Right Wing News Should Boost Traffic With Nude Obama and Palin Pics

naked-obama-unicorn

It is always amusing to see what types of search words bring in people from search engines. Obviously there are always lots of mundane searches such as Obama’s position on Medicare Advantage plans, but it is the non-political searches which are most amusing to read. Via Memeorandum I see that Right Wing News should do very well in the search engines after some of their recent posts.

The internet is often described as the world’s greatest repository of porn, and even tamer material dealing with women, sex, or nudity brings in plenty of attention. Paris Hilton is always popular and there is a huge surge in searches for pictures of Tim Tebow’s girlfriend whenever he is playing in big games. (Come to think of it, huge and big often play a part in that search). Britney Spears’ appearance on Will and Grace led to searches for poodle balling which still continue. There was a brief burst in searches for this nude picture of Jenna Elfman last week.Years after their appearance on Survivor, Heidi and Jenna remain popular searches.

The searches terms become even more amusing when they are not for items actually on the blog. Google and the other search engines often provide hits based upon words in close proximity. Due to having Buck Naked Politics in the blog roll and/or sometimes even using the word naked in a post, there are frequent hits for a wide variety of people naked. There are a tremendous number of hits for Emma Watson Naked. The actual post mentions Emma Watson but has a picture of Scarlett Johansson.

While for some reason I seem to get more hits for Emma Watson Naked than anyone else (with a bit of interest after she discussed posing nude) anybody can be part of such a search. During the primary campaign there was a tremendous number of searches leading here for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton naked. There were no nude pictures of either, but plenty of posts on both. In Hillary Clinton’s case this did include the famous cleavage controversy. This picture of Natalie Portman next to Hillary Clinton also received some attention.

While those looking for nude pictures of politicians generally do not find what they are looking for in a Google search, they now have an opportunity thanks to Right Wing News. They are now providing drawings of a naked Obama on a unicorn along with Sarah Palin, as well as a nude drawing of Michelle. There’s also more at Boing Boing.

Knowing the interest of internet users in naked people, I’m sure that Right Wing News and all others discussing these pictures will see an increase in traffic. Now I’ll sit back and see how popular this post becomes.

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Paris Hilton Seeks Campaign Advice From Jeb Bartlett

In August Paris Hilton responded to John McCain’s use of her name in a political ad and interpreted the use of her name as meaning she is a candidate for president. Fortunately she is content to be a fake candidate. While the candidacy is fake, she is taking the fake election seriously and is seeking advice. In the video above, Paris seeks advice from the greatest fake president of all time, Martin Sheen, who played Jeb Bartlett on The West Wing.

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Letterman Continues Attack on McCain

David Letterman is still pissed off at John McCain for standing him up, and Paris Hilton, who Letterman claimed was McCain’s first choice of running mates, even joined him in bashing McCain:

He said he felt like a “patriot” to let McCain off his commitment to deal with the economy and “now I’m feeling like an ugly date.”

“That’s what I feel like, I feel like an ugly date,” he said. “I feel used. I feel cheap. I feel sullied.”

He began the bashing in his monologue, telling the audience, “You’re here on a good night. So far none of our guests have canceled.”

He compared his situation to that of David Blaine hanging upside down in Central Park for sixty hours saying, “They just left the guy hanging there. It’s the same thing McCain did to me last night.”

“Here’s how it works: you don’t come to see me? You don’t come to see me? Well, we might not see you on Inauguration Day,” Letterman said.

Letterman also stated that McCain wanted to delay his debate with Obama and Sarah Palin wanted to postpone her debate with Joe Biden until after Election Day. Letterman said McCain taking Palin to meet world leaders at the United Nations was like “take-your-daughter-to-work day.”

The Top 10 List was read by people from  Wasilla, Alaska:

TOP 10 SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT SARAH PALIN

10. Sometimes Sarah calls John McCain “Grandpa.”
9. She stole that sexy librarian look from me.
8. Recently passed legislation to build a bridge to Funkytown.
7. Does great impressions of Tina Fey.
6. Favorite meal: moose nuggets and beaver jerky.
5. Working on “Knight Rider” spinoff about a talking snowmobile.
4. Favorite book? “Late Show Fun Facts” -– available at fine stores everywhere.
3. Once spent a week in the hospital after attempting to put lipstick on a pit bull.
2. To improve her foreign policy experience, she recently went to the International House of Pancakes.
1. Only person I know who’s not afraid to go hunting with Dick Cheney.

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Obama Resonds To McCain’s Dishonest Campaign

The last several posts have been about the dishonesty of John McCain’s campaign. I’ve noted how fact checkers are reporting on it and on how the newsmedia is reporting on this. More importantly for regaining his lead in the race, Barack Obama is also responding. CNN reports:

Obama, speaking to a crowd Saturday in Manchester, New Hampshire, said, “John McCain wants to have a debate about national security; let’s have that debate. I warned that going into Iraq would distract us from Afghanistan. John McCain cheerleaded for it. John McCain was wrong, and I was right.”

“The McCain-[Sarah] Palin ticket, they don’t want to debate the Obama-Biden ticket on issues because they are running on eight more years of what we’ve just seen. And they know it,” the Democratic presidential nominee said. “As a consequence, what they’re going to spend the next seven, eight weeks doing is trying to distract you.

“They’re going to talk about pigs, and they’re going to talk about lipstick; they’re going to talk about Paris Hilton, they’re going to talk about Britney Spears. They will try to distort my record, and they will try to undermine your trust in what the Democrats intend to do.”

Obama spokesman Bill Burton released this statement:

We will take no lectures from John McCain who is cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern Presidential campaign history. His discredited ads with disgusting lies are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the office he is seeking.

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Paris Hilton Responds to John McCain


Paris Hilton has responded to John McCain for including her in one of his recent campaign ads. To prevent any confusion, please note that, although she does make more sense than John McCain, this is all a joke. There is very little point in analyzing John McCain’s policies as a McCain policy loses all substance once you get beyond his attacks on Obama. Paris Hilton did attempt to provide some substance to her plan, but unfortunately it is flawed as a result of taking components from McCain as well as Obama. The New Republic debunks Paris Hilton’s energy policy here.

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Republicans: Taking Pride in Being Ignorant

Obama has hit back at the Republicans who have been distorting Obama’s energy policy by dwelling on his comment on the energy savings from keeping tires properly inflated. This attack on Obama fails because, not only are they misrepresenting Obama’s views by claiming this is his sole policy, but because there actually are benefits from proper tire inflation. Obama has responded:

“Let me make a point about efficiency, because my Republican opponents – they don’t like to talk about efficiency,” Obama said.

“You know the other day I was in a town hall meeting and I laid out my plans for investing $15 billion a year in energy efficient cars and a new electricity grid and somebody said, ‘well, what can I do? what can individuals do?’ Obama recalled.

“So I told them something simple,” Obama said. “I said, ‘You know what? You can inflate your tires to the proper levels and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil we’d get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, or wherever he was going to drill.’”

“So now the Republicans are going around – this is the kind of thing they do. I don’t understand it! They’re going around, they’re sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea as if this is ‘Barack Obama’s energy plan.’

“Now two points, one, they know they’re lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they’re making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

“You know, they think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework. Because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference.”

Maybe the Republicans really do take pride in being ignorant. Just consider the types of things many of them think. Some still believe there was WMD in Iraq or that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attack. Some are ignorant of science and believe that intelligent design or creationism is a valid alternative to evolution. Some also demonstrate their ignorance of science by believing that the scientific consensus on climate change can be ignored because they don’t like the findings. Some are so ignorant of our own history that they are unaware of the intent of the founding fathers to create a secular government with separation of church and state. Some are so ignorant of economics that they really think that all tax cuts will pay for themselves and do not realize that this is just a con used by those who want to pay lower taxes at the time without regard for the fiscal consequences. The really ignorant ones believe all the conservative smears against Obama, just as they believed the Swift  Boat Liars and other smears against John Kerry in 2004.

Obama really is on to something in this response. Without ignorance we couldn’t even have the current Republican Party.

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The Politics of Arugula

One of the disappointing aspects of this campaign has been that, instead of the high minded debate on policy we had hoped for, John McCain has decided to engage in a dirty Rove/Clinton style campaign based upon distorting Obama’s positions, campaigning on irrelevant points, and resorting to the race card. The Clinton campaign resorted to attacks on Obama’s elementary school papers, claims that he is not a professor of Constitutional law, and attacks following Obama’s mention of Ronald Reagan in a historically accurate context. McCain is doing no better as his attacks are based upon comparisons to Paris Hilton and eating arugula.

Such dirty attacks have  become common among Republicans as the McCain campaign looks like just another Bush campaign. Even the senior Bush, considered superior to his son, campaigned by going through flag factories and attacking “card carrying members of the ACLU.”

Much of the problem stems from the fact that Republicans no longer stand for anything of consequence. They primarily use conservative economic theory to justify tax cuts with claims that they will pay for themselves and their corporate welfare programs conflict with their free market rhetoric. Andrew Sullivan comments on why the McCain campaign has resorted to a campaign based on arugula:

They really played the arugula card? For all McCain’s personal qualities, we’re learning that the machine behind the GOP simply re-makes the campaign in its own Coulterite image. Instead of actually fighting on the core questions – how do we get out of Iraq with the least damage? how do we get past carbon-based energy? how do we tackle al Qaeda’s new base in Pakistan and within the nuclear-armed Pakistani government? how will we reduce the massive debt bequeathed us by the Bush-Rove GOP? how do we restore the Geneva Conventions? – we are debating people’s cultural insecurities and food choices.

The slow collapse of conservatism as a coherent governing philosophy is not unrelated to this. If you never want to fight campaigns on policy, why bother crafting any?

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McCain’s Use of the Race Card

Joe Trippi (via Marc Ambinder) has an astute comment on how John McCain managed to get race into the campaign while appearing to take the high road to those who aren’t paying close attention to what McCain has been pulling:

It appears to me that the McCain campaign may be executing a classic “Race? Not me!” campaign.

The past 24 hours reflect exactly how to pull it off with nary a fingerprint that matters.

First you help inject race into the campaign and raise its focus as an issue (as the McCain campaign did yesterday with a little door opening from Obama himself).

Second – this unleashes energy and anger in the African American community (energy that often the African American candidate, Obama, can not control).  Leaders like James Clyburn take to the airwaves – and cable channels have two African Americans debate who is or isn’t raising race.   In any case black faces dominate the cable airwaves and some of those faces are angry.

Third – McCain then appears to speak in front of an all black audience.  White swing voters think “see, he isn’t racist”.  And if the crowd applauds so much the better, if it boos him for tactics real or imagined white swing voters see a white guy “who is at least trying” and angry blacks who are not being duly appreciative – either way it isn’t good for Obama.
Coincidence?

Ever since McCain’s NAACP speech that seemed to me to be directed at white swing voters and not at African Americans I have believed that the McCain campaign is adept at understanding how to raise race as an issue and use it to its advantage.  Is a pattern emerging?

It was actually a smart move politically from McCain to respond to Obama as he did on race. While race has been used against Obama from many sources, from the Clinton campaign to conservative email attacks, the McCain campaign had not been able to openly use race until now. They needed an opening to bring race into the campaign while still maintaining the ability to deny doing so. Melissa McEwan describes this as the political equivalent of blowing a dog whistle writing, “As a literal dog whistle emits a pitch that only dogs can hear, a political dog whistle sends a message that only a particular constituency will hear (or intuitively understand).”

