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McCain to Speak Directly to Obama in Ad Tonight « The Washington Independent

McCain campaign communications director Jill Hazelbaker just appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and coyly announced that the campaign will air a different kind of ad in “battleground states around the time of Sen. Barack Obama is speaking tonight.”

“This is a historic ad. I think it’s the first of its kind. Sen. [John] McCain is going to speak direct to camera to Barack Obama. I’m not going to give away many more details than that. Suffice to say, it’s going to be a very exciting ad and I think it’s going to get a lot of attention.”

Obviously, it seems likely that McCain will congratulate Obama on his achievement and acknowledge the historical significance of Obama’s nomination. Perhaps McCain will reiterate his challenge to appear together outside of the scheduled debates — though logistically this could be difficult to arrange at this late date. However, McCain is expected to appear with his running mate at a rally in Dayton, Ohio tomorrow morning. Is it possible McCain will announce his vice presidential nominee on TV, just before or after Obama makes his acceptance speech? That would almost certainly be an effective way to blunt Obama’s news coverage — and to guarantee that newspapers and cable news networks will also be buzzing about McCain in the morning. Maybe we now have two good reasons to be glued to our televisions tonight — as if we needed another.

UPDATE: Politico‘s Mike Allen has more on this:

The campaign was fueling speculation about his running mate, who is to be named at a McCain rally in Ohio tomorrow. A top campaign official says McCain has settled on his vice presidential choice and will notify the person today.

Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report, who has high-level McCain contacts, posted a tease this morning saying: “SOURCE: NAME MAY LEAK AT 6 PM ET… WITH SOME SORT OF CONFIRMATION AT 8 PM.”

Obama is scheduled to speak between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern before a crowd of about 75,000 at a Denver stadium where the final session of the Democratic National Convention is being staged.

The leak of the McCain ticket mate would cause a news frenzy at at time when the Obama campaign wanted viewers to be focused on Obama’s economic and change messages.

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