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Fertile Ground For An Obama Counterattack

Sticking with the rope-a-dope theme, I'd say early next week is the perfect time for an Obama ad accusing McCain of sacrificing his honor to win the White House. It's a meme that's suddenly everywhere in the media. Yesterday's McCain appearance on "The View" and today's pieces in the Times and the Politico put an exclamation point on a week in which the media homed in on his Rovian campaign. The Politico piece, by Jonathan Martin, is especially good:

McCain seems to have made a choice that many politicians succumb to but that he had always promised to avoid — he appears ready to do whatever it takes to win, even it if soils his reputation.

“We recognize it’s not going to be 2000 again,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said, alluding to the media’s swooning coverage of McCain’s ill-fated crusade against then-Gov. George W. Bush and the GOP establishment. “But he lost then. We’re running a campaign to win. And we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.”

Rogers, who hung tough with McCain through the dark days of the primary and has lived through every high and low of this turbulent and unpredictable race, argues that they tried to run a high-ground campaign and sought to keep the candidate in front of the media in the fashion he enjoys. His point: No one paid any attention.

“We ran a different kind of campaign and nobody cared about us. They didn’t cover John McCain. So now you’ve got to be forward-leaning in everything,” he said.

The heavy lifting has been done here. The Obama campaign just needs to tie it together with a catchy ad.

--Noam Scheiber