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Businessweek Archives

First Obama Ad Battles Elitist Tag


Barack Obama released his first general election ad today. Slick and well written, the ad is as if the campaign staff ran down a checklist of the issues people report having with Obama, and then wrote a line to address each one.

The title of the ad is ??he country I love.?This seems to be a response to a gaffe Obama made before the Pennsylvania primary in which he referred to small town voters as “bitter” over economic woes like unemployment and income stagnation. It also seems to address the gaffe that wasn’t—made by his wife Michele Obama in a speech. In the context of talking about the political race and process, she infamously said, “For the first time in my adult lifestime, I am really proud of my country.” Since then, the GOP opposition, and notably her First Lady rival Cindy McCain, have ripped the quote out of context and tried to paint the would-be-first-lady as ungrateful for the opportunities that she has received in education (Princeton) and a high paying job.

He says in the ad that his life has been “blessed.” He says, “We didn’t have much money,” and speaks of his student loans. This is to deflect the feeling many have gotten that he is a Whole Foods shopping, tailored-suit elitist.

“Accountability” and “Self reliance,” “Working hard without making excuses”=don’t confuse me with an affirmative action candidate.

“Worked my way up,”= I’m a self made man.

“…led me to pass up Wall Street jobs,”= I’m no elitist.

“Moving people from welfare to work,”=I’m an economic conservative.

“Cut taxes for working families,” = Don’t listen to the right wingers who say I’m tax and spend.

“Deep and abiding faith in the country I love,”=Of course, I love this country and the only faith discussion I really want to have is about my faith in America, not so much about Reverend Wright.

The ad is well done and a credible introduction to voters who haven’t been paying too much attention.

Note the window frame in his background which forms a cross over his shoulder a’la Huckabee. I’m just saying….


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