On Friday, John McCain's campaign debuted an ad. Titled "Purpose," the spot focuses on energy policy. But it's also notable for how it's one of the first signs of the McCain camp pushing its new message, one I discussed in a post yesterday, out to the public.
"American technology protected the world. We went to the moon, not because it was easy, but because it was hard. John McCain will call America to our next national purpose: Energy security," an announcer says in the ad, going on to describe what the spot calls McCain's "bipartisan plan" on energy. (Considering that one element of the plan is more domestic drilling for oil, something generally opposed by Democrats, that seems like a stretch.)
The announcer's monologue ends with something unrelated to energy, though. "Putting country first. McCain," the announcer says. That's the message McCain advisor Steve Schmidt put out in a memo on Thursday; it's a message designed to take advantage of McCain's reputation and his history as a prisoner of war, and to paint him as a patriot acting for reasons beyond partisanship -- and, by more than implication, to say the opposite about Barack Obama.
According to NBC's First Read blog, this ad will run on national cable and in some potentially key swing states -- Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa.