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"Hot chicks dig Obama," a new John McCain ad proclaims

August 12, 2008 |  9:47 am

Another day, another John McCain Web ad that depicts Barack Obama as an air-headed creation of celebrity culture.

References and images include Elvis, The Beatles, Bono, Wayne and Garth (of "Saturday Night Live" fame) and, most improbably, a Taco Bell (!).

[UPDATE: The use of Wayne and Garth -- the two stoner characters memorably etched by Michael Myers and Dana Carvey -- came to the attention of copyright lawyers and led to a slight re-editing of the spot, as The Times' Dan Morian relates here.]

Most controversially, the spot features one young woman complimenting Obama's "aura," and a second young woman singling out his "very soft eyes" for praise. And then there's a fellow saying of the 47-year-old U.S. senator and father of two who defied long odds to emerge as one of the two main contenders for the most powerful office in the world: "Hot chicks dig Obama."

The ad begins with an excited narrator saying: "You've seen him in London, Paris and Berlin. Now you, too, can join 'The One's' fan club in America."

Later, the narrator cheerily asserts: "We know he doesn't have much experience. And isn't ready to lead. But that doesn't mean he isn't dreamy."

McCain surrogates will light-heartedly defend the ad as simply another effort to inject humor into the serious business of running for the White House.

Others will wonder how much more demeaning the McCain camp can get toward its rival -- and whether the Democrat and his aides will figure out a way to effectively counter the ongoing assault.

The new ad surfaces on the same day that Mark Penn -- unabashedly continuing to offer his insights at Politico.com after helping guide Hillary Clinton from frontrunner in the Democratic race to also-ran -- gives his professional blessing to the much-discussed McCain "Celebrity" ad that linked Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

Writes Penn: "Clever negative advertising works. That is reality."

-- Don Frederick

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