Tag Archives: Political ads

Will you be rich come Inauguration Day?

No, I’m not talking about Gwen Ifill’s book-selling prospects in the event that Barack Obama wins.

I’m talking about the sinking bar for the Democrats’ definition of “rich” as it pertains to the threshold income level at which Obama’s tax plan would really pack a wallop. Where do you step out from beneath the protective umbrella of the hallowed, untouchable middle class and graduate to state cash-cow status? Are you safe from the Obama harvesting machine if you make less than:

  1. $1,000,000
  2. $250,000
  3. $200,000
  4. $150,000
  5. $120,000
  6. $70,000
  7. $41.500
  8. All of the above

Well, if Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, any number of various Obama campaign bigs, and Obama himself are to be believed, the answer can only be “All of the above.”

During the Democratic primaries, where class envy was an easier sell and solid economic plans were not yet necessary, Obama contented himself with railing against “millionaires,” which had more of a personal touch than “corporations” and allowed for comparisons of personal income. Same bugaboo, different tax form.

After Obama’s nomination, he released his tax plan to the public, declaring (as he did in July at a gathering in Georgia), “If you make $250,000 a year or less, we will not raise your taxes. We will cut your taxes!” This figure came up repeatedly during the debates. And there was much rejoicing among the acolytes.

Last weekend, the Obama campaign released a TV ad in which their candidate assured us, “If you have a job, pay taxes, and make less than $200,000 a year, you will get a tax cut.” The candidate said this would apply to “95% of working Americans,” a figure I and others (including the AP and CBS News) have said numerous times is a mathematical impossibility.

Then came Tuesday, when Obama’s running-mate, Sen. Joe Biden, lowered the bar further to $150,000. It was at about this point that the serial bar-lowering turned into a great ad opportunity for the McCain campaign.

There’s more lurking in the background, however, that the campaign had to leave out for time’s sake…it looks like he’s been shining us on all along. In an interview in 2003, toward the beginning of his Senate campaign, Obama pegs the middle-class upper income limit at $70,000. How thoughtful…looks like he’s just slipping lower and lower numbers by us so that he might ease us into our newfound “richness.”

At least that would go some way toward explaining his recent loyal support and vote for the Democrat-crafted budget bill for FY 2009, which slapped a tax hike on individuals making as little as $41,500. I can just see all those middle-class folks basking in their newfound patriotism as they join the ranks of the nouveau riche.

Oh, hell, I feel richer already.

UPDATE: The McCain campaign’s “Slippery Slope” ad (referenced in the $150,000 paragraph above) has been updated to include the Richardson clip. Unfortunately, it’s way too long for a 30-second spot, and looks to be restricted to Web-ad status.

Obamfomercial ratings match Perotgramming

Oh, that has gotta hurt bad.

Nielsen announces that TV ratings for Barack Obama’s multi-network blanket infomercial only slightly beats out the mind-numbing pie-chart party broadcast by billionaire circus sideshow Ross Perot on Election Eve in 1996. Perot went on to win slightly over 8% of the vote.

Now some people might say that a 21.7% share is pretty good. Those people would be right if it hadn’t been insanely hyped, broadcast over five networks, and featured one candidate of only a two-candidate race. (Captain Ed’s got my back.) As it stands, the Nielsen ratings reflect the expected audience of such a production. The people who watched were the ones predisposed in the first place to sit through a gauzy tribute to Barack Obama for half an hour. That is to say, those who are already hard-core supporters.

The rest of the viewing public already knew what was coming.

No. 1 on YouTube for a reason

Obamagirl is prettier, but if I were an undecided voter this weekend, this video would put even her out of my mind. Make absolutely sure you watch past the spoken part.

I saw this video some time back (it’s was uploaded two months ago), but according to the BBC it’s become “the most-viewed election-related video on the YouTube website” since then, racking up over 11.3 million hits as of this posting.

The most striking part about it (outside of its content) is that while the McCain campaign did make a decision early on to spend less money on TV and more on YouTube advertising, the campaign never even had a hand in this. It’s entirely homemade; filmed, edited, and uploaded by volunteers, and starring an Iraq veteran who remains nameless throughout. McCain’s most effective Internet ad didn’t cost him a dime.

UPDATE: Fox News’s Shep Smith interviewed the no-longer-unnamed soldier, Sgt. Joe Cook, during his hour-long show. It was actually a fairly good interview, with Smith pressing Sgt. Cook to explain his assertion in the video that Sen. Obama has been “disrespectful” to the troops, but doing so respectfully himself, and in a manner that evokes a civil and enlightening exchange.

