds of onetime lobbyist Jack Abramoff or that the Obama campaign allows lobbyists to volunteer on its behalf and to work for it so long as they are not currently registered to lobby. Last year, the non-partisan website called Obama's claim that he doesn't take money from lobbyists only "half true."

Where it's playing

The ad, Obama's campaign says, will be on some national cable networks and local stations in some battleground states.

By Mark Memmott