Political Attack Ads: Should Obama go Negative?

Should Obama go negative? A recent flurry of negative campaign ads from John McCain and company has the progressive community wondering if Obama is ready for prime time. From LBJ’s now famous Daisy Girl ad in 1964 suggesting that a Goldwater victory might mean nuclear war to the swiftboating of John Kerry, going negative seems to work. It is certainly nothing new. From Lee Atwater to Karl Rove the Republican Party has mastered the art of the political attack ad. And August seems to be their preferred season.

Obama, however, has said he will not go negative, preferring to highlight his own positive message of change. His Super Bowl ad is a good example. The question for some is whether Obama should go negative. For others it is whether the Dems even know how to go negative.

To discuss how Obama might respond to the McCain campaign are Faye Wattleton of the Center for the Advancement of Women, Steve Cobble a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, and Malia Lazu, Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice.

George Bush is perhaps the most disliked man in the world according to Cobble. The image of McCain and Bush in an awkward embrace should be seared in the minds of voters. Obama shouldn’t tread on McCain’s character–it’s a dead end–but should go after the issues. There’s plenty to attack. Watch the full conversation here.