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OK, it’s old news, but since Ted Olson over at Christianity Today‘s political blog wants to keep up the chatter about the McCain campaign’s “He is the One” videoswipe at Obama, here’s my two cents. Yes, the Matrix reference and the opening do suggest messiahship, and since the ad is anti-Obama, it can be interpreted as saying that since he’s not the real Messiah, he’s a false messiah, ergo (for Christians) the Antichrist. But I don’t buy it. This is not about Obama as Messiah but Obama as Moses, the prophet who led the Israelites to the Promised Land. And it doesn’t claim that he’s a false prophet (allowing as how he “may be” the One), but only that he’s “not ready to lead.” Even prophets have to grow up and mature, right?
Is it funny? To paraphrase Obama on Hillary Clinton, I’d say it’s funny enough. Does it hit its mark? Sure. There’s no question that Obama sometimes sounds as though he’s come down from the mountain, and for sure he’s got the throngs of followers. Does trafficking in this kind of ridicule reflect well on John McCain? I don’t think so. It’s the sort of mashup that ought to have come from somewhere other than the McCain campaign. As a bona fide ad, with the candidate’s approval affixed to it, it would proclaim even more loudly than it already does: Gravitas Deficit.