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Good Tactics, Bad Strategy, Better Idea

Well, I've watched the "George Obama" ad that Kim posted below, and after careful consideration, I have to say I don't like it.

It's 100% accurate, and it's not from the McCain camp, and it makes a brutal rebuttal to the "Cindy McCain abandoned her half-sister" bullshit, but I just don't like it.

I don't dislike it out of any sympathy for Barack Obama, or in his defense. I don't like it because it's exploiting George Obama, in a way that is purely for political gain and does nothing for him -- or the millions and millions of others in Africa who are in similar plights, without having a famous distant (in every way but genetic) relative.

It represents one of the most loathsome aspects of today's politics -- the "anything that hurts my opponent is fair, as long as it passes the 'technically accurate' test." And the rationales for running it are the same old ones whenever one side or the other does something cheap -- "they did it first," "it's true, isn't it?," "the American people have a right to know this about the candidate," and so on.

Those all stink. Those all stink to high heaven.

I'm glad that McCain is not taking part in them. I only wish he could exert some kind of influence on the Texas Republicans who came up with it to kill it.

No, as some of the commenters alluded to on Kim's piece, there's already a perfectly serviceable venue for this kind of an attack on Obama -- one a hell of a lot more direct, and one that I, at least, can support with a clean conscience. It's the one I've already put my own money into -- the Save Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School in Kenya.

As I noted before, a couple of years ago Senator Obama visited his ancestral homeland of Kenya. In his father's village, he went to a school and pledged to support it. In return, the locals changed the name in his honor. Since then, he's done exactly nothing for that school.

In a rather ironic twist, Juliette "Baldilocks" Ochieng heard about this because she feels a sort of kinship with Obama. Like him, her father came to America from the same village, the same tribe, to build a better life. And she has achieved her own measure of the American dream -- a distinguished career in the military and notable success as a blogger. She's also one of those truly rare creatures, a black woman who's also conservative.

Well, she saw the unfulfilled promise of Senator Obama and chose to help it be kept in spite of him. She set up a non-profit to raise money for the school, and so far they're raised over $5300 dollars in a matter of a few weeks. (A very small part of that came out of my wallet, I'm proud to say.)

Imagine this ad, complete with appropriate pictures of the ramshackle school, adorable big-eyed Kenyan schoolchildren, and intersperse a few shots of Obama, possibly with sound of him saying "I promise" various thing::

"In 2006, Senator Obama visited a small school in his father's home village and pledged to support a school. They named the school in his honor, as their most famous son. Since then, Americans have raised over $5,000 for the school.

Not one penny of it from Senator Obama.

Keep the promise Senator Obama couldn't be bothered to keep. Give to the Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School.

But remember: if Barack Obama wouldn't keep his promise to a school named after him, how can you trust him to keep his promises to America?"

And have www.obamaschool.org running across the bottom of the screen the whole time.

THAT ad, I think, would be a huge killer. That one would leave Obama and his legions of sycophants gut-punched and gasping. That one would have no answer, no weasel, no excuses.

Hmm... I thought I heard that John McCain had bought advertising time during the Democratic National Convention. Wouldn't that be an absolutely perfect opportunity to air such an ad?

No need to thank me, Senator. Just send a few bucks to the Obama School.

Same goes for the rest of you, especially those who cheered on the "George Obama" ad. It's a chance to do something positive AND rub Obama's nose in his broken promise.

Can we keep the promise that Barack Obama can't be bothered to honor?

YES, WE CAN!

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Comments (19)

Great post, Jay, and I thin... (Below threshold)

Great post, Jay, and I think it would make a great ad.

About the Texas Republican ad. In response to Rick Warren's question to name one of America's moral failures, Obama said was America's failure to care for the least of us in this world. Obama's own brother is one of the least of us, but he still didn't seem to care, just as he didn't care about the kids the Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School.

Since then, Americ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Since then, Americans have raised over $5,000 for the school.

Not one penny of it from Senator Obama.

Seems like a possible comeback is that Obama didn't say he would support the school out of his own pocket. That with his great foresight he knew his followers and even some conservative going by the name Jay Tea would send the school money on Obama's behalf. After all, when Obama says he'll help the poor if he's elected President he's talking about giving them more of your money and mine, not his. The school is similar.

But remember: if Barrack Obama wouldn't keep his promise to a school named after him, how can you trust him to keep his promises to America?"

It's the same issue with George Obama. If Barack Obama won't send a few bucks a month to his half-brother who's living in poverty how can you trust him to care about American poor once he's President.

All true, Kim, but I still ... (Below threshold)

All true, Kim, but I still don't like the Texan ad. I believe that there are times when truth is NOT an absolute defense, and I think my ad would both hit harder AND achieve something positive, instead of just flinging mud (albeit accurate mud) and using some poor guy in Africa.

For the rest of the audience: yes, you're seeing dissension in the ranks. You're also seeing it handled in a mature and respectful way. This is just one of the several areas where we authors of Wizbang disagree, and we never make any bones about denying or hiding it. There is no "party line" here, and as long as I have the title I have, there will not be. I love that Kim is willing to publicly disagree with me, with both of us fully confident that it will not trigger any massive meltdown on the site.

Unless, of course, she disses the duck... at that point, the gloves come off.

J.

George Obama has already an... (Below threshold)

George Obama has already angrily denied that he's living in poverty as well in a CNN feature about him. He claims that he lives well, and even volunteers in community groups to help others who are not as fortunate. The ad is simply false advertising where the claims of poverty by George Obama in the ad are not even factual by any means. Any nut can pay to air anything if they can afford to pay the costs, but doesn't make it fact.

Mac, take that back. Right ... (Below threshold)

Mac, take that back. Right now.

