McCain crew finds Obama’s big flaw: He’s way too popular

July 30, 2008

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama can’t seem to please the folks running John McCain’s campaign for the U.S. presidency.
They criticized the Democratic candidate for not visiting Iraq, but then he spent nine days abroad, visited both fronts in the U.S. war on terror, didn’t make any fatal rtx855v.jpgmistakes and drew 200,000 people to a speech in Berlin.
Now the Republican’s campaign has a new beef against the Illinois senator — he’s way too popular, the most popular celebrity in the world, bigger even than Britney Spears or Paris Hilton.
It’s a point McCain makes in a new TV advertisement.
“I would say that it’s beyond dispute that he has become the biggest celebrity in the world. It’s a statement of fact. It’s backed up by the reality of his tour around the world,” McCain adviser Steve Schmidt told reporters in a conference call.
“They have more fans around the world than Britney Spears does. I make that bold blank statement,” added McCain campaign manager Rick Davis.
But McCain traveled around the world and met leaders too, so isn’t he a global celebrity as well? What’s the difference?rtr20ejt.jpg
“We see him more as a global leader than a global celebrity,” Davis said. “When people in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, want to talk to somebody who has a leadership and knowledge of positions around the world, they talk to John McCain. I contrast that with Barack Obama’s own trip to Europe. The focus on media, the focus on events and activities, is much more something you would expect from someone releasing a new movie than running for president.”
McCain’s crew sees devious motives behind the cultivation of popularity. Davis said it lets Obama “create a fan base around the world that allows him to get a lot of media attention and avoids him having to address the important issues of our time.”
But won’t people see the ad as negative campaigning?
Barack Obama started it, Davis said. He attacks McCain harshly every day on the campaign trail. Plus he was the first to turn to negative advertising, both in the primary and in the general election.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to protect my candidate,” Davis said.
“I’m going to let the American public decide what is negative or not negative.”

So what do you think, is it a fair ad or not?

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage. 

Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Crowds cheer Obama outside No. 10 Downing St. in London on July 26); Reuters/Brian Snyder (McCain speaks at campaign evenint in Maine July 21)


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This ad is unbelievable. Is the McCain campaign insane?

Posted by LBen | Report as abusive

Gee David, could you have printed more of the comment from the McCain campaign, how about a little balance. Also why wouldn’t we want a president that is popular. Thanks to W. everyone hates us. It’d be nice for once to have someone ‘popular’ in office. Thirdly this is just the McCain campaign grasping at straws. Don’t they have something more important to talk about?

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

McSame guarantees us 4 more years of a failing economy, a rise in the biggest deficit in our history, war mongering in countries that we may not have invaded and occupied yet, more dependence on oil, more insults to the ecology, more governmental interference from the right wing crazies, more tax breaks for the rich, more anti-choice judges, and so on. And what are our options? Of course we look to Obama. God knows the Republicans have destroyed the America I was born in 64 years ago.

Posted by laraine | Report as abusive

HAHAHAHA~! Thats ALL He Could Come Up With! At least Obama is out there seeing how things TRULY are; how the World REALLY IS spinning, he’s not basing facts on preconceived notions like others… Tell your boy to get his arse out there and PERHAPS he may get the same status. However, one never knows, we all saw how well the Heidi Montag gig worked!

Posted by Dawn | Report as abusive

Is it negative? Of course.

Is it logical? No.

Is it emotional? Yes.

Quick Quiz: How many people thought George Bush was too stupid to be elected President?

I’ve talked to tons of people over 10 years who felt that Bush was too stupid. Yet he won twice.

He didn’t make appeals based off intelligence, reason, logic, or wit. He used *Fear* and *emotion*.

He *feels* like McSame to me.

Posted by SonOfHistoryProf | Report as abusive

Who ever cared about the masses? Euphorias usually do not last long.
And Obama can get as popular as he wants within Europe. Sorry but the Europeans are not selecting the American President. And of course Obama is free to move to Europe and run for whatever kind of political office he wants to.
Thinking people can figure out the complete lack of experience and O’s other left leaning ideologies.

