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John McCain ad again questions 'celebrity' Barack Obama's leadership credentials

John McCain and his aides clearly have decided that labeling Barack Obama a "celebrity" is a theme worth thumping.

In the wake of a 60-second ad that gained attention Tuesday both for returning to first principles for McCain -- stressing his "maverick" image -- and skewering President Bush's second term economic record, the Republican's presidential campaign today unveiled a 30-second spot that begins with an image of Obama and invokes the C-word.

This time, there's no link to Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. The spot simply asks: "Is the biggest celebrity in the world ready to help your family?"

Not much need to guess what the answer is.

McCain advisor Carly Fiorina -- who is in the mix as a vice presidential pick -- offered the latest defense from the campaign to criticisms that its spotlight on Obama's celebrity status is a trivial critique.

"There is not question that Barack Obama is a celebrity" Fiorina said today on MSNBC. And, by extension, it is legitimate to ask whether he's ready to lead.

The new ad is unlikely to generate the buzz sparked by the Obama/Hilton/Spears spot -- or by Hilton's much-publicized response video.

The latter, which surfaced Tuesday, was widely interpreted as payback for McCain. But the astute observers who put out MSNBC's "First Read" offered this take:

"With so many problems at home and abroad (the poor economy, high gas prices, war in Iraq, escalating violence in Afghanistan), we’re loathe to spend another day talking about Paris Hilton, but here we go.

"While her new Web video takes direct shots at McCain and his age, it seems to only help the Arizona senator. Why? Because it keeps the memory of McCain’s initial shot at Obama alive."

-- Don Frederick

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The McCain camp will continue to this kind of thing as long as Obama suffers in the Polls. Obama is just going to have to stick to the Issues. LIke his energy plan. I thought that Obama was thinking about about adopting the tboonpickens plan? He should, so should McCain. I read the article about Obama and the boone pickens plan at?? I cant figure out which one of these two Im voting for., Im hoping a third party candidate will surge so I can get behind another candidate other then these two. I would of Voted for Huckabee, Clinton, or Ron Paul. Geesh. I think Paul is thinking about running on the LP ticket. , I just cant bring my self to vote for McCain. He seems like his age might be wearing on him a bit. The last thing we want is for McCain to end up a puppet., like hes already showing signs of. Did you see where that reporter stumped him and he just sat there not saying a word for like 2 minutes??? Unreal. Or the clip of him cussing, man what a potty mouth. LOL I think the video was at This election season is just one big dissapointment after another. The only that makes it worth watching is the candidates gaffs and antics. If you havnt seen McCanes reaction to the Paris tape go to, Hallarious.

Hillary will likely get all the super delegate votes in Denver once the mainstream press reports these stories which have a high buzz level on the internet. Obama is not officially nominated until Denver Convention. These stories will cause superdelegates to move to Hillary:

Larry Sinclair:

Also see Rev Manning's(Large NY Black Church) views on Obama:

This news story is also disturbing:

""There is not question that Barack Obama is a celebrity" Fiorina said today on MSNBC. And, by extension, it is legitimate to ask whether he's ready to lead."

This kind of illogical thinking is probably why Fiorina was such a failure at HP. Whether or not someone is a celebrity has next to nothing to do with their leadership abilities. EVERY presidential candidate is a "celebrity", including McCain. Since he can't win by running an honest campaign though, he hopes to mislead the American public into thinking that because Senator Obama is famous it somehow diminishes his leadership abilities or detracts from his ability to be president.

George Washington was a pretty famous guy when he was elected president. It's a good thing that people at that time didn't consider it a negative to be well known.

Since McCain can't compete with Senator Obama when it comes to the issues though, expect more of his negative ads to come. Just be prepared to ignore them and pay attention to what's truly important in this race.

McCain's alcohol problem should be of interest to Evangelical Christian, Mormon, and Islamic voters

It is comforting to know that even John McCain recognizes Barak Obama's vastly superior popularity.

In November remember that it was the Republicans who put George W. Bush in office, and it was the Republicans who contrived the Iraq war which has cost the US thousands of lives of young men and women.

John MCCain will extend the US entanglement in Iraq upwards of 100 years as well as adhere to the George Bush failed policies which are devastating our country.

You'd better get ready for the attack of the Germans (I had my doubts already at the first McCain ad, but the Deutsche Welle makes it explicit)

[ For some reason I can't insert URLs into this comment, so you have to go to my home page (search for 'toon moene') for the link ]

What McCain needs to do is quite complaining about how big a celeb Obama is and focus on his own campaign. He is drawing too much attention toward how negative he is. Fiorina is just playing along probably to get VP stakes. Vote for Obama, visit WHYOBAMA08.ORG!

