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Campaign AdWatch: Energy Enervation

Mccain On Energy

First Posted: 07/01/08 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 01:35 PM ET

Progressive linguist and author George Lakoff would likely grin at the sight of the latest advertisement for John McCain, since it makes precisely the same tactical mistake he's been cautioning Democrats not to make for the past half-decade. The advertisement begins with four shots that include the phrases, "A Reliance on Oil," "A Threat To our Climate," "A Threat to Our Economy," and "A Threat To Our Security," fully activating four frames favorable to Democrats and reminding viewers of how the past eight years of bad policies either led to or exacerbated these vulnerabilities.

By the time John McCain appears in the ad - fourteen second in - his presence seems out of joint with the message that's already been established. Then, of course, McCain begins his litany of promises - pausing only momentarily to shoehorn "End The Moratorium On Offshore Drilling" into the mix. That moment occurs forty-five seconds in and is gone just as quickly as it came, as if the advertisement itself has become self-aware and capable of shame.