Thursday, 6 March 2008

Go negative

Possible Obama ads:

George Bush in a flight jacket on the navy battleship. “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner in the background. Voice narrator: ‘George Bush took us to war. He wanted to be seen as a strong leader. So he concocted false stories about weapons of mass destruction, then called anyone who didn’t support him weak and unpatriotic.’

Picture of smiling Hillary Clinton: ‘Hillary Clinton went along with him. She didn’t look behind the rhetoric to see if the stories were true.’

Pictures of destruction, bomb blasts, soldiers under fire. ‘Is this strength and experience at work?’ Split screen of Bush and Hillary both smiling and waving.

Picture of Obama campaigning in Illinois. ‘Barack Obama didn’t believe everything he was told. He resisted the rush toward war when it wasn’t easy to do.’

‘That’s leadership.’

Second ad:

George Bush in a huge toy store with a cart. Narrator: ‘George Bush decided that the country should go to war.’

Bush piling tanks, planes, bombs, materiel into his shopping cart. ‘But he didn’t want to pay for it. Instead, he wanted to give away a lot of money in a big tax cut for the rich.’

Bush at the check-out counter. ‘So instead of paying, he put all the war spending on a credit card.’ Bush swiping the card. Shot of the register, with numbers spinning. ‘No one knows what the total bill for Bush’s war will be.’

Cash register stops at $3,000,000,000,000. ‘One estimate is 3 TRILLION dollars.’ Shot of a mountain of $100 bills growing past the Empire State Building up into the heavens. ‘No one can really grasp how much money that is.’

Zoom into Bush’s credit card at the check-out. It reads, ‘U.S. TAXPAYER.’ Narrator: ‘But we do know one thing: it’s on your account.’

Shot of Hillary Clinton signing the receipt. ‘Hillary Clinton backed the war from the beginning. She endorsed Bush’s credit plan and saddled you with the bill.’

‘Is this the kind of experience we need?’


Okay, okay, I’m not a marketing specialist. But to crack the current Karl Rovian meta-narrative that the Clinton camp has constructed, I don’t see any alternative but to tell the painful truth about Democratic complicity with the worst excesses of the Bush regime. That means foregrounding Obama’s underlying critique and shedding the let’s-hold-hands-and-sing discourse that’s being so effectively mocked. If Hillary wants to run as a I-will-make-you-safe quasi-Republican, then let her take the rap for where that posture has led us.

Fair fight.

No comments: