03/08/2008 04:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

"We're a Group That Wants Change": Casey Knowles BEFORE the 3 AM Ad

I was going to live my real life today instead of blogging, but this is too good to pass up, both because it's funnier than heck and because it is, in a nutshell, a perfect summary of what Obama's campaign is about.

FIRST, THE BACKGROUND THAT MAKES THE STORY ACTUALLY MEAN SOMETHING: Before I repeat the story that's starting to make the news and the blogs, I'd like to start with an angle that the other media haven't caught onto yet, but that puts it into perfect perspective.

Last summer, Bonney Lake (WA) High School's student government representatives held a retreat to plan for the year, reported in the Puyallup (WA) Herald. In that article, one student leader summarized the hope that those young, bright, engaged future leaders wanted to bring, not to American politics, but just to their own high school's new school year:

Public Relations Officer Casey Knowles, another senior, said she has high hopes for this year's student government.

"We're a group that wants change," Knowles said.

OK, so now you know a tiny nugget about who one Casey Knowles is: a high school senior, involved in student government, willing to invest some time over the summer in trying to make her school a better place -- and summarizing her classmates', and her generation's, ideal: "We're a group that wants change."

That's awesome! We love kids like her, who care about making the world better instead of getting a high score on Wii! But why's it news, and why today?

NOW THE STORY THAT'S STARTING TO MAKE THE ROUNDS TODAY: Casey Knowles turns out to be one of the children used in Clinton's "3 AM" ad (here, along with all its Republican "be afraid. be very afraid" antecedents), which used stock film footage from several years ago. And Casey Knowles, who had no idea her image was being used in Clinton's ad, is now not only a high school student government leader, but also a Democratic precinct captain and -- consistent with her hope for change -- a fervent Obama supporter.

So: Obama has actually earned the real-life support of a really cool, smart, involved, active young person. Clinton has merely reached back years for film footage of that cool, smart, involved, active young person when she was a child, to make an ad that the cool, smart, involved, active young person strongly disagrees with.

The future vs. the past; reality vs. images; Obama vs. Clinton. Now, ain't this the whole primary campaign in a nutshell?

News and blog stories on this can be found on the Huffington Post, the Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages, TPM, and Washington State local TV. Here's the original story (from an Obama press release -- see, they're NOT helpless and silent naifs when confronted with dishonest, Republican-style smear attacks):

(Read the rest of the story on VichyDems)