Such is the case with John McCain’s campaign advert conflating Barack Obama’s candidacy and person with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears (which can be viewed here). On its face, it’s an obvious editorial on Obama’s intelligence and competency, as his image is juxtaposed with two women alleged to be airheads while the voiceover intones: “Is he ready to lead?” And naturally there is an element of commentary on whether he is undeserving and entitled, with which Hilton and Spears are routinely charged. Famous for no reason, just a pretty face, the ad implies.

But loitering below the ostensibly substantive critique is something more nefarious. It’s no coincidence that it wasn’t the vacuous tabloid fixture Spencer Pratt or the “American Idol” punchline Sanjaya Malakar who appear in the advert – and it’s not because they’re not famous enough. For it was also not Scarlett Johansson chosen for the advert, who famously supports him, has campaigned with him, and whose twin brother works for him, despite her being arguably as recognizable as Hilton and Spears – and it’s not because she’s not young, blonde, or beautiful enough.

It because neither Pratt, nor Malakar, nor Johansson have personas that are the perfect combination of no brains, no talent, and all slut.

Obama, dog whistles the ad, hitting old racists in the sweet spot, could fuck these white girls – it’s practically a Democratic tradition … JFK, Clinton, heck even Carter lusted in his heart – and we don’t want that, now, do we?

It recalls the despicable “bimbo ad” used against black senate candidate Harold Ford in Tennessee, in which a white actress was hired to claim she’d met Ford at a Playboy party and asked the candidate to “call me,” playing on deeply-ingrained and ancient biases about interracial sex. But the difference between the “bimbo ad” (which was also a Republican production) and the McCain advert is that the former was explicit in its miscegenation message, whereas the latter is more, well, dog-whistly. And its deliberate obliqueness has set in motion a series of events that’s all too familiar to feminists, LGBTQI activists, civil rights activists, and various other social justice advocates.

The dog whistle piques them with something the average person won’t see as bigoted, but that the constituency for which they advocate (and/or of which they’re a part) will expect them to call out, because they instantly spy it and recognize it for what it is; they’ve heard the tune of that particular string being plucked their whole lives. Then whoever calls it out is marginalized as a hysteric, over-reactionary, looking to get offended, etc.

And that’s exactly how the game has played out here. McCain piques Obama and his constituency, Obama responds, McCain and the rightwing accuse Obama of playing the race card, his opponents unleash their new favorite battle cry: “You can’t criticize Obama without being called a racist.” Clockwork.

Josh Marshall more briefly sums up the strategy:

Let’s see how this works. McCain runs his Britney/Paris ad on the alleged but improbable basis that they’re the #2 and #3 celebs in the world, according to Rick Davis. McCain camp seizes on Obama statement that Obama has made multiple times before, accuses him of playing “race card”. Now McCain repeats Race Card, Race Card, Race Card a hundred times.

McCain has made the strategic decision that he can only win the election on the basis of Obama as friend of terrorists, unpatriotic suspicious outsider and radical, black guy who’s really more a flashy showbiz star (call it playing the Diddy card) than someone with the heft to be president. He’s probably right. That’s his only chance. And it may work.

While much of the media has gone along with uncritically reporting McCain’s charges, The New York Times was not fooled:

We know that operatives in modern-day presidential campaigns are supposed to say things that everyone knows are ridiculous — and to do it with a straight face.

Still, there was something surreal, and offensive, about today’s soundbite from the campaign of Senator John McCain.

The presumptive Republican nominee has embarked on a bare-knuckled barrage of negative advertising aimed at belittling Mr. Obama. The most recent ad compares the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton — suggesting to voters that he’s nothing more than a bubble-headed, publicity-seeking celebrity.

The ad gave us an uneasy feeling that the McCain campaign was starting up the same sort of racially tinged attack on Mr. Obama that Republican operatives ran against Harold Ford, a black candidate for Senate in Tennessee in 2006. That assault, too, began with videos juxtaposing Mr. Ford with young, white women.

Mr. Obama called Mr. McCain on the ploy, saying, quite rightly, that the Republicans are trying to scare voters by pointing out that he “doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills.’’

But Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, had a snappy answer. “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” he said. “It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.’’

The retort was, we must say, not only contemptible, but shrewd. It puts the sin for the racial attack not on those who made it, but on the victim of the attack.

It also — and we wish this were coincidence, but we doubt it — conjurs up another loaded racial image.

The phrase dealing the race card “from the bottom of the deck” entered the national lexicon during the O.J. Simpson saga. Robert Shapiro, one of Mr. Simpson’s lawyers, famously declared of himself, Johnny Cochran and the rest of the Simpson defense team, “Not only did we play the race card, we dealt it from the bottom of the deck.”

It’s ugly stuff. How about we leave Britney, Paris, and O.J. out of this — and have a presidential campaign?

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McCain’s Dirty Campaign Beginning to Backfire Against Him

Many of us liberal bloggers have been critical of how McCain’s campaign has recently taken the low road in adopting dishonest Rove/Clinton style political attacks, along with dwelling on nonsense attacks such as bringing up Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.  Obama has responded both in today’s ad and while campaiging, such as with this statement:

I do have to ask my opponent– Is that the best you can come up with? Is that really what this election’s about? Is that what is worthy of the American people?

For such criticism of McCain to matter it is necessary for the mainstream media to report on the dishonesty shown by McCain’s campaign. There have been several recent examples, with two more seen today. The St. Petersburg Times has an editorial blasting McCain for going From ‘straight talk’ to smear campaign.

The Straight Talk Express has taken a nasty turn into the gutter. Sen. John McCain has resorted to lies and distortions in what sounds like an increasingly desperate attempt to slow down Sen. Barack Obama by raising questions about his patriotism. Instead of taking the Democrat down a few notches, these baseless attacks are raising more questions about the Republican’s campaign and his ability to control his temper.

The most offensive line comes from McCain himself. The Arizona senator has repeated that Obama “would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.” That is one of the more outrageous statements by a major political party candidate seeking the presidency. The looming choices about the long-festering war in Iraq are not between winning and losing but about how quickly or slowly the United States can reduce its military forces without jeopardizing recent security gains. Even McCain acknowledges that, and insulting Obama in such a reckless way is not presidential.

That is only one example of the darker tone enveloping the McCain campaign since several of Karl Rove’s acolytes took the wheel. A new McCain ad suggests that while Obama traveled abroad last week he “made time to go to the gym but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras.” That’s a compelling punch line, but it’s below the belt.

What actually happened: Obama planned to visit wounded troops at a medical center in Germany until the Pentagon said it would not allow him to bring a retired Air Force major general who is one of the campaign’s foreign policy advisers. The Democrat may have been poised to blur the line between political events and official troop visits by members of Congress. But there is no evidence that he was snubbing soldiers because he could not appear with them on television.

McCain has even attempted to plant doubts about whether Obama is a socialist. He said earlier this month that the Democrat’s voting record “is more to the left than the announced socialist in the United States Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont.” Asked whether he thought Obama is a socialist, McCain responded: “I don’t know. All I know is his voting record, and that’s what people usually judge their elected representatives by.”

This is a classic smear campaign. As the Times‘ PolitiFact notes, the National Journal rated Obama the most liberal senator by analyzing just 99 of 442 votes last year. He did not finish near the top in two previous years, and other ranking services rate his record as significantly less liberal than Sanders’. But McCain was not troubled by the details. He mentioned Obama and socialist in the same sentence, and the seeds of doubt were planted.

Virtually all candidates, including Obama, distort their opponent’s record. But McCain has gone beyond reasonable bounds. The self-described “happy warrior” in the 2000 presidential campaign has turned sour in 2008, and the candor and straight talk that once made him such an attractive candidate are rapidly disappearing.

