Written by Andrew Dornon
In age of ever-increasing political animosity, this year’s presidential candidates have gone against all precedence and are now putting out advertisements painting their opponent in a positive light.
Both candidates began their advertising campaigns by tearing into each other with heinous portrayals and downright fabrications. This new twist has had political pundits in a flurry of nomenclature and after the dust had settled, it was announced that the term “teddy-bear ads” had taken over as the agreed upon colloquialism.
“Teddy-bear ads” might seem like a ridiculous term pertaining to a presidential advertisement. And it is. Regardless, the term is now flying around airwaves from Fox to CNN. The term originated after the economic crisis began and Barack Obama released the first of such ads. A look at the content of these ads perhaps better explains the nature of the current campaigns.
One advertisement put out by the Obama camp called John McCain “patriotic…a real hero to all Americans” and “certainly not going to die in the next year or so”. Another portrayed McCain as having “a completely legitimate view on the economy” and “a tax policy that won’t destroy the middle class”. Obama’s advertisements have also said that McCain’s “unapologetic Americanism” has made Obama “proud to be half White”. In a move that is completely unheard of within the political realm, it seems that the Obama campaign has showered McCain with compliments that are absolutely endearing.
The McCain campaign responded to Obama’s change of pace with a strikingly similar approach. His ads have called Obama “charming, charismatic and certainly not a terrorist”. They have encouraged Republicans to “not try to assassinate him” because he has a “kind heart and wonderfully Leftist leanings”. Perhaps the most telling example of such devious tactics is a certain ad which calls Barack Obama a “real American…even if his father is from Kenya, and he didn’t spend his childhood as a prisoner of war.” Strong words from a strong campaign.
As this “kill ‘em with kindness’ fest continues, the battle of admiration continues to escalate. On a day when the Dow Jones crashed 700 points, the McCain campaign released a statement saying that McCain “sort of hopes Obama wins”.
Not seeing how he could retort this sort of proclamation, Obama held a press conference in which he professed his “undying gratitude toward John McCain’s service to America” and that he “expects one day that McCain will be brought into the sainthood”. This move was rather unexpected considering that McCain is not a Catholic.
Even the vice-presidential candidates have gotten onboard with this novel style of campaigning. At a Democratic rally, Joe Biden commented that Sarah Palin is a “good mother and pretty hot as well”. He also said that she “seems like she can probably read” and “might have been sober when she was naming her children”. Considering the nature of Palin’s candidacy, these are strongly in her favor. Palin refuted Biden’s statements by saying that she “loved the last Shel Silverstein book, although the vocabulary was a little tough”. She then said that Biden has “the whitest teeth” she’s ever seen and that he “uses a lot of confusing words, like democracy”. At another press conference Palin claimed that Biden “seems really nice” and that she “would vote for him if he didn’t want teenagers to be educated about sex and given access to contraception”. What a shock.
All in all, it appears that as the populace watches our current economic system crumbling and a failed war effort, they just want to hear that everything is nice and cheery. Thus, as always the politicians will give it to them. Or they will at least pretend like they will. This is epitomized in McCain’s most recent ad which states that McCain “occasionally wishes he was Barack Obama”. If that isn’t a compliment, then I don’t know what is.