I’m not sure why John McCain is overreacting so much to the North Carolina GOP ad. It is an ad that mentions Obama’s association with Jeremiah Wright and pointing out that Democratic candidates for governor Bev Perdue and Richard Moore support Obama. Oh yeah, and the ad might have said a little something about Rev. Wright being too extreme for North Carolina. There’s nothing racist about that. There’s nothing controversial about that. In fact, I’m not entirely sure this would be an effective ad. The only thing that’s keeping this story going is that Rev. Wright feels obligated to defend himself against the injustice of bloggers and media people reporting on what he actually said. If he didn’t, I honestly believe this issue would go away. John McCain won’t run ads on it, based on what we have seen this week from him.
I don’t think the ad is going to work because this is similar to the argument Republicans were trying to make in 2006 — beware Nancy Pelosi and the EVIL Democrats, because they will do all sorts of horrible things to make your life miserable. Or something like that. Did that work in ’06? Did we gin up enough reasonable fear of scary Democrats to drive the vote for Republicans? Umm…no. Republicans were unmotivated and the undecided were willing to take a chance on the Democrats because the ruling party failed. The Republican brand has been damaged, and it’s still damaged. John McCain is doing nothing to help the Republican party rebuild that brand, and he doesn’t seem to have an interest in making that attempt.
This is why I believe John McCain overreacted to the ad. He’s more concerned about losing those Democrats and independents than he is in keeping the Republicans he has won by default from deserting him in the general election. It’s one thing to say that this isn’t the ad he would have chosen to run, and another to say that the NCGOP is “out of touch”. McCain still doesn’t get it. He’s the one who doesn’t understand conservatives, and it’s clear that he doesn’t respect us. Could the NCGOP have created a different ad based on pointing out differences between Democrats and Republicans on issues? Yes, and I would have preferred that. But McCain doesn’t have the right to demand that they pull the Wright ad.