Can you imagine voting for *gasp* a popular president? Why in the world would Americans want to vote for someone who is respected in other countries? Someone who actually has some new ideas? Someone who wants to talk about issues instead of miring in the mud?

John McSame needs to get off it. His advisors are starting to make him look ridiculous. They have to base his campaign on poking "fun" at Obama, because he has no platform other than the one we have seen fail for the last 7-1/2 years. I'm betting that most of the voters will see through this in November.

The argument that a "mere" celebrity is by definition too shallow to be a leader did not faze Ronald Reagan, and it shouldn't disturb Obama's progress either.

It's time to start countering McCain's image war. If the Obama folks can't do it directly, others can.

Images matter......

"Who Does McCain Remind you of? A New Game for Hard Times"

I have had a hard time understanding where Obama is coming from. I have researched his background to gain insight into his policies and motivations. The most extensive factual account of Barack Obama is on ( All the major books written on Obama and McCain are reviewed and the author gives a brief overview of each book, key facts, and his insights on each candidate. Interesting site, the author makes some good points about what motivates Obama, his history, and upbringing. Includes interesting McCain info.

Obama's training and experience is politics. I am afraid he is not the reformer as originally promised, but a politician willing to say and do whatever is necessary to get elected. Disheartening.

Perhaps it's time for the Obama campaign to paint McBush as the washed-up former celebrity he is.

We need Paris Hilton as Vice President.
Paris is a genius compared to McCain.
She will also make the White House a more beautiful place :)

McCain and his distraction campaign continue on because here's what McCain doesn't want you to know:

McCain's Voting Record: He Does Not Support Our Troops and Veterans

September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments. At the time, nearly 65% of people polled in a CNN poll indicted that "things are going either moderately badly or very badly in Iraq.

July 2007: McCain voted against a plan to drawdown troop levels in Iraq. At the time, an ABC poll found that 63% thought the invasion was not worth it, and a CBS News poll found that 72% of respondents wanted troops out within 2 years.

March 2007: McCain was too busy to vote on a bill that would require the start of a drawdown in troop levels within 120 days with a goal of withdrawing nearly all combat troops within one year. Around this time, an NBC News poll found that 55% of respondents indicated that the US goal of achieving victory in Iraq is not possible. This number has not moved significantly since then.

February 2007: For such a strong supporter of the escalation, McCain didn’t even bother to show up and vote against a resolution condemning it. However, at the time a CNN poll found that only 16% of respondents wanted to send more troops to Iraq (that number has since declined to around 10%), while 60% said that some or all should be withdrawn. This number has since gone up to around 70%.

June 2006: McCain voted against a resolution that Bush start withdrawing troops but with no timeline to do so.

May 2006: McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.

April 2006: McCain was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.

March 2006: McCain voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

March 2004: McCain once again voted for abusive tax loopholes over veterans when he voted against creating a reserve fund to allow for an increase in Veterans' medical care by $1.8 billion by eliminating abusive tax loopholes. Jeez, McCain really loves those tax loopholes for corporations, since he voted for them over our veterans' needs.

October 2003: McCain voted to table an amendment by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322,000,000 for safety equipment for United States forces in Iraq and to reduce the amount provided for reconstruction in Iraq by $322,000,000.

April 2003: McCain urged other Senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.

August 2001: McCain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650,000,000. To his credit, he also voted against the 2001 Bush tax cuts, which he now supports making permanent, despite the dire financial condition this country is in, and despite the fact that he indicated in 2001 that these tax cuts unfairly benefited the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

So there it is. John McCain is yet another republican former military veteran who likes to talk a big game when it comes to having the support of the military. Yet, time and time again, he has gone out of his way to vote against the needs of those who are serving in our military. If he can’t even see his way to actually doing what the troops want, or what the veterans need, and he doesn’t have the support of veterans, then how can he be a credible commander in chief?

McCain's voting record on women's issues:

McCain has voted consistently against women's health, and he supports overturning the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade. Following is a summary of his positions on women's issues.

