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McCain Launches ‘Love’ Ad

The title of Sen. John McCain’s newest campaign ad, "Love" — which opens with scenes from the summer of the same name — may make you think he’s gone all warm and fuzzy. But don’t worry, he is talking about love of country, not the free variety. The spot quickly turns to McCain’s military service — which supposedly he doesn’t like to talk about all that much — showing images of him as a captive in North Vietnam, and detailing how he was shot down, bayoneted and tortured. The announcer labels McCain as "a maverick" who puts America before "party, polls and self," and implores Americans not to "’hope’ for a better life. Vote for one."

*Production Notes: *This ad subtly draws a connection between the reckless naivete of the "Summer of Love" — which the announcer refers to as a time of "uncertainty, hope and change" — and Sen. Barack Obama, who frequently uses the language of hope and change. Without ever mentioning Obama, McCain highlights his own career while also taking several covert shots at his Democratic opponent.

For example, the announcer says, "Beautiful words cannot make our lives better," referencing a frequent criticism of Obama — that he is all lofty rhetoric and little substance. The announcer also asserts, "John McCain doesn’t always tell us what we ‘hope’ to hear" — with slight pause for emphasis just before the word "hope."

This spot seems to target moderate baby boomers, who, perhaps, were never taken in by the free-wheeling, substance-abusing culture of the late-1960s. It may also be an attempt to appeal to those who actively participated in the revelry, but now view that era as immature and self-destructive. The implicit message: a vote for Obama would be a vote to return to the heady instability of the past.

Here’s the script:

It was a time of uncertainty, hope and change. The "Summer Of Love."

> Half a world away, another kind of love – of country.

John McCain: Shot down. Bayoneted. Tortured.

Offered early release, he said, "No." He’d sworn an oath.

Home, he turned to public service.

His philosophy: before party, polls and self … America.

A maverick, John McCain tackled campaign reform, military reform, spending reform.

He took on presidents, partisans and popular opinion.

He believes our world is dangerous, our economy in shambles.

John McCain doesn’t always tell us what we "hope" to hear.

Beautiful words cannot make our lives better.

But a man who has always put his country and her people before self, before politics can.

Don’t "hope" for a better life. Vote for one.

McCain.

JOHN MCCAIN: I’m John McCain and I approved this message.

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