And it's denying that Raines is an advisor. But then the Washington Post would have to be wrong. You can't bash McCain for basing the ad on the info in the Post and specifically identifying the Post as the source.
Here's what the Post has today:
The McCain campaign cited a July Washington Post profile of Raines as the source for his connection to Obama. In that profile, it was reported that he had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters." In a statement issued by the Obama campaign late Thursday, Raines strongly denied having provided counsel to Obama, saying: "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters."That's all, which I take to mean the WaPo stands behind its original reporting. If the original reporting is true, then Raines is an Obama advisor and a liar.
AND: WaPo's Howard Kurtz says:
The commercial's main charge is based on an April story in The Washington Post that said Raines has "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters." Reporter Anita Huslin says Raines told her that during an in-person interview....MORE: Time's Karen Tumulty says "McCain Plays the Race Card"!
Whether viewers will somehow hold Obama responsible for the Fannie Mae collapse because of what is at best a slight association with its former head is open to question. The commercial seems intended as a response to an earlier Obama spot charging that McCain can't clean up Washington because seven of his top campaign officials are former lobbyists.
This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman.2 black men: Obama and Raines!
AND: Tumulty makes much of the fact that the ad doesn't mention Jim Johnson: "Why? One reason might be that Johnson is white; Raines is black." But the campaign does have an ad based on Johnson:
UPDATE: WaPo says it's a stretch to make much of anything out of the Obama-Raines relationship:
I asked [the author of the Raines profile Anita] Huslin to provide the exact circumstances of that passage. She said that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked "if he was engaged at all with the Democrats' quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said, 'Oh, general housing, economy issues.' ('Not mortgage/foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific?' I asked, and he said 'no.')"