Mac 'Celebrity' Attack Ad Signals New Battle Stage

Tactics echo Bush re-election strategy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2008 4:57 AM CDT
John McCain speaks during a town hall meeting at the Reed High School, Tuesday, July 29, 2008 in Sparks, Nev.    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – John McCain's latest attack on Barack Obama as a self-absorbed "celebrity" candidate out of touch with ordinary Americans marks a new aggressive stage of his campaign, reports the New York Times. The "star power" offensive against Obama, sharper than earlier efforts, comes as key players in President Bush's attack-driven re-election campaign take control of the McCain camp.

The intensity of the attack has surprised even some Republicans, with one GOP strategist calling the use of Paris Hilton in the ads "absurd and juvenile." The Obama campaign, in turn, is now trying to show McCain—dubbed "McNasty" by the Democratic National Committee—as negative, cranky and desperately casting about for his own positives to highlight.