Barack Obama spent several million dollars for a 30-minute TV spot on several major networks last night. I watched it, and had some mixed reactions to it. I was planning to post a transcript along with my comments, but I still have not been able to find a full transcript anywhere. Hmmm…was it that bad?
Apparently so. Through the day I've been hearing that it was largely a flop, even from his own people in the media. The AP said:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office.
Obama's assertion that “I've offered spending cuts above and beyond” the expense of his promises is accepted only by his partisans. His vow to save money by “eliminating programs that don't work” masks his failure throughout the campaign to specify what those programs are – beyond the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
In an uncharacteristically accurate fashion, the article goes on to debunk four of the statements made in the infomercial.
Anyway, since it was so roundly panned, I don't believe I'm going to waste the time and effort to dissect it; I'm sure it's on YouTube somewhere if you really want to watch it. Instead, I'll offer some general thoughts and move on (for a professional blogger's live reactions, check out Michelle Malkin here).
It was basically a series of stories about struggling families sharing their struggles. Each family got a few minutes of time to describe how rough they had it, and then we were treated to clips from Obama speeches where he addressed their pain, followed by a personal message with 'details' about his plans from Obama in a very Oval Office-like setting. Obama capped it off with a few minutes of live performance that was a retread of previous speeches.
My overall take was that it was just more of what we've seen from Obama for months: America sucks, America is broken, the government is the only thing that can help them. It was basically making the case for socializing (i.e. government contro…I mean, assistance) as much of America as possible.
As far as the policies he talked about, it was just more of the same lies that he has been putting forward in terms of tax cuts, health care, job creation, and so on, with one exception (more on that in a moment). Every single bit of it has been thoroughly debunked by the blog posts in my “Critical Election Information” section at the top right of this site. The only thing I would specifically point out is that Obama suddenly changed his definition of who 'the rich' is. For months, he's been talking about how people earning less than $250,000 would not see a single penny's worth of tax increases. That's a lie all by itself, but we on the Right have been predicting that Obama would not even hold to that number, citing several seemingly off-hand references to lower figures. In his infomercial last night, Obama officially did it, dropping the number to $200,000. How long will it be until he goes down to Joe Biden's figure of $150,000? Even lower than that…? His record shows that he's voted for tax increases for people making just $42,000 a year, so the safe assumption is that everyone will be fair game. All it would take would be a few days in office, and then he can make the statement that Bush left the government in worse shape than he'd ever imagined, so $200,000 just isn't realistic anymore, blah blah blah. Poof! No more campaign promise.
You have been warned.
For me, the biggest thing comes back to the whole idea of this infomercial in the first place. To that end, I want to relate this note from Bill Dyer at Hugh Hewitt's blog, which really sums it up:
The McCain-Palin campaign correctly points out that Sen. Barack Obama's “30-minute prime-time address [tonight will be] a 'gauzy, feel-good commercial' that was 'paid for with broken promises.'” But for Obama's undisputed and indisputable violation of his solemn oath to accept public campaign financing, there's no way he could have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, including this hugely expensive cross-network TV buy.
But “paid for with broken promises” is the most charitable characterization. The Obama-Biden campaign deliberately has solicited and received hundreds of thousands of credit card transactions of $250 or less, whose details the campaign won't make available for outside review even though in the aggregate they amount to hundreds of millions of dollars — via a fraud-friendly credit card system (a) which accepts transfers from untraceable pre-paid credit cards, and (b) whose basic anti-fraud measures have been deliberately crippled. The Obama-Biden campaign might just as well have set up dumpsters all over the world into which illegal donors could dump shopping bags full of cash donations made in unmarked small bills.
I suddenly had an epiphany. I know now exactly what happened after that bell over the door tinkled again while the jukebox was playing “Don't Stop Believin'” in the diner, just before the picture cut to black and the sound abruptly stopped: That was Barack Obama walking in the door — coming to hire Tony Soprano and his crew to run his internet finance operations.
If you watch the infomercial, ask yourself: How many minutes of it were bought with illegal money? A third of it? Half?
This is important to note, because it's a legitimate concern. The only reason Obama had the money to do this infomercial is because he's flush with cash, and the only reason he's so flush with cash is that he has deliberately and persistently accepted millions of dollars' worth of fraudulent donations (see the proof here, here, here, here, here). The whole 30-minute infomercial is based on a lie and fraud.
So, bottom line: not only was the whole infomercial lame, but it was probably bought and paid for largely with illegal activities and funds. What a great foreshadowing of an Obama presidency.
One last thing. The McCain campaign put out a very succinct, and, I think, effective response to the multi-million dollar hoopla:
As anyone who has bought anything from an infomercial knows, the sales-job is always better than the product. Buyer beware.
And it didn't cost taxpayers a penny.
There's my two cents.