I was spurred to write this post as John McCain's ad came on the air once again, as I prepare lunch. Checking out his YouTube channel, it seems he does have more commercials than that one, and I'll have to check them all out. But this one ad has been getting on my nerves:
It's a fine commercial, not so grating as some campaign ads I've seen over the years. The problem is, what does this actually tell me about John McCain? He's a veteran from a line of veterans? Okay, check. I think everyone already knew that, but maybe not. He wants to keep America safe? Alright. Good. So does your opponent. Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war? Is this an attempt to distance yourself from the administration? They've certainly talked both tough and romantically about war. I'm gonna be generous, I suppose, and take George Bush to be a fool, then, rather than a fraud. If there's a fraud in the White House, it's probably Cheney. But that aside, this commercial really doesn't explain the candidate, or his positions on the issues, even issues of security, defense and foreign policy. Simply that he thinks war is bad. Looking at his stated positions, that doesn't seem to bar him from wanting to prosecute the war we're in, or an additional war with Iran. It doesn't even inform me about his existing record.
Maybe I view these differently because I'm so steeped in politics, especially this year. I can certainly guarantee I'm following all of this much closer than the average voter, and probably am looking for something different in an ad than said average voter. I'm interested in getting more detail, some actual specifics. Doesn't have to be a lot, I know you've only got a short timeslot to make yourself look good in, but give me something other than just a feel-good message. Not that I don't like a well made feel-good message. I certainly do. But I want to see some suggestion of where you're going with my country; at the very least I'd like a heavily biased look at your record. Give me something to like or hate about your politics, not just your biography.
John McCain yesterday released a new ad:
This ad actually does a much better job of portraying him. It gives him a bit of distance from George Bush, bringing up his disagreements on environmental policy. The ad also advances an issue that he can clearly point to for Independents as evidence that he isn't a partisan ideologue. In addition, while it does not actually contain any policy points, it does a very good job of feeling like it gave you information. At the very least, it did present that John McCain is concerned about the environment and intends to work for Green issues; implying alternative energy with the dam and the solar panels. It even brings in the economy. Overall, a much better ad for John McCain than his first one. If you're interested in seeing more ads from John McCain, check out his YouTube channel.
Listening to: Omni Trio - Earth Song