The Democratic race may be cruelly, cripplingly cloudy right now, but this much is clear: whoever wins, Clinton or Obama, will labor mightily in the general election to fuse John McCain and George W. Bush into a hellish two-headed Orthrus in the minds of the American people. Obama, in fact, is already off and running, devoting much of Tuesday's "Potomac Primary" victory speech to contrasting himself with "Bush-McCain Republicans" (subtle, no?) "George Bush won't be on the ballot this November, but his war and his tax cuts for the wealthy will," he said. "When I am the nominee, I will offer a clear choice." The hope, of course, is that the 66 percent of the populace that disapproves of Bush will see McCain in the same light--and that McCain will be forced to distance himself from Dubya without offending the GOP base, which still likes the guy. Not an easy dance to do--especially while still clinging to the last shreds of your maverick rep.
With that in mind, the Democratic National Committee is out today with a Valentine's Day web ad called "Sweetheart Deal" (above). The spot sees Obama's "Bush-McCain" formulation and raises him a hearty dose of... um, latent homosexuality. Marvel as McCain and Bush advocate for "making the tax cuts permanent"! Guffaw as they reiterate their opposition to "amnesty"! And gasp as they agree that "we should stay the course in Iraq"! Oh, and while you're at it, watch a nostalgic, black-and-white photo montage (complete with Ken Burns panning and pink heart graphics) of the lovebirds laying their arms on each other's shoulders and giggling as they clutch a birthday cake, with Bush at one point grasping McCain's aged head and pulling it, softy, tenderly, to his lips and McCain, later, resting his weary brow on Bush's cheek. "Do they share the same heart?" the ad asks. Who knows. But there's nothing like the slinky, soft-core sounds of a soprano saxophone to set the mood. How could something so wrong feel so right?
Which makes you wonder. Maybe the DNC isn't targeting only centrist Democrats with the ad. After all, it's die-hard Republicans--the very people still not sold on McCain--who are most opposed to gay rights. Keep them home next November and the Democrats win.
Now if only Howard Dean could convince Larry Craig to endorse...