12/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The TV Ad Wars Conclude

Barack Obama's positive closer ad.

The TV ad wars between Barack Obama and John McCain are finally coming to an end. Obama is closing out with a ton of positive advertising, leavened with deft negatives linking McCain to President Bush and his failed economic policies, in a pair of ads that began running around the country on Friday. McCain has been mostly negative, befitting his trailing position in the race, though he has a positive closer ad. Nevertheless, despite his pledge this spring not to make Rev. Jeremiah Wright an issue in the campaign, at least one official organ of the party he now heads is running a hit spot on Wright.

Barack Obama's negative closer ad, emphasizing John McCain's professed economic ignorance, ties to President Bush, and choice of (a winking) Sarah Palin for his running mate.

Above you see Obama using the unsuccessful choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate as a way to further undermine McCain's judgment on the economy. But Obama is emphasizing a message of positive uplift as he closes out the campaign. In contrast to say, Sarah Palin, who on the stump earlier today wondered if Obama "think the terrorists are the good guys."

Barack Obama's campaign is delighted by Dick Cheney's public declaration of support for John McCain, in this latest attack ad.

Not that Team O wasn't delighted by the weekend declaration in Wyoming by Vice President Cheney -- his favorable rating makes Bush seem a candidate for Mount Rushmore -- that McCain is the best man for the presidency. They were quick to rush out the ad you see above.

Something called the National Republican Trust has this new ad running around the country, bringing up Rev. Jeremiah Wright's statements to brand Obama as "too radical, too risky."

Meanwhile, although McCain refused to throw the Wright Stuff -- the notorious statements of Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- at the front-runner, an independent outfit is making hay down the stretch with nasty Wright ads. They previously ran stuff on ex-Weather Undergrounder Bill Ayers -- a non-starter issue -- and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. The right-wing NewsMax operation is promoting fundraising for the ads with national appeals to the right-wing blogosphere. Including, amusingly, missives pleading for money just in the last hour, as though there is any time left to buy at this late point in the campaign.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party has a new ad attacking Obama for his ties to Wright.

And McCain is not putting a stop to the Pennsylvania Republican Party doing the same thing, even though he's the national head of the party and he stopped other state parties from similar activity. Pennslvania, not coincidentally, is the one blue state McCain must win in order to have a shot at the presidency. It's not happening.

McCain's campaign has diverted resources from its ground game into an attempt to begin to match Obama on the air for the last few days. But it's not turning out that way, with Obama still out-gunning McCain better than 2 to 1. But it may have been the best move anyway, since volunteers appear to be in short supply for the Republican ticket.

John McCain's positive closer ad.

McCain's positive closer ad is an honorable effort, highlighting his long years of distinguished service to the nation in the Navy and in Congress. It's very familiar to those of us who've been following his advertising. No new ground, but a good taste in the mouth after a lot of sourness.

This new John McCain attack ad on Barack Obama posits him as a dupe for Islamic jihadists like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Who isn't actually the real power in Iran.

The negative ad, which seeks to position Obama as a coddler of Islamic jihadists such as the new boogeyman, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is another matter. (Funny how nobody is complaining about the actual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Is it because some on the far right falsely reported that he died in January 2007?)

In this funhouse view, Obama's willingness to meet with foreign leaders without preconditions is merely a jumping-off point for a half-minute of terror. As if a president with PR chops can't make a fool of a tinpot tyrant if need be.

All indications are that Barack Hussein Obama will have the chance to find out as the next President of the United States.