Technology with attitude

New McCain Ad: It's 3:00am……


John McCain is out with a new ad today that picks up on the 3:00am meme that HIllary Clinton started during her primary battle with Barack Obama, and continues the McCain campaign’s recent strategy of using Hillary’s own words against the man she now says she supports:

Here’s the transcript:

CLINTON AD: It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?

ANNCR: Uncertainty. Dangerous aggression. Rogue nations. Radicalism.

HILLARY CLINTON: I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And, Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

ANNCR: Hillary’s right. John McCain for President.

This ad was, of course, inspired by the commercial that Hillary Clinton put out during the week before the Texas and Ohio primaries. The quotes from Hillary come directly from a press conference in March:

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — Hillary Clinton told reporters that both she and the presumtive Republican nominee John McCain offer the experience to be ready to tackle any crisis facing the country under their watch, but Barack Obama simply offers more rhetoric. “I think you’ll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say,” she said. “He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.” Clinton was referring to Obama’s anti-war speech he delivered in Chicago before entering the United States Senate.

The Clinton recycled the 3:00am idea for an ad on domestic issues in early April, and the McCain Campaign released a similar spot a few days later.

For the most part, this is a good ad in that it accomplishes what the campaign clearly set out to do — raise doubts about Obama’s readiness to lead on foreign policy issues, which happens to be McCain’s strength. For that reason, I pretty much agree with James Joyner’s take:

This is easily McCain’s most effective ad yet. It has none of the feel of cheapness the the constant invocation of his days in the Hanoi Hilton or his using Joe Biden’s kind words against Biden. He’s playing his strength against his opponent’s weakness while at the same time exploiting bitterness that Hillary supporters feel over their candidate losing.


While Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience is somewhat overstated — most incoming presidents have had precious little of it — undecided voters genuinely worry about Obama’s qualifications in that regard. This spot does a good job reinforcing those concerns.

Which is, after all, exactly the message that McCain needs to get across right now.

Cross-posted at Below The Beltway.