Lindsey Graham weighs in on McCain’s new ad:
Well, one thing’s for sure. If you embark upon a world tour, and you decide to make a campaign speech in a foreign country in front of 200,000 Germans, and you act like you’re already president, people may notice.
And that’s what this is about: that he chose to go to Germany and do something I’ve never known a candidate to do before. You know, he orchestrated the press conference with the French president. He said something, yesterday, basically, that he embodies everything good about America. Well, you know, it’s good to have self-confidence. But you can, maybe, go too far.
The whole ad is about the idea of fame without portfolio. Paris Hilton is famous for being famous. She draws a crowd for no apparent reason. Well, I think he has, you know–in Senator Obama’s case, is the effort to be commander in chief and the leader of the free world about portfolio?
He is a celebrity, no question about it. Somebody asked me about Germany. I said, “There goes Germany. We’re going to have to get to 270 without Germany.” (LAUGHTER)
But this is a hysteria around a personality that’s attractive, but when you look under the hood, there’s not a whole lot there. So fame without portfolio is, sort of, fashionable. But leadership without experience is dangerous.
Indeed.TM Meanwhile, leftwing author Rick Perlstein (H/T: OJ) stumbles into another element of Obama’s stagecraft that the ad highlights. He’s got the title right, though he’s far from the first to notice Obama’s eschatology.
Update: Ross Douthat adds:
Comparing the “Celeb” ad to stills from Leni Riefenstahl’s work, Perlstein writes: “I actually wonder if the Republicans had a crew on the scene to capture just the right angles; for instance, the identical camera placement shooting the speaker over the shoulder at stage right.” If he actually wonders that, I fear for his sanity. Here’s a tip for liberals: If your candidate is going to stage enormous rallies in front of tens of thousands of chanting Germans (with monuments to Prussian military might in the background) in the middle of his Presidential campaign, it isn’t the GOP’s fault if the footage comes out looking a little like Hitler at Nuremberg.
A rock concert has to resemble the poster, or it risks being false advertising.