"John McCain doesn't always tell us what we... hope... to hear..."
Chris Cillizza says:
The McCain campaign is playing a dangerous but necessary game here. Poking holes in the idea of "hope" was tried -- unsuccessfully -- by Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primary.I think McCain is doing something different. Hillary was saying Obama's idea of "hope" is insubstantial. McCain is trying to trump hope with something more substantial. And Hillary couldn't — as McCain does here — try to associate Obama with hippies, because she was more easily portrayed as a hippie than he was:
Time and time again, the New York senator sought to make the case that while Obama talked a good game, that flowery rhetoric alone would not bring about the change needed for the country. And, time and time again, Obama pointed to his accomplishments in the state senate and decried Clinton's "old" attack politics.
But what connection is there between hippies and Obama? Possible answers:
1. There's no connection. This is stupid.
2. Drugs! This ad is a tricky, subliminal reminder of Obama's drug use, and we ought to think about whether that's okay to do.
3. The hippie is a symbolic character who embodies fuzzy-headed, unrealistic idealism in a ridiculous form. As such, we understand the image of the hippie as a critique of Obama and the people who love him.