Sanity Injection

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Archive for August 28th, 2008

McCain campaign steals spotlight by being nice

Posted by sanityinjection on August 28, 2008

It’s rare that you see something new in politics, but viewers watching the Democratic convention tonight on the major cable networks will have that opportunity. The McCain campaign has decided to air a television ad before, during, and after Obama’s acceptance speech tonight. That in itself is not new – candidates are always trying to steal the spotlight from each other. But the content of the ad is surprising – McCain simply congratulates Obama on winning the nomination, and points out the symbolism that he does so on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech:

Clearly, the McCain folks figure this is a way to keep McCain in voters’ minds without looking like he is trying to crash a party he’s not invited to, and hoping voters will give him points for being gracious to his opponent.  It should work, but as far as I know it’s never been tried before. Coming after last night’s speech by former President Clinton, in which he took great care to praise McCain’s character and service before denouncing his policies, are we finally starting to see the kinder, gentler, campaign that both candidates said they wanted to run?

Well, probably not. It’s too easy for criticisms of policy to slide into criticisms of judgment into criticisms of character. But at least those of us who long for a more gentlemanly brand of politics can enjoy the moment while it lasts.


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