Via memeorandum comes the first general election ad of the season. America, meet John McCain — war hero, former POW, and patriot extraordinaire:
No doubt we will all know his Navy serial # (624787) by heart before this is all done… and why not? He was a hero indeed; I, for one, admire his service and courage enormously. And he’s gonna need all those laurels to support his position on the Iraq war. (Good luck with that.)
And while he could have run this ad without subtly targeting anyone, he most definitely has singled out Barack Obama as his expected opponent. Evidently he, too, sees the writing on the wall for the Clinton campaign.
So — Obama now knows (rather than simply suspects) the tone and direction of the general election’s early stages. Basically McCain’s line is, “I’m the best candidate because I’m more patriotic than my opponent (… who can only talk the talk”).
I think it’s wasted ammunition against Obama (who, despite some rather flagrant misinformation and spin to the contrary, is plenty patriotic) — but it’s the logical starting point for John McCain, and the strongest ground he can stake by far. Furthermore, as an opening shot, it’s pretty far off Obama’s front bow. In fact, compared to what’s going on in the Democratic primary, I’d say it’s downright gentle.
Cross-posted to The Moderate Voice)