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Jarring John McCain ad jumps from Bill Ayers to housing crisis

October 10, 2008 |  9:25 am

At the least, a John McCain television ad unveiled today will be the likely frontrunner for the year's most-jampacked-30-second-spot award.

The ad starts with zinging Barack Obama over his connection to notorious Vietnam-era radical Bill Ayers, then segues (jarringly) to blaming congressional Democrats for the collapsed housing market.

It happens all in less than 50 words (not counting the required McCain approval line for the spot):

The different moods emanating from the two campaigns, meanwhile, were on stark display in morning appearances by the two presidential contenders.

Obama, riding front-runner status in recent national and state polls, focused on the nation's economic turmoil in remarks made in Ohio. "Now is not the time for fear. Now is not the time for panic. Now is the time for resolve and steady leadership," he said, clearly hoping voters would see him as offering those attributes.

McCain, speaking in Wisconsin, began by stressing his new plan for aiding beleaguered homeowners. But he quickly launched a series of direct attacks at Obama, clearly hoping voters will judge his character superior to his rival's.

He reprised a barb from earlier this week, sarcastically telling his crowd that were he ever to need guidance in being truthful to the American people, he would not seek it from a "Chicago politician" (i.e., Obama).

-- Don Frederick