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Barack Obama, Jujitsu-master

I come down somewhere between Mike and Jason on Obama's response to McCain's tire-gauge assault. I don't think it was quite pitch perfect--maybe a touch too eggheady with the mention of "experts." But deriding the GOP for embracing ignorance was a nice way to invert McCain's charge. I'd guess this resonates more than usual after eight years of George W. Bush. And Obama delivered the riff in the right tone--not angry or righteous but bemused: "This is the kind of thing they do, I don't understand it..."

Even more effective was Obama's jujitsuing of McCain's "Celeb" ad (again, with the possible exception of the word "experts"): "This is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference..."

It's a great punchline--it really flays the GOP for a.) being out of touch about what matters to voters, and b.) the party's less than high-minded campaign tactics. But it does all this with the same light hand. If Obama adopts this as a standard refrain, that ad could end up backfiring on McCain.   

--Noam Scheiber