Posted by joyce singha | Report as abusive

Poor Brittany and Paris. They didn’t ask to be in a Republican ad. Come on John, lets hear what you’re going to do for the economy. You seem to be so obsessed with Obama that you can’t get with the issues. At least these ads are safe for you, there is a script involved and you don’t have to worry about misspeaking, just reading the scripted lies.

No, it is not fair but makes McCain look so ridiculous that there is a silver lining to such a lame ad.

Posted by Susan | Report as abusive

McCain has already told how he’s going to fix the economy: he’s going to cut taxes more, increase “war” spending (= trillions of handouts to the shareholders and executives of Halliburton, Boeing, Blackwater, Lockheed etc.) and balance the budget in four years. So now he can concentrate on Obama.

Posted by acerbic | Report as abusive

Can anyone find the truth behind the following statement, which I received recently? I’m NOT an Obama fan; in fact, I completely despise him. But, for all the hate-mail, ‘informative’ emails, etc., etc., that I receive, this particular one made me go “hmmmm, if this isn’t true, how could someone possibly print it! Or, if it is true, who has been hiding it, and for what ulterior motive.”

The email I received:

I think everyone should maybe wait until next week to see if this hits the fan. I did not find anything to confirm or refute this story.

Maybe we need to contact the Attorney General, or our congressmen, and get them to look at it too!

I received the message below and have searched for something to dispute it. There is nothing on SNOPES to dispute this.


It seems that Barack Obama is not qualified to be president, after all, for the following reason:

Barack Obama is not legally a natural-born, U.S. citizen, according to the laws on the books at the time of his birth, which falls between ‘ December 24, 1952, to November 13, 1986.’ Presidential office requires a natural-born citizen, if the child was not born to two U.S. citizen parents; which, of course, is what exempts John McCain as he was born in the Panama Canal zone.

U.S. law very clearly stipulates: ‘If only one parent was a U.S citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years; at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.’ Barack Obama’s father was not a U.S. citizen, and Obama’s mother was only 18 when Obama was born; which means that although she had been a U.S. citizen for 10 years (or citizen perhaps because of Hawaii being a territory), the mother fails the test for being so, for at least five years prior to Barack Obama’s birth, but after age 16.

It doesn’t matter about the after, though. In essence, she was not old enough to qualify her son for automatic U.S. citizenship. At most, there were only two years that had elapsed since his mother turned 16 at the time of Barack Obama’s birth when she was 18 in Hawaii. His mother would have needed to be 21 (16+5) years old, at the time of Barack Obama’s birth for him to have been a natural-born citizen. As previously mentioned, she was a young college student at the time and was not 21 years of age. Barack Obama was already three years old at the time his mother would have needed to have waited to have him as the only U.S. citizen parent. Obama, instead, should have been naturalized; but even then, that would still disqualify him from holding the office.

“Naturalized citizens are ineligible to hold the office of President”. Even though Barack Obama was sent back to Hawaii at age 10, all the other info does not matter, because his mother is the one who needed to have been a U.S. citizen for 10 years prior to his birth on August 4, 1961, with five of those years being after age 16. Furthermore, Obama may have had to remain in the country for some time to protect any citizenship he would have had, rather than living in Indonesia. Now you can see why Obama’s aides stopped his speech about how we technically have more than 50 states, because it would have led to this discovery. This is very clear-cut and a blaring violation of U.S. election law. I think the Governor of California would be very interested in knowing this if Obama were elected President without being a natural-born, U.S. citizen; and, it would set precedence. Stay tuned to your TV sets, because I suspect some of this information will be leaking out over the next several days.

Interesting! Now what? Who dropped the ball, or are we all being duped? Who do you know who you can forward this to that might be able to help answer this question?

Posted by WG | Report as abusive

McBush can’t get any attention except by attacking Obama. He’s like the old man in the back of the old folks home mumbling to himself.

I think that since Rove’s book of republican dirty deeds starts with… “first, give the finger to your opponent”,… that political attacks are common fare these days on both sides.

