Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is mocking the oratorical gifts of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), recommending that he “should consider someone with a knack for brevity and directness, to balance the ticket.”
“Taking in my opponent's performances is a little like watching a big summer blockbuster,” McCain sneers in his weekly radio address, “and an hour in, realizing that all the best scenes were in the trailer you saw last fall.”
Obama delivered the Democrats’ officials radio address Saturday, mentioning “Senator McCain” four times during a policy remarks about Iraq and balancing the budget. McCain snarks at Obama 10 times in his own address.
McCain’s gibe about a less windy running mate is part of a continuing effort by the Republican’s presidential campaign to turn Obama’s strengths against him.
Obama’s popular with younger voters, and Americans usually vote for the more likable presidential candidate. So using political jujitsu, McCain used TV ads to portray his opponent as an air-headed celebrity more in the mold of Paris Hilton than commander in chief.
Similarly, McCain uses his radio address – which has no official status, but is distributed by the campaign in English and Spanish sound files – to try to preempt gushing coverage of Obama’s convention acceptance speech, which is to be delivered before a crowd of 70,000 at a Denver stadium.
“As you may know, the Democratic National Convention is just a couple of weeks away,” McCain begins. “It was four years ago, at the same gathering, that America heard a fine speech from an Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. He's done pretty well for himself since then. And the smart money in Denver is on another celebrated performance.
“But even the most stirring speeches are easily forgotten when they're short on content. Taking in my opponent's performances is a little like watching a big summer blockbuster, and an hour in, realizing that all the best scenes were in the trailer you saw last fall. In the way of running mates, Senator Obama should consider someone with a knack for brevity and directness, to balance the ticket.
“In the meantime, let me take a stab at a plot summary of the Obama campaign: America is finally winning in Iraq, and he wants to forfeit. Government is too big, and he wants to grow it. Taxes are too high, and he wants to raise them. Congress spends too much, and he proposes more. We need more energy, and he's against producing it.”
Obama, in an address taped before he began a weeklong Hawaii vacation yesterday, declares: “In recent days, we’ve seen two stark examples of exactly what’s wrong with Washington, and what’s at stake in this election. First, we learned that the federal budget deficit could reach nearly half a trillion dollars next year. … The second thing we learned this week was that the Iraqi government now has a $79 billion budget surplus thanks to their windfall oil profits. …
“I believe that we need to move in a new direction. … This is a defining moment in our history. We can either continue down a failed course, or we can choose a better future.”
McCain’s campaign said in a TV ad that Americans are “worse off than we were four years ago.”
In a bit of onedownmanship, Obama says in his address: “The American people are worse off than they were eight years ago.”