The Washington Times - August 11, 2008, 09:47PM



Can you spot the lobbyist in this picture?


Don’t feel bad if you can’t identify the person wearing the Scarlet L, because it was a trick question. There isn’t one.


But Team Obama tells voters in this new ad slamming Sen. John McCain that it’s “the lobbyists running his low road campaign.”


Not quite.


From left to right, we’ve got an unidentified Secret Service agent, eBay executive Meg Whitman, McCain, another Secret Service agent, traveling press aide Brooke Buchanan and Greg Wendt, a San Francisco Democrat and volunteer adviser who travels with McCain.


Wendt has bundled big bucks for McCain, but he is not a lobbyist. Same goes for Whitman, a McCain co-chair.


In the press release to go along with the ad, there is no confusion about what the campaign intends. “Footage of McCain with lobbyists,” it reads next to the voiceover: “the lobbyists running his low road campaign.”


An Obama spokesman didn’t respond to my inquiry about the rogue image, which seemed out of place since the DNC mounted an offensive against Rick Davis for his role in massive Ohio job losses and other groups have called for McCain to fire Charlie Black, two top aides who have indeed been lobbyists.


Last week I called out Team McCain for using black crowds in an ad suggesting Obama is “The One.” I mentioned that images are no accident in ads, and this Obama ad is no exception.


Here’s the ad, which Team Obama says will run on national cable starting tomorrow:




The obvious Bush-McCain love imagery is something you’ll see much more of before the Nov. 4 election, but the ad also uses some loaded language — accusing McCain of “lurching” to the left and write to play the “same old” Washington game. The narrator twice uses the word “old,” and it appears in the ad a third time on the screen over a shot of McCain.


Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times


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