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Inside Blogotics

- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2008

Ad wars I

The campaign of Sen. Barack Obama put out a hard-hitting ad last week, accusing an ad campaign led by abortion survivor Gianna Jessen of distorting his votes on the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, and accusing Sen. John McCain of opposing abortion in the three "hard cases" [-] rape, incest and the life of the mother. Too bad it was basically all false, according to conservative bloggers.

The ad featuring Miss Jessen "has produced a hysterical reaction from Team O that pretty much has become a One-Note Charlie when responding to any criticism," wrote Ed Morrissey at Hot Air in a post titled "Obama ad lies about Obama's infanticide vote."

"The record here is very, very clear. Obama initially said that he opposed the bill in Illinois because it didn't have the 'neutrality clause' included in the federal version of the legislation," Mr. Morrissey wrote, referring to provisions in the bill stating it did not affect the constitutional right to abortion. "As documentation proved, Obama voted against it even with the neutrality clause added. The Obama campaign finally acknowledged that Obama had lied about his position a month ago. Why? Because it would have actually forced doctors to provide care for live infants from abortions [-] or in other words, it would have worked."

Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, the nurse whose expose of babies surviving abortion attempts in a Chicago hospital led to the Illinois law in question, pointed out other deceptions.

"Obama ad Deception #1: Insinuating the BornAliveTruth.org Gianna ad was issued by the John McCain campaign, which it clearly was not," an especially ironic charge since the pro-life community has long been suspicious of Mr. McCain.

"Obama ad Deception #2: Insinuating journalists were calling BornAliveTruth.org's Gianna ad 'one of the sleaziest ads ... ever seen' and 'truly vile' when close scrutiny of the dates in the Obama ad showed they were written September 10, 2008, 6 days before the Gianna ad began airing." Screen captures on Mrs. Stanek's site show the quotes from pro-Obama columnists Joe Klein of Time and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post referred to an earlier McCain ad about Mr. Obama's support for sex education in kindergarten.

Ad wars II

In the flap over Sen. John McCain's "celebrity" ads featuring Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, several prominent liberals said it was racist to mention a black man in the same breath as two nubile young white women. Apparently it's now also racist to mention one in the same breath as another middle-aged black man followed by an elderly white woman.

Time's Karen Tumulty, at the magazine's Swampland blog, wrote a post titled "McCain Plays the Race Card," referring to an ad attacking Sen. Barack Obama's ties to Franklin Raines, who profited handsomely from his time starting in 1999 as CEO of now-moribund mortgage giant Fannie Mae. "This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman."

"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."

But that evidence fell apart the next day when Ms. Tumulty's Swampland co-blogger Ana Marie Cox noted that the McCain campaign "just released this ad, focusing on Obama's relationship with former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, who is white. I'm told it was produced several days ago."

The reaction of Ms. Tumulty to her smear? It was the McCain team's fault: The Johnson ad "raises the question of why the campaign didn't air that one in the first place."

Priorities

Sarah Palin was disinvited from a rally at the United Nations against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the reason given by the sponsoring group beggars belief, according to the pseudonymous blogger Jewish Republican Girl.

"First Hillary Clinton canceled her invitation to speak at a NY rally to stop Iran from getting nukes because having a prominent Democratic woman speak alongside a prominent Republican woman, Sarah Palin, is 'partisan.' Then the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) called to have Sarah Palin removed from the speakers' list," she wrote.

The statement from Chairman Marc R. Stanley, quoted by Republican Jewish Girl, reads as follows: "Monday's protest against Ahmadinejad is too important to be tainted by partisanship. Unfortunately, the campaign of Senator John McCain is much more interested in scoring political points than insuring there is bipartisan solidarity around the anti-Ahmadinejad efforts. Therefore, we call upon the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations to withdraw the invitation to Governor Sarah Palin and we applaud Senator Hillary Clinton's decision to not attend the rally after the attendance of Palin was announced."

To which the Republican Jewish Girl responded: "But for the NJDC to 'applaud' Clinton's decision not to attend because Palin was going seems a contradiction of priorities. Wouldn't the NJDC want to have a strong showing of Democratic players at the anti-Ahmadinejad rally? And the second sentence is complete [expletive]. ... There was bipartisan solidarity until Clinton decided she couldn't show up. Why should Palin base her decision on whether or not to come on Clinton, or Obama for that matter? It's the Obama camp here that's playing politics and not sending a strong message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and this argument to disinvite Palin is the stupidest I've ever heard."

Joe Eagleton?

It would be easy to dismiss this as tinfoil-hat talk about the presidential race [-] except that one of the leading liberal news sources argues for it with a straight face.

The idea is compelling to some voters, who are forwarding a viral e-mail that states Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. will drop off the ticket after the vice-presidential debate the first week of October and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will take his No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket. Adding fuel to the fire is a Snopes.com article that does not debunk the e-mail, but rather says the status of the rumor is "undetermined."

Sounds ridiculous on any number of fronts, both tactical and legal, but that didn't stop the Huffington Post.

"It's time to dump Biden and replace him with Sen. Hillary Clinton. I don't care how it's done. Campaign chief David Axelrod can figure that out. And the sooner the better. Because I'm starting to think that if Team-Obama doesn't do something dramatic fast, it's gonna lose this election," wrote blogger/columnist Andy Ostroy.

"To be sure, a Biden-Clinton switch would cause quite a stir in the media. They'd accuse him of all sorts of things, from being politically expedient and flip-flopping to being irrational and ill-equipped to be president. ... [But] these pundits don't constitute an appreciable voting block. What they think and feel would be utterly dwarfed by the euphoria from Clinton's faithful supporters. It's a pretty safe bet that an Obama/Clinton ticket would capture virtually all of these loyal Clintonistas. It's also a safe bet that many of those highly coveted 18-49-year-old women who polls show migrated to McPalin this past week would drop the spunky little hockey mom in a heartbeat for Hillary. Lastly, it's an even safer bet that Obama's current voters would stick with him as well. So, where's the downside?"

Contact Victor Morton