(KETTERING, OHIO) - While the Obama campaign denies using ageism as part of their campaign strategy, a document obtained by CBS News shows that they planned to use McCain's last birthday in August to point out McCain's age.
A memo reveals they planned to make an issue of his age beginning on Aug. 29, McCain's 72nd birthday, "hoping to hit him on being so old."
In a directive issued to "ALL" regions and markets, a message planning memo states "We'll take the lead from the DNC/Chicago on these themes with a focus on Hurricane insurance/infrastructure on the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on McCain's 72nd B-day (also hoping to hit him on being so old too)". That entry was listed under the dates "8/29-9/4", spanning the entire week of the Republican National Convention.
While it is not clear to what extent, if any, the Obama campaign carried out this effort, it is clear that it was encouraged.
Republicans have accused the Obama campaign of alluding to McCain's age by using words like "erratic," "stubborn," and "lurching."
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who supports Obama but does not have an integral role in the Obama campaign, made an off-hand joke recently implying that McCain wore "Depends" adult diapers.
But the McCain campaign cannot claim innocence in regards to alluding to age as an issue.
44-year-old Sarah Palin has pointed out that 65-year-old Joe Biden's been in the U.S. Senate since she was in second grade.
McCain, using self-deprecation for laughs, has poked fun of his age at times on the trails.
And the 47-year-old Obama, using age to distance himself, points out that he was eight years old when Bill Ayers, who McCain's camp calls a domestic terrorist, allegedly committed "unspeakable" acts of bombing and violence.
Ultimately, it has become clear that the prominent issue that has driven the campaign has not been age or even race – at least at this point – but an issue that effects all Americans: the economy.