The New York Times's hypersensitivity towards perceived attacks on Obama was on display in Friday's "Ad Campaign" review by Julie Bosman. Under the heading "Scorecard," Bosman described the Obama's first ad of the general election campaign as an effective counterattack against anti-Obama "smear e-mail and Internet innuendo."
This advertisement tries to define Mr. Obama and his life story in the face of smear e-mail and Internet innuendo about his heritage, questions about his patriotism and accusations about his liberal record. It emphasizes his devotion to work, both personally and in his record, highlighting legislation that shows his compassion for working-class Americans and veterans -- and his toughness with welfare recipients. With its flag pin and statements on patriotism -- the commercial is called "Country I Love" -- it seeks to put to rest any doubts about his devotion to the United States. The advertisement addresses the problems Mr. Obama needs to address and tacks him back to the center.
And while he is not served particularly well by the face-to-camera shots, he comes across as personable and approachable. The sunny room and cozy family photos say to Americans who only know Mr. Obama's name and face that there is little to fear.
"Back to the center?" Was Obama, the most liberal Senator, ever in the center?
Note that in a previous "Ad Campaign" entry June 9, Bosman said John McCain had a "warmonger" reputation, which is apparently not an example of smear or innuendo.