Watch CBSN Live

Editorial: McCain Ads - Good Idea, Poorly Done

This story was written by Staff Editorial, Daily Collegian

But is he ready to lead?

It's a question the newest ads from Sen. John McCain's campaign ask of Sen. Barack Obama.

The ads, called "Celeb" and "The One," satirically criticize Obama's superstar and messiah-like presence in both the political world and in popular culture. They poke fun at Obama's powerful aura, touting him as "The One," quoting him saying things like, "I have become a symbol of America returning to our best traditions" and showing him surrounded by overwhelming crowds gathered to watch him speak.

Like much of the recent media coverage, McCain's own ads focus almost solely on Obama. But, with Obama's prominence in the media and online, McCain can't waste time running against his policies; he's running against a political behemoth, so Obama's personality is where the focus needs to be. In that sense, the ads were great -- in theory.

Unfortunately, the idea didn't translate to video.

Somewhere between Britney Spears' and Paris Hilton's faces and Obama's campaign symbol popping out of the Red Sea as it's parted by Charlton Heston's Moses in The Ten Commandments, we were less than impressed.

Paris Hilton's pseudo ad response, on the comedy Web site, is more impressive in production quality and funnier in content than either of McCain's.

In the ad, she concludes that McCain's ad featuring her face means she too is running for president. She proceeds to propose a plan for oil production and offshore drilling, consider Rihanna for vice president and say her ad is "approved by everyone" -- all while reclining on a lawn chair in a bathing suit and heels.

She also described McCain as a "wrinkly, white-haired guy," inspiring mental images of Larry King, KFC's Colonel Sanders and Yoda.

The sting of Hilton's fake ad may be greater than McCain's real ones, especially considering that her parents, Rick and Kathy, are McCain supporters, with some news outlets reporting they've donated as much as $4,600 to his campaign.

Obama did not create this media cyclone that surrounds him, but he can certainly take advantage of the free publicity.

The ads got McCain's name back in the news, for sure, and were successful in that endeavor. Now, McCain needs to take this opportunity to make his name stay in the news.

Now that he has everyone's attention, he needs to realize that it's OK to talk about himself -- it's a skill in which politicians tend to pride themselves.

Otherwise, people might consider voting for a Hilton- Rihanna ticket.