In my postÂ on the LA Times Festival of books, I suggested I might comment further on David Frum’s observation there that “Hillary and McCain were among the most well-known figures in American politics.”Â Given our familiarity with these two, I wondered how much the campaign would serve to alter their public image. Â
It does seem that the prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination has solidified and possibly increased Hillary’s negatives. Â And this morning, as IÂ read the New York Times article on Democratic National Committee (DNC) ads attacking the presumptive Republican nominee, I wondered if a prolonged barrage of negative ads would effect John McCain’s long-standing, largely favorable public image.
According to the Times, the DNC “has begun its first sustained advertising campaign against Senator John McCain, introducing a new commercial this week criticizing his recent comments that he could envision a United States presence in Iraq for 100 years.” Howard Dean’s party once again takes John McCain’s comments out of context, suggesting, he favors a hundred-years war. The full text of the remarks show he means something quite different.
Par for the course with the left spinning Republican remarks so as to portray their political adversaries not as they are, but as they want them to be so they can better attack them.
Dean is not alone in rushing to attack McCain. Â Moveon.org and another left-wing group, Progressive Media USA, also have plans to run ads attacking the GOP nominee. Â But, fundraising for these groups has been “slower than expected.” Â While Democratic officials attribute this to donorsÂ “splitting their giving between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama,” I wonder if it’s because John McCain doesn’t arouse the ire of rank-and-file Democrats and non-activist liberals as does George W. Bush.
John McCain has been in the national public eye for over a quarter century. Â His favorable ratings remain high. I doubt a DNC ad campaign will do much to change that, even one supported by other left-wing groups and the financial fortune of George Soros.Â