Vote Obama… vote for freedom… vote for America!

Posted by BushGuiltyAsSin | Report as abusive

Responding to WG:

B. Obama was born in 1961 in the state of Hawaii. He is a natural born citizen of the US.

Posted by PJK | Report as abusive

[…] the most popular celebrity in the world, bigger even than Britney Spears or Paris Hilton." Tales from the Trail

Posted by Obama’s Biggest Flaw Revealed – Southern Maryland Community Forums | Report as abusive

WG: The law you refer to is for people born OUTSIDE of the U.S. Senator Obama was born IN the U.S., as PJK pointed out.

This is a classic Republican tactic to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt among Americans who are too stupid or too uneducated to know better.

It should have taken you all of 5 minutes of research to discover the answer to your own question. Why didn’t you do that before posting the ridiculous e-mail on this blog?

How many other inane Republican smears have you subscribed to, without researching, in order to come to the point where you “completely despise” Senator Obama?

Posted by KWH | Report as abusive

McCain’s campaign is getting really desperate to find an issue on which he can get some traction. Right now in state by state counts Obama has a good lead in states with 284 electoral votes, McCain in states with 147, leaving 107 electoral votes in toss-up states. McCain’s only hope is to “run the table”—that is to take all the toss-up states and take at least one state the size of Ohio or Michigan from the Obama column. It’s almost hopeless and so they are willing to try anything.

McCain’s campaign is both dishonest and dishonorable. I hope he pays for it.

Posted by Allan H. Clark | Report as abusive

Responding to WG. According to U.S. Law if you are born in the United States you are considered a natural born citizen. Obama was born in Hawaii thus making him a natural born citizen. Also what excuses McCain is not the citizenship status of his parents but rather the fact that he was born on a U.S. Military base in Panama which by international law is U.S. territory rather than panamanian much in the same way that an embassy is the soil of that particular country.

Posted by CRM | Report as abusive

1. The now infamous ad that McCain’s running isn’t just equating Obama’s popularity with that of Britney Spears et al. It’s another “Willie Horton” ad, to subliminally influence white voters against voting for Obama, by insinuating into the campaign the Southern racist view that all black men are only interested in raping white women, especially young and pretty blondes.
2. Re the rumors about Obama’s ineligibility to be President of the U.S.A. Ridiculous, McCain’s the one with the questionable natural born citizenship problem. As reflected by all the racist remarks about getting Mexicans out of the U.S., everyone by now knows that any child born on U.S. soil [Hawaii is a U.S. State] is ipso facto a citizen of the U.S. No educated person would accept factually inaccurate descriptions or rumors of what the U.S. Law is. Read the U.S. Constitution, educate yourself, you might discover a lot of things you didn’t know, it’s available online, just search for it under its name. Here’s the pertinent section:

Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868.
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
An educated voter, M.F.D.

Posted by M.F. Donnelly | Report as abusive

WG- I just don’t get “despise him.” It seems a bit over the top. Given that there are really only two people left on the planet that have a chance at being president in November, I would rather pick the guy that noticed that my salary went down twice since Bush has been in office, than the guy that says we need to keep pumping mil-bil- trillions into Iraq, while home owners, banks, and -Dear Lord, even Bennigans, goes under.

Posted by Truth Be Told | Report as abusive

[…] the most popular celebrity in the world, bigger even than Britney Spears or Paris Hilton." Tales from the Trail

Posted by Obama’s Biggest Flaw Revealed – Southern Maryland Community Forums | Report as abusive

Barack hasn’t been able to score more than 50 points in any poll so far, despite having the unconditional support of the lame-stream media. Even John Kerry was performing better in polls 4 years ago. Americans are far smarter than what people think, people realize that this guy is an empty suit, a teleprompter reader, that this guy is nothing without his well rehearsed speeches. Is just matter of time for Barack to implode.