McCain Opposed Equal Pay Bill for Women, Said They ‘Need Education and Training’ Instead. McCain skipped a vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that would ensure women have the opportunity to recover back pay for discrimination once they discover it. If he had been there to vote, he said he would have voted against it and that women “need education and training” rather than an equal pay bill. The bill addressed a recent Supreme Court decision that said Steelworker Lilly Ledbetter could not recover back pay for 19 years of discrimination at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. because she had not discovered the unequal pay until she retired. The bill would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to allow employees to file charges of pay discrimination within 180 days of the last received paycheck affected by the discrimination. [Source:; H.R. 2831, Vote 110, 4/23/08; Associated Press, 4/28/08]

McCain Voted to Gut the Family and Medical Leave Act. In 1993, before finally voting for the Family and Medical Leave Act, McCain voted to jeopardize leave for millions of workers by gutting the bill. He voted to suspend the Family and Medical Leave Act unless the federal government certified that compliance would not increase business expenses or provide financial assistance to businesses to cover any related costs. [Source: S.Amdt. 16, S. 5, Vote 7, 2/4/93; H.R. 1, Vote 11, 2/4/93]

Source for the following information: Planned Parenthood

McCain opposed spending $100 million to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies. In 2005, McCain voted NO to allocate $100 million to expand access to preventive health care services that reduce the numbers of unintended and teen pregnancies and reduce the number of abortions.

McCain opposed legislation requiring that abstinence-only programs be medically accurate and scientifically based.
McCain voted NO on legislation that would help reduce the number of teen pregnancies by providing funding for programs to teach comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education and other programs to prevent unintended teen pregnancies.

McCain opposed Title X, the nation's family planning program.
In 1990, McCain voted NO on legislation to extend the Title X federal family planning program, which provides low-income and uninsured women and families with health care services ranging from breast and cervical cancer screening to birth control.

McCain opposed requiring insurance coverage of prescription birth control.
In 2003, McCain voted NO on legislation to improve the availability of contraceptives for women and to require insurance coverage of prescription birth control.

McCain opposes comprehensive sex education.
In an interview aboard the "Straight Talk Express," McCain struggled to answer questions about comprehensive sex education and HIV prevention. He also stated that he supported "the president's policy" on sex education.

McCain unsure where he stands on government funding for contraception.
"Whether I support government funding for them or not, I don't know," McCain said about contraceptives.

McCain opposed repealing the "global gag rule."
In 2005, McCain voted NO on legislation to overturn the "global gag rule," which bars foreign nongovernmental organizations from receiving U.S. family planning assistance if the organization (using its own, non-U.S. funds) provides abortion services or information or advocates for pro-choice laws and policies in its own country.

McCain supports overturning Roe v. Wade.
In February 2007, the AP quoted McCain stating, "I do not support Roe v. Wade. It should be overturned." In May 2007, he reiterated his desire to overturn Roe v. Wade during an appearance on Meet the Press stating, "My position has been consistently in my voting record, pro-life, and I continue to maintain that position and voting record."

Our Revolution of 1776, with the Constitution and all, came as Washington, Ben Franklin, and many others were international celebrities.

Suddenly now, a portion of our country wants to shrink back and actually make it a "negative" or "scary" thing for our president and leaders to be international sensations.

Instead of shooting ourselves in the foot thinking it is the more patriotic thing to elect the candidate who has less exciting appeal both at home and abroad, let's be bold, America the Brave and Beautiful, and choose a leader who we can respect as a leader who captivates the worlds' attention.

In more recent times, too, US presidents and leaders have been honored in foreign countries for their bold leadership. For example, the capital of Liberia is named Monrovia after US President Monroe, just to name one. Somehow, have we lost our confidence that America IS, always has, and will be an international sensation. That boldness and leadership just attracts celebrity. It lessens McCain that his idea of leadership is being less in the spotlight. My uncle Bill is less in the spotlight, but his leadership is less than presidential, too.

I know we have this idea that what's popular is superficial, but that only goes so far. That idea ends when it makes us stop believing in ourselves that our American way of life is a worldwide sensation. Bush busted up that sensation into a PR catastrophe for the good name of America, but don't let that shrink our confidence by voting for someone who will further lessen our stage presence so we can shrink back to obscurity. We want to be great? Then we will be in the international public eye. It is to our next president's credit, and now you see why it's in the interests of our country, for our President and leaders to international celebrities - and for that matter for us all to be bold in our lives to really make our own 15 minutes of fame (ore more) count for something good and bold.

not quite. the founding fathers did not do what they did to be 'celebrities,' or 'potus,' or to 'get-rich-quick-by-ruining-your-country-and-killing-millions-of-people,' but because they thought they had it right. they were about to free mankind from the tyranny of power, and the bondage of debt.
and while they were about 'the constitution and all,' alright, it might be worthwhile to stop and see that for the two presently media hyped illegitimate candidates it is about getting rid of exactly that constitution, the bill of rights, civil liberties, and america. very different.
with every idol or celebrity born to america, america is more alienated from its foundations, and the people lose more and more of their freedom, their prosperity and peace, until they find themselves empty-handed and enslaved, in a bloody fool's paradise.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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