As with Joe Wurzelbacher and Tito Muñoz, I hope Sgt. Cook has a minimum of skeletons in his closet, or he can expect a lot of unwanted attention in the next few days. Fortunately, this late in the game, and with the race this close, I doubt that even the most bloodthirsty oppo professional on Obama’s staff, or the most starry-eyed Obama cheerleader in the media, will be so stupid as to go through the garbage cans of a wounded Iraq veteran who served honorably.

America’s newest “ex-Marine” panics

Rep. John Murtha is drowning.

Camp Murtha has hurried out a mass mailing to the Congressman’s donor list begging for an additional $1 million so that he may cling to his seat for two more years. Such a cash infusion would supplement the eleventh-hour ad buys the DCCC have suddenly dumped on his district in an effort to save some of the votes their candidate is hemorrhaging. If his “racist, redneck” statemates decide they haven’t blown all their spare cash on Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and tractor pull tickets, perhaps they will come to the rescue of this pitiable, vestigial relic. Or perhaps not.

(Speaking of Murtha’s “racist” and “redneck” comments, check the latest mailing from his opponent Bill Russell, who is obviously having a ball with this. Bringin’ Jeff Foxworthy up north!)

A new Dane & Associates poll (H/T Miz Michelle) shows the race a statistical dead heat, with Murtha hanging onto a 1.8-point lead (45.5% to 43.7). With this many voters still undecided about a thirty-plus year incumbent, Murtha’s got plenty to worry about.

Republicans, on the other hand, finally have something to look forward to.

Making the business tax argument funny

The Tax Foundation held a video submission contest for amateur YouTube videos explaining, quickly and simply, how the business tax works, what effects it has on the economy, and why American business taxes are too high. The winners range from the edgy, fast-paced crash-course:

…to the funny, kitschy period piece:

(That second one reminds me of the hysterical employee orientation video from “Harvey Birdman” [Part 1 and Part 2 on YouTube], except way shorter.)

The videos are imaginative, fascinating, and surprisingly instructive given the necessary limits on breadth and depth. The upshot of the argument, as the common thread running through these videos, is that virtually the only country in the world that is not benefitting from high American corporate tax rates is…well, America.

If only this contest had been held weeks ago, McCain might have saved himself a lot of grief, not to mention gained himself a few awesome ads…

(H/T the Corner.)

Obama as mail-order herbal enhancer

I got a call from my dad this evening. He said he “had a proposal” for me. He proposed that I liveblog the upcoming half-hour of major-network Obama paid programming. (Wouldn’t you know, Dad’s a WitSnapper fan.) I said that was an interesting proposal, but I was unclear as to how that would be beneficial. He explained that, well, if I liveblogged it, then he’d be able to find out what was in it without being forced to sit through it.

“Ah. I see.”

The results of this conversation, and my estimation of the omnipresent Obama-worship how-to video and its genesis, below the break.

Continue reading

Rally featuring Tito the Truck Driver

[UPDATE: Welcome, Fox News “Embeds” readers! Feel free to have a look around, starting with a click on the banner art for the latest posts. Check out recent posts on polls, energy, redistribution, what it means to be “rich,” and hey, maybe a little wildlife photography.]

Joe the Plumber has generated an honest-to-gawd sequel: Tito the Truck Driver, who introduced Sarah Palin at a McCain-Palin rally today.

Tito first burst onto the scene when he confronted Mother Jones columnist David Corn at an earlier rally, surrounded by a small crowd in high moral dudgeon. (Corn was there to demonstrate to the world what a savage bunch McCain-Palin supporters were.) Tito laced into Corn for the media’s shabby treatment of Joe Wurzelbacher, AKA Joe the Plumber, and their general, all-around in-the-tankitude regarding Barack Obama. Corn went through most of the exchange with the same deer-in-the-headlights look on his face that he and so many of his colleagues love to ascribe to Gov. Palin.

It got him noticed, and it eventually got his name out. He next turned up in the McCain-Palin campaign’s very effective ad released last week, “I Am Joe,” in which a succession of blue-collar workers and small-business owners vocally identified with Joe the Plumber and described what makes them like him. This was where the angry guy in the hardhat from David Corn’s ill-fated foray into Red-State America introduced himself formally as “Tito the Truck Driver.”

Now he appears to have joined the McCain-Palin ground team on a semi-permanent basis as a VIP, introducing Sarah Palin for her rally speeches. Not bad for a Colombian immigrant who came here with nothing.

I just hope, for Tito’s sake, that he has his taxes in order. Especially now that David Corn has a mad-on for him.

UPDATE: Thanks to Anchoress, who tells me Tito’s full name. Joe Wurzelbacher, meet Tito Muñoz.