Election Day Countdown: Day 4

Avra Bossov ('11)/Eastside Global Commentary Editor

Halloween means one thing for these candidates: the frightening truth. An Associated Press poll was released revealing that one in every seven Americans is still undecided for who they support in this historic election. These results mean that each campaign is faced with the challenging task of getting those one in seven voters on their side. To do this, campaigns have been using television and the internet to both their advantage-and disadvantage.On YouTube, the most viewed video of the “News & Politics” category is an advertisement released by the Obama campaign on October 30, entitled “Robots Attack!” (To see this ad, please click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg56KbtmARc .) This ad depicts clips of black and white horror films and text saying: “This Halloween, America faces a new menace…” and shows a robot. A lone robot begins speaking the recorded robocalls sent out by the McCain campaign. The robot then duplicates into four robots, all saying the recorded robocall, and then into nine robots, and then into sixteen. As the robocall ends, a message in the same font as before says: “Defeat the robots! Contact voters NOW!” with a robot sinking in the background. More text follows, saying: “Get Involved: -Make phone calls, -Knock on doors, -Visit your local office. Find out how: barackobama.com.” This ad is both creative and effective, for it encompasses how upset Americans are with these robocalls. For the 306,649 people who viewed this ad, perhaps 43,807 (one seventh) of those viewers have now made up their mind in favor of Senator Obama.

Another popular video on YouTube under the “News & Politics” category is a clip from CNN, with Rick Sanchez interviewing McCain spokesperson, Michael Goldfarb. (To see this clip, please click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCaOCWYpPk4 .) Within the interview, Goldfarb is adamant that Obama “has a long track record of being around anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American rhetoric” Sanchez then asks Goldfarb if he could name another-one other-person that fits that description besides Khalidi (a Palestinian historian who has ties to the P.L.O. and Obama), to which Goldfarb said: “Rick, we all know who number two is.” Obviously, he could not answer the question. I hope this clip is seen by those still convinced that Obama is a Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel maniac. He’s not! He joined Hillary Clinton at this year’s AIPAC conference, and is a devout Christian. Perhaps Sanchez’s interview with one of McCain’s advisers can change people’s minds about Obama being a “terrorist.”

On the Republican side, in terms of advertising, an ad was added to John McCain’s YouTube web page two days ago entitled “Preconditions.” (To see this ad, please click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1azQcs-8iI .) The ad attacks Obama for saying he would have meetings with leaders of Iran without preconditions, using imposing and almost ethnic music in the background. This ad is also creative, or rather, different from the latest slew of “I Am Joe” ads plaguing the nation. “Preconditions” focuses negatively on the flaws of their competitor, as most political advertising does. However, the problem with that precondition is that it leads to Americans being fed up with both candidates. Although the negative e-mail chains towards Obama have subsided for the most part, the internet is still a breeding ground for heinous propaganda surrounding Obama, and Sarah Palin.

Candidates in this presidential election have outspent any other election, spending close to $1,000,000,000. In the 2004 race between Sen. John Kerry and President George W. Bush, they spent $880,500,000. These figures for the 2008 election includes the 5 million Obama spent on the half-hour infomercial on the night the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, and the $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe. One billion dollars? That’s ridiculous. That’s one seventh of the amount used to bailout Wall Street. Both campaigns are guilty of overspending; however, each candidate realizes that in order to make the changes they promise, they need to get elected first.

As the election countdown draws down to three more days, beware (in the spirit of Halloween) that half of the ads both campaigns have spent almost one billion dollars are not entirely the truth, and rather they are only fragments of the truth. And that-is a scary thought.