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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Ballot Box

    Barack Obama 's infomercial has been widely well-received. The 30-minute spot was impeccably produced and part of a full-court press that the Democratic ticket has unleashed this week. If nothing else, talk of Obama's commercial -- pre- and post- -- have effectively taken up another two days of media coverage with five days remaining until the election. Can McCain recover? Today's buzz: 

    • Howard Wolfson wrote in the New Republic blog The Flack that the infomercial was a very effective closing argument that was well produced and effective in appealing to undecideds. Take-away: "At a time when the McCain campaign is doing everything it can to knock Sen. Obama off his game, it's another example of how and why that task is so difficult."
    • Obama's ad was slick but Billy Mays has more content when he's selling products on TV, wrote Cal Thomas in The Fox Forum. Take-away: "Barack Obama's expensive-looking infomercial was all about  government and nothing about you."
    • Obama's polished infomercial was a heartfelt appeal to voters that told a story of despair that reverberates across the nation, wrote John Nichols in the Nation. Take-away: "Obama's commercial is a thirty-minute slice of an American story that was crying out to be told .. and that Barack Obama heard."  
    • The infomercial was propagandistic in its effectiveness but it didn't backfire as many had feared it would, wrote Daniel Menaker in HuffPo. Take-away: "Barack Obama may be a New Man for a New  Age -- I hope and even believe that he is -- but his way of winning this election, if he does, is sort of apotheosis of modern advertising and packaging and big-budget electioneering, with a touch of idolatrous fever."
    • Team McCain is relying on a lot more hope than Obama these days, wrote John Dickerson in Slate.  The McCain camp -- and its pollster -- believe it's possible to pull off a W on Nov. 4, but are they crazy? Take-away: "In McCain's most optimistic scenario, he loses a few Republican states like New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Iowa. He just has to hope that he doesn't lose too many of them."
    • What we've learned about McCain was that the infighting and poll numbers suggest is that he was unable to create a coherent philosophy and uninterested in managing a large enterprise, wrote David Broder in the WaPo. Take-away: "The shortcoming was intellectual as well as bureaucratic."