In ad, McCain congratulates Obama

John McCain says he's giving Barack Obama his day before the two get back to real campaigning, but the ad is evidence against that.

Published August 28, 2008 11:24PM (EDT)

DENVER -- In his latest ad, John McCain appears to be taking the high road. Looking directly into the camera, the presumptive Republican nominee doesn't attack his opponent -- instead, he congratulates him, saying:

Senator Obama: This is truly a good day for America. All too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow we'll be back at it, but tonight, Senator, job well done.

The ad closes with -- ironically, given the McCain camp's frequent line of attack against Obama -- an image of McCain smiling beatifically at his audience, looking so pure and sweet you might swear there was a halo around his head.

But this ad is not nearly as free of politics as it seems. In fact, it's just another part of the work the McCain camp has been doing over the past couple of days to take some of the attention from Obama on his big night here at Denver's Invesco Field. Before the spot hit the Internet on Thursday afternoon, the McCain camp spent the morning hyping it, getting the media talking about what might be coming. And then there's the leak campaign designed to advertise a future leak campaign -- the McCain camp has been dropping serious hints that the name of the Arizona senator's running mate will be slipping out tonight, even though the actual rollout isn't until tomorrow.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.