I kicked in a couple of bucks, and dropped a few words. Juliette "Baldilocks" Ochieng deserves every single bit of credit for this project, and I will NOT tolerate anyone slighting her and her work. Not even for my benefit, and not even from a longtime loyal reader and commenter and "friend of Wizbang" like you.

So amend your comment, if you please. Give the credit where it is due.

J.

I see Mr. Hooson is making ... (Below threshold)

I see Mr. Hooson is making my point for me. When given the opportunity to discuss the Senator Obama School, he STILL wants to express his outrage over the George Obama situation. Any excuse to avoid the REAL scandalous behavior of Barack Obama.

I'm surprised, though, that Mr. Hooson isn't already arranging to buy a trailer for George Obama...

J.

I thought Mr. Hooson said i... (Below threshold)
Chip:

I thought Mr. Hooson said in another post on this blog that...

Okay, I'm busy now and not going to waste any more time here today.

Ahhh well someone else we can't take at their word.
Just yankin your chain Mr. Hooson, for the most part I respect your opinions.

Jay, I only like to help pe... (Below threshold)

Jay, I only like to help people I know because I don't like people spending money on alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. But I will buy a coffee for others although I don't use caffeine myself. The guy I bought the trailer for is a good guy, but handicapped, so I knew what I was doing was alright. It's not like handing money to some bum smoking and stinking of alcohol claimimg he needs money for food which you can tell is a big lie.

Mac, take that bac... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Mac, take that back. Right now

So amend your comment, if you please. Give the credit where it is due

That with his great foresight he knew his followers and even some conservative going by the name Juliette "Baldilocks" Ochieng would send the school money on Obama's behalf.

Mr. Hooson, I've had enough... (Below threshold)

Mr. Hooson, I've had enough of being polite. Apparently subtlety is something you don't comprehend.

If you're not going to talk about George Obama or the Senator Obama School or even the Texas Republicans here, SHUT THE FUCK UP. You have two whole blogs where you can talk about what a fantastic human being you are to your heart's and ego's content. THIS IS NEITHER OF THEM.

(Reaching for the Hammer, changing my mind and revving up the Disemvoweler...)

J.

I disagree Jay.Som... (Below threshold)

I disagree Jay.

Sometimes it's necessary to see a fool hoist on his own petard and if that involves using a third party to make the point then so be it. This is another one the Obama campaign should have left alone, particularly because it was Vanity Fair that put the subject in play. The Texas Republicans found the copy for this ad in the mainstream liberal press.

It was Obama himself demagoguing the ridiculous McCain house issue last week on the campaign trail. He was not using a proxy. He was spouting the stupidity himself. Never was there a worse (better?) example of leading with your chin.

I'm glad that McCa... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
I'm glad that McCain is not taking part in them. I only wish he could exert some kind of influence on the Texas Republicans who came up with it to kill it.

The reason he can't even be seen to exert influence on this kind of campaign speech is because of the campaign finance laws. The restrictions on how much money the candidates themselves can received mean that the extra money goes somewhere else, under others' control. McCain can thank himself for his limited ability to control what is being done ostensibly on his behalf.

Mr. Hooson, I've had ... (Below threshold)
RFA:

Mr. Hooson, I've had enough of being polite. Apparently subtlety is something you don't comprehend.

Fucking understatement of the week. I wish Paul would stay over in his own sandbox and leave the adults alone. Damn if he just doesn't get stranger and stranger as the years go by.

bah.

Maybe the ad will shame Hus... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Maybe the ad will shame Hussein O into dropping a few bucks in George's pocket and get on with his two year old promise to help his grandma get water in her house, and maybe get her a screen door to keep the chickens out. I'm living the good life on a buck a month, yea right.

Don't exploit George withou... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Don't exploit George without helping him, and don't just give him a handout, but set him up with a (reasonably) honest job! If the Republicans had been smart, they would have hired George, gotten him a visa, flown him to the United States, and sent him to Denver to cover the Democrats' convention as a reporter. Wouldn't that have been interesting ...

And I'll bet he'd be a better, and more honest, journalist than Michael Moore.

Don't exploit Geor... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Don't exploit George without helping him, and don't just give him a handout, but set him up with a (reasonably) honest job!

Reporting on George's circumstances is not exploitation unless it's exploitation to report on anyone's circumstances. It's just the facts and voters have a right to know the facts.

If the Republicans had been smart, they would have hired George, gotten him a visa, flown him to the United States, and sent him to Denver to cover the Democrats' convention as a reporter. Wouldn't that have been interesting ...

If the Republicans really wanted to stir things up they would bring Obama's older brother to the U.S. Abongo "Roy" Obama could then repeat his statement that Barack is Muslim. Roy could also repeat his statement that he was at the hospital in Kenya when Barack was born there. Now wouldn't that be interesting.

I sent money to Juliette fo... (Below threshold)

I sent money to Juliette for the Obama school.

Obama's brother is a grown man, and can make his own way in the world. These kids in Kenya will have a chance to get educated, and that's a more valuable place to put my dollars.

I agree that a Kenyan school ad would be much punchier than George Obama. Lots of hard working folks have kids, and we vote.

I saw somewhere that Barack... (Below threshold)
lazzers:

I saw somewhere that Barack's brother George wanted to become an auto mechanic. Perhaps one of the big bloggers could set up a fund in his name to buy tools and some tech training. I'd donate a few bucks.

I have contributed twice to... (Below threshold)

I have contributed twice to obamaschool.org and plan to contribute monthly. Hopefully, by July next year, it will end up being a sizable amount.

If I had his address, I would send Obama's brother a few bucks too.

I'm a conservative, but I'm also an idealist and dreamer. I'd love to see every city and town in America adopt a village in Africa. What is to us pennies could do wonders there.

It would have to be done "one-on-one" to sidestep the corruption of government -- ours and theirs.




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