New McCain video: “Obama Love”

In the video, McCain's campaign paints the media as biased in Obama's favor -- and provides a window into its thoughts about its opponent.

Topics: 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, War Room, John McCain, R-Ariz.,

John McCain’s campaign has just debuted a new video on YouTube; dubbed “Obama Love,” it pokes fun at what the McCain camp clearly sees as media bias in Barack Obama’s favor. (Unsurprisingly, given the context, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews appears several times.)

The video seems to serve two purposes. First, it further separates McCain from what he had called his “base” — the press — and moves him closer to his real base in his party, which always appreciates a good argument about liberal media bias. And then it also injects into the discussion what seems to be a frequent theme inside the McCain campaign about its opponent. The New Republic’s Jason Zengerle had a good take on this on Tuesday, writing about “the McCain campaign’s general contempt for Obama and his adoring throngs” and pointing to an example from an article in the New York Times:

“There is nothing you can do about it,” said an acerbic Mark Salter, one of Mr. McCain’s closest advisers, while standing at the back of a modest crowd assembled to hear Mr. McCain speak at a picnic in South Portland, Me. “‘The One’ went to Europe and homage must be paid.”

I think Zengerle’s got it right — this video is more evidence that the McCain camp will try to use Obama’s supporters against him, portraying the Illinois senator’s campaign as a love-in or a cult as it tries to use one of Obama’s biggest advantages against him.

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Update: There are actually two versions of this video; the alternate version, which can be seen below, has different music. The McCain campaign is holding a contest in which you can vote for your favorite of the two. (The first version is way ahead.) It says the winner will be shown on television.

Also, backing up what I said before about what the McCain camp thinks of Obama, Politico’s Jonathan Martin has this quote from McCain spokesman Brian Rogers, who was asked why the campaign produced and released this video: “Love for ‘The One’ is in the air.” Martin explains, “McCain aides have begun to poke fun at Obama’s rock-star image by referring to him with the faux lofty phrase.”

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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