New McCain Web ad mocks Obama as false Messiah

Despite the criticism it's been taking lately, John McCain's campaign didn't bother with restraint in making its latest video.

Published August 1, 2008 7:21PM (EDT)

Judging by the video John McCain's campaign released to the Web on Friday, the thinking inside McCain headquarters is that, despite all the criticism it took for it, its "Celeb" ad -- the one that compared Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton -- just didn't go far enough.

So the campaign stopped holding back for this latest video, which is titled "The One," a reference to a Messianic figure in "The Matrix" and its sequels and a nickname for Obama inside the McCain camp. The thrust of the ad is that Obama sees himself as a Messianic figure. "He has anointed himself ready to carry the burden of 'The One,'" the video's narrator says at one point.

In doing this, it should be noted, the McCain camp took at least two quotes from Obama out of context. It uses one controversial remark made by Obama that popped up earlier this week, "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions." A Democratic source later told multiple news outlets that, in context, Obama wasn't speaking about himself but about America generally -- the source quoted Obama as having also said, "It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It's about America. I have just become a symbol.'" It's fairly obvious that Obama was joking in another similar quote used in the video.

Really, though, this truly has to be seen to be believed. After I saw it for the first time, I spent more than a couple of minutes checking around the Web to make absolutely sure it wasn't a hoax, figuring it couldn't really have been released by a presidential campaign. But it's real.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.