Posted by John Doe | Report as abusive

Senator McCain’s big flaw as a candidate is that he is neither charasmatic or popular.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

i hate all you ignorant liberal morons. george w. bush is great! the economy has flourished under his presidency. we have had record economic growth while he was in office. look at the facts you morons. if any of you had any common sense you would understand the the economy has gone down hill since the democrats took control of the house and congress and they veto every bill he puts foward. under a republican house, congress and presidency the economy was great. and as unpopular as he is, i guess you idiots don’t look at congress’s poll numbers…i think last time i checked it was 9%!!!! yes folks the democratic congress was in the single digits!!!

Posted by MIKE | Report as abusive

also, what is obama’s plan for oil prices? oh wait…he doesn’t have one. maybe wind powered cars!! or solar powered cars!! we need oil for now until we find another way to power these things. use your brain people. if it takes 15-20 years to find another source of energy, what are we gonna do in the meantime? can any of you say that oil prices are gonna be cheaper in that time? no, not if we don’t drill here and stoop relying on foreign countries. use your brains people…most of you aren’t as dumb as your comments make you seem, you are just brain washed by the mainstream media.

Posted by MIKE | Report as abusive

If voters choose McCain, which is not in the best interest of our country or the world for that matter, then SADLY we will get what we deserve. It happened both times with Bush…maybe McCain should choose GW as his VP running mate, then appoint Cheney as his Sec. of Def., David Addington as his Sec. of State, Wolfowitz as NSA and John Yoo to the Supreme Court.

Obama ’08

Posted by RD in New Britain | Report as abusive

What does greatness look like? now lets just assume Mccain was not running against Barack but another person. Now imagine this person could be one of the greatest presidents of all time. A leader, somebody who will go down in history books as a legend. What kind of reception do you think the world will give him? What do you think the opposition in his way will say to try and win? I think we are witnessing history in the making.

Posted by natheya | Report as abusive

I just hope that America isn’t really dumb enough to want 4 more years of Bush’s failed policies and the continued hatred of the U.S. by most of the world. On the issues, Obama wins hands down. We have a real chance to turn this country around now. Do everything in your power to get more voters registered and get them to the polls to elect Obama as our next President. If we don’t change course now, America will collapse in financial ruin.

Posted by Ann | Report as abusive

What can I say to make John McCain feel better? Dear John, I always did love that photo of you in your Navy pilot uniform suit holding your helmut. I remember that Navy pilots were quite admired during the years of the Vietnam war, especially by the gals. My niece snagged herself a Navy pilot who flew missions over Vietnam, and really cried when her Navy pilot didn’t hang around to get married to her. You made quite a career for yourself in the Senate as the Senator from Arizona. You certainly are still going strong. Well, anyway, please don’t let Barack Obama get underneath your skin. Everybody has their right to run for President of the United States and certainly so do you. You being a warrior figure and a Republican politician know, I guess, that in a fight, you have to go for the jugular.

Posted by Carole H. | Report as abusive

That went over well! I simply asked for help in validating or invalidating the email. And I got it. That, my squirrely friends, is the extent of my ‘research’ into it. As for despising Obama, that is my privelege, my right, just as it is your’s to kiss his ass. As an added note, I don’t really care for McCain, either. In all my years (quite a few), I’ve not had the utter sense of disdain for a presidential candidate as I have discovered with Obama. McCain, on the other hand, would not be my first choice, either. If truth be known, I am apolitical – I simply don’t care for Democrats or Republicans, only about the promises kept.

Posted by WG | Report as abusive

I am sorry folks I believe this ad is great. Obama is appealing to that Britney Spears, Paris Hilton electorate and if your insulted that the Republicans are pointing it out I’m sorry. I feel it is probably the best and most accurate depiction of what and how Obama is handling this election I have seen to date. My hats off to the producer. They deserve a raise. He is in front of the media every opportunity he can get. He loves playing the Rock star. This ad pegged Obama to a tee and the Democrats are TICKED OFF about it! I love it!

By the way I don’t care what the rest of the world thinks of me. I am an American, not an European and I certainly don’t want MY President making decisions about AMERICA to win a popularity contest overseas.

Posted by Beenatthiswaytoolong | Report as abusive