While the Tattler doesn’t usually like the kind of wan-music-in-the-background soft emotional porn of the ‘Oprah-ized’ infomercial, Obama’s half-hour spot Wednesday night avoided most of the worst aggravations of this TV clich窠especially the forlorn solo piano music sound track with flourishes of swelling strings redolent of tacky video matchmaking and cancer treatment center ads.
It featured battleground-state stereotypes a laid-off white male Ford Motors worker, a Latina woman trying to make ends meet, an elderly black couple hampered by chronic illness and worried about the future, et al — struggling with life in Bush’s downsized economy, but at least the people were real and their stories didn’t sink into cheesy Lifetime-channel melodrama; Obama’s interspersions in office surroundings reminiscent of Camp David were obviously intended to make the Low-and-Slow-Information-Voters of Middle America, awaiting the ballgame, feel comfortable with him as president, which was the main point of this smart $4 million investment.
Obama laid out his economic plans clearly, appeared mature and confident, and didn’t, as I recall, mention Sen. McMoribund or the Ice Princess even once. Contrast this with tone-deaf McCain’s free hour on Larry King following Obama’s spot in a country thirsting for unity and a different direction, he mostly griped about Obama and reprised the half-baked GOP themes of the past four election cycles, although he finally admitted he really didn’t believe his Democratic opponent was a socialist, negating all of the frantic rhetoric emanating from his campaign to the contrary. (Incidentally, if you know anyone who supports McCain, ask them exactly what he plans to do about the economy that is fundamentally any different from what Bush has done.)
Bill McInturff, McCain’s lead pollster, claims he has internal numbers that contradict the national polls showing Obama way ahead he proclaimed that McCain was “functionally tied” with Obama (whatever that means), but didn’t comment on why, if that’s true, McCain has been forced to spend money defending states that have safely been in the Republican column for decades, including his home state of Arizona. (Perhaps McInturff has been consulting the same secret figures Karl Rove used in 2006 when he boasted to an NPR reporter that the Republicans would hold Congress — “You may end up with a different math, but you’re entitled to your math, I’m entitled to the math.” Two weeks later, the GOP was blown out by the Dems in the off-year election. Following the drubbing, it leaked that Rove’s fatuous optimism was merely a ‘job requirement’ and not based on any inside information in other words, ‘the math’ was entirely in his head.)
McInturff’s private polls notwithstanding, and barring a monumental screw-up by Obama or Biden, or some sort of, at this point, impractical and impracticable mass voting treachery by the GOP, you can get used to saying ‘President Obama’ after next Tuesday.
Wednesday night’s well-produced infomercial sealed the deal.