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The Guilt-by-association-association

Barack Obama has a new entry in the guilt-by-association portion of this year's campaign ad wars. His latest salvo cites the $42 million golden parachute given to McCain advisor Carly Fiorina when she was fired from her CEO job. Will it stick to the GOP nominee? A brief breakdown:

-Truthiness: It's true! Fiorina--much more than Franklin Raines--is indeed a campaign advisor. And she got a big payout after being fired.

-Relevance to current events: It's a stretch. The logic of the jump-cuts is this: The Washington Mutual CEO may get a multimillion-dollar send-off. Fiorina got a multimillion-dollar send-off. Therefore, McCain's advisor is linked to the financial crisis. I suspect you'd need to be pretty deep in the bubble to buy that.

-Logical consistency: Not so much. After learning about Fiorina's fortune, we learn that Obama wants any Wall Street bailout to restrict CEO pay. Which is all fine and well, but doesn't have much to do with ex-CEOs, particularly not ex-CEOs from Silicon Valley.

-Emotional punch: A glancing blow. "It's an outrage," Obama tells a crowd of people while discussing CEO golden parachutes. He sounds almost angry! But also wry and cool! Oddly, the wry-and-cool thing makes the unusual-for-Obama expression seem more authentic. Though still a little bit off.

-Random reaction shot: While Obama is denouncing the irresponsible parachuting CEOs before a small group of people, the camera flashes a fiftysomething white guy sporting a dark blazer and a blue shirt open at the collar. He looks like a stock image of a CEO. Which perhaps also helps ensure that the candidate's accompanying words don't sound too furious. Had we panned to a guy in a union t-shirt, the effect would be a bit different.

--Michael Schaffer