This new McCain web ad really has to be seen to be believed. It's basically a tribute video to the English teacher/football coach McCain had at his all-boys boarding school Episcopal. As a fundraising vehicle for Episcopal (or, as its students and alumni fondly call it, "High! Schoooooool!"), I'd say it's a pretty good spot. But as a presidential campaign ad? I just don't see it. Ross Douthat remarks:

[I]t makes it seem like John McCain is running to be the headmaster of the school in Dead Poets Society, and while anything that sticks it to Robin Williams' annoying and irresponsible Emerson-wannabe of an English teacher is catnip to me, I'm not sure that running as the guy who'll clean up the local prep school is the best way for a seventysomething politician with a reputation for being, well, a little crabby to make his case for the American Presidency.

This brings me back to a point I was trying to make the other day in this post. I don't think that the side of McCain that lends itself so well to books like Faith of My Fathers really translates into stump speeches and campaign ads. If he wants to be president, he's going to have to come up with something else.

--Jason Zengerle