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New McCain Ad Links Obama to Chicago Political Machine

After a week in which he had difficulty stringing together a coherent response to the meltdown on Wall Street, Sen. John McCain opted to start this week by trying to changing the subject.

The McCain campaign launched a new ad this morning that links Sen. Barack Obama to the “corrupt Chicago political machine” that controls the city from which the Democratic presidential nominee arose.. The ad, titled “Chicago Machine,” will air nationally, according to the McCain campaign — but many negative ads from both campaigns [never hit the airwaves.

](http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13536.html)

PRODUCTION NOTES: This spot is significant, whether it airs or not, because it represents an escalation of the McCain campaign’s attacks on Obama. By highlighting Obama’s relationships with convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko; William Daley, brother of current Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley — and son of long-time Chicago political kingpin Richard J. Daley — as well as a former Fannie Mae lobbyist; his “political godfather,” Illinois State Rep. Emil Jones; and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is the subject of several corruption investigations.

Obama’s ties to Rezko and Jones are clear and documented, though Obama has never been accused of wrongdoing in connection with either man. Daley is one of Obama’s many economic advisers, as are former Treasury Secs. Robert Rubin Paul O’Neill and Larry Summers, billionaire investor Warren Buffet, former Fed chairman Paul Volcker and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. It is unclear how closely Obama is tied to Blagojevich, though Rezko’s trial centered on his dealings with the Blagojevich administration. However, the message of the spot is unmistakable: Obama is corrupt.

It is noteworthy that the McCain campaign continues to hit Obama for his connection to Fannie Mae — last week McCain released ads focusing on Obama’s connections to former Fannie Mae CEO’s Jim Johnson (true) and Franklin D. Raines (false.) The New York Times reports today that McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, received $2 millions over five years, “as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations.” The McCain campaign has scheduled a conference call with reporters this morning, featuring Davis and senior campaign adviser Steve Schmidt. The stated purpose of the call is to discuss the ad, but Davis will likely face questions about his own connection to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We’ll have more on that soon.

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