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Campaigns' Negative Tactics Diverge

The McCain campaign has released another negative ad going after Obama on taxes and his celebrity status. It's the fourth ad in just over two weeks that pairs the rockstar theme with the suggestion that an Obama presidency would threaten your family's financial security.

But as McCain milks the free publicity from its spate of negative advertising, First Read reports that the Obama campaign has been quietly running negative ads in battleground states.

FR's Mark Murray's theory:

Clearly, the Obama campaign isn't interested in telling the media about every single McCain attack ad they're running. Perhaps this is because Obama's brand can't afford to be tarnished too much if he's seen as constantly running negative TV ads. So the campaign simply puts them on the air in key markets, doesn't tell the press about them, and layers those ads with positive ones being run nationally during the Olympics.

Murray also notes:

In fact, one of Obama's biggest candidate strengths — which doesn't get the attention it deserves — is that he plays political hardball as well as his opponents; he just sometimes does it under the radar.

This afternoon the Obama campaign emailed this Ohio ad around, and demurred on the subject of when it started airing...Ben Smith says it's been up "for a little while." Based on the subject matter (last week's McCain/DHL storyline) I'd suspect it's one of those quiet releases.

Battleground state Vox Politicians: feel free to shine the light on more of these...you can send us tips here.

— Evie Stone

UPDATE: Via Marc Ambinder, a couple things to remember as you watch the above ads...

1. Middle class Americans would get a bigger tax cut under Barack Obama's plan, as even conservatives are beginning to note.

2. McCain's opposition to scuttling the DHL deal had nothing to do with some favored disposition toward DHL and everything to do with McCain's opposition to unnecessary amendments.

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Lead? What do they think the President is supposed to do? What's his job. Statesmen right, figurehead. Made of wood. Your LEADERS are sheep.

Sent by Jody Sol | 2:46 PM | 8-15-2008