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Talking To The Camera About Taxes

Barack's talking to the camera again! With the markets in crisis, the Obama campaign this morning unveilled a new ad featuring the Illinois Senator addressing voters face-to-face about taxes and the economy.

Some thoughts:

-Likeability? Yes. If he's staring at us for two long televisual minutes--OK, probably two long streaming-video minutes in most people's cases--we'd better find it pleasant. Obama sounds authoritative and nice and grown-up. Kind of like a CEO in a corporate video.

-Connection to Current Crisis? Tenuous. Obama talks about stagnant wages and upper-income tax-cuts before declaring that "our economy’s in turmoil." But the ad says nothing about regulations and the like.

-Carnival-Barker Vibe? Limited. The danger in long ads about things like "my plan" is that the candidate sounds like a sleazy salesman reading from a long list of come-ons. Obama limits that to just a couple of specifics, but still manages to seem detailed.

-Rebutting the Opposition? Not much. John McCain's campaign has made hay out of claims that Obama will raise taxes on anyone making $42,000. Obama's claim that those earning less than $250,000 are safe is buried in the middle of the ad.

-Presidential Look? Absolutely. Where is this clean house with nice mouldings? Is it Obama's own place? If so, the ambient indoor light makes me think vacant space next to the Rezko place is worth every penny. The effect makes it look kind of like he's in the White House already.

--Michael Schaffer