This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman.
Let me stipulate: Obama’s Fannie Mae connections are completely fair game. But this ad doesn’t even mention a far more significant tie–that of Jim Johnson, the former Fannie Mae chairman who had to resign as head of Obama’s vice presidential search team after it was revealed he got a sweetheart deal on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial. Instead, it relies on a fleeting and tenuous reference in a Washington Post Style section story to suggest that Obama’s principal economic adviser is former Fannie Mae Chairman Frank Raines. Why? One reason might be that Johnson is white; Raines is black.
And the image of the victim doesn’t seem accidental either, given the fact that older white women are a key swing constituency in this election.
Guest poster DRJ at Patterico’s blog smacks Tumulty’s argument up one side and down the other:
Maybe the McCain campaign should have used a blank screen as a backdrop for its ad.
Maybe Time could have let the McCain campaign use one of its cover shots of Obama with a halo enveloping him.
Or maybe McCain could have used the picture of the Obamas with their two daughters that ran on the cover of People.
Why not Jim Johnson??? Maybe because no one has suggested that Jim Johnson is advising the Obama campaign. Helping to pick a Vice-Presidential candidate is not more significant than providing policy advice. Johnson’s only role was to look for skeletons in the closet.
Further, Johnson was not an official at Fannie Mae during the time that the fraud perpetrated by Raines was ongoing — he left Fannie Mae in 1998 â€“ nor was Johnson there when Fannie Mae was raining bribe money on Obama.
Hey, were just making accusations here, not stating facts. Right, Karen?
Read the whole thing.
Betsy Newmark wonders:
How helpful of Tumulty to further the Democratic image of evil Republican racists by suggesting that there is something racist about this ad. How about the totally dishonest ad that Obama has been running in Spanish trying to tie McCain to decade-old Rush Limbaugh quotes that have been totally taken out of context to make it seem that McCain is racist against Hispanics? A trick that is especially slimy when it exactly mischarachterizes McCain’s history on immigration, positions that almost lost him the nomination last summer. And Rush Limbaugh has been quite vocal at criticizing John McCain on immigration so it makes no sense at all to try to tie the two together.
And for what it’s worth, Team McCain has a new ad out today that focuses on Jim Johnson’s ties to the Obama campaign.
I’m surprised Tumulty hasn’t ruled that ALL ads McCain has run against Obama where he has used Obama’s image and the image of a white person are racist. After all, Obama is black, McCain’s a white Republican, and you know the old story about how Republicans only use black people in ads when they want to appeal to the “closet racist” in all of us …
Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins today.