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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

McCain's new ad. . .

. . .is drawing raves from me, but not Yuval Levin at The Corner.

Levin comes away with the sense that the ad is somehow "downbeat" -- something I didn't pick up at all. I think the ad is actually a brilliant drawing of the contrast between the McCain campaign and those of his Democrat rivals. I think that people who see the ad and absorb the content will come away with the sense that, while the Obama campaign is preaching a "New Kind of Politics" from the pulpit on Sunday, on Monday through Saturday, it's engaging in the same old slash-and-burn politics it so disingenuously decries.

As usual, it's beautifully produced and filled with evocative images that hearken back to Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" campaign.

I think Levin is thinking about the McCain ad in terms of its drawing a direct contrast with his opponent -- on the assumption that his opponent is Barack Obama. I think where he misses the point is that McCain, at this point, actually has two opponents with whom to draw a contrast, and that they're making it very easy for him to do it by virtue of the nature of the campaigns they're running against one another, and McCain.

On one side, you have two campaigns ripping at one another's flesh and flailing out at their common opponent in often haphazard fashion -- one of which purports be the very antithesis of what it actually is. On the other side, you have a man who has vowed to run a respectful campaign based on service to a cause greater than oneself. This ad brings these ideas into focus.

I don't see the defensiveness that Mr. Levin sees in this ad. I see it as a lesson in both civics and civility in the midst of a campaign where his opponents seem to hold both in contempt.

Watch the video and see what you think.

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