Joe Klein’s attitude towards McCain has also changed. While this comes from a blog post, most likely this change in attitude will also be reflected in his published articles. He writes:

A few months ago, I wrote that John McCain was an honorable man and he would run an honorable campaign. I was wrong. I used to think, as David Ignatius does, that McCain’s true voice was humble and moderate, but now I’m beginning to think his Senate colleagues may be right about his temperament. From what I can gather, Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, a Republican, reflected the views of many of his colleagues earlier this year when he said:

“The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine…He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”

The erratic nature of McCain’s campaign seems to be confirming that judgment. The McCain I used to know would never have touted his own courage as he did a few weeks ago when he said:

“I had the courage and the judgment to say that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war.It seems to me that Senator Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.”

Courage is grace under pressure. McCain showed it when he was a prisoner of war, and on many issues–yes, even on his stubborn insistence that the surge would work–but he is not showing it now. He is showing flop sweat. It is not a quality usually associated with successful leadership.

Resorting to dishonest attacks did not help Hillary Clinton. McCain apparently thinks this tactic will help him as it helped George Bush in previous elections, but so far it looks like Obama is being successful in neutralizing such attacks.

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John McCain’s Obsession with Paris Hilton

Is John McCain obsessed with Paris Hilton? McCain has once again dragged Paris into politics. First Read reports, “In its latest TV ad hitting Obama, the McCain campaign calls Obama the “biggest celebrity in the world” — and in the process shows clips of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.” Josh Marshall comments on McCain’s strategy:

I note with interest today, John McCain’s new tactic of associating Barack Obama with oversexed and/or promiscuous young white women. (See today’s new ad and this from yesterday.) Presumably, a la Harold Ford 2006, this will be one of those strategies that will be a matter of deep dispute during the campaign and later treated as transparent and obvious once the campaign is concluded…

As I alluded to at the top of this post, it is the norm that obvious campaign tactics that are treated as obvious after a campaign is over are nonetheless treated by most reporters as ambiguous or unclear during a campaign. But in this case it would be nice if that were not the case. Because here we have a candidate, John McCain, who is running on a record of straight talk and honorable campaigning running a campaign made up mainly of charges reporters are now more or less acknowledging are lies. But there’s precious little drawing together of the contradiction. What’s more, as everyone will acknowledge after the campaign, the McCain campaign is now pushing the caricature of Obama as a uppity young black man whose presumptuousness is displayed not only in taking on airs above his station but also in a taste for young white women.

So please keep an eye out for references to Obama’s presumptuousness, arrogance, etc., from John King and other reporters. Let us know when you see them and send us in examples — in text or video. McCain gets to run the campaign he wants. Remember, he hired the operative who put together the Ford/Bimbo ad. But I want to keep tabs on which reporters are helping him retail the message.

Alex Koppelman comments further on the ad, which also includes some factual errors in other attacks on Obama–such factually incorrect attack ads being part of yet another trend from the McCain campaign.

McCain’s obsession with Paris Hilton began well before this latest campaign tactic. Back in 2007, when visiting Iraq while wearing a bullet proof vest and surrounded by troops, McCain claimed that conditions were so safe that “even Paris Hilton could ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province.” If it was safe enough for Paris to be dressed as above, how come McCain dressed like this:

While McCain keeps bringing up Paris Hilton, Obama has actually avoided connection to celebrities. Back in December, 2006 Lindsay Lohan appealed to Obama, along with Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, for help in cleaning up her image.

All three declined to help Lohan, leading TMZ to accuse Obama of wimping out for taking a pass on that one.

Obama was also uncomfortable with the attention from Amber Lee Ettinger, who made the Obama Girl videos.

Obama expressed discomfort with the videos in an interview with AP:

Obama says his 6-year-old daughter Sasha has noticed news coverage of the video.

“Sasha asked Mommy about it,” Obama said Monday. “She said, ‘Daddy already has a wife’ or something like that.”

Sen. Obama, D-Ill., said he knows the video was meant to be lighthearted, but he wasn’t smiling when asked about it in an interview with The Associated Press.

“I guess it’s too much to ask, but you do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families,” Obama said.

“This is part of the process of politics that can be difficult, (that) is making sure that your kids and your wife and your family are insulated from both things like this and what I suspect will be at some point some negative campaigning,” Obama said.

Despite McCain’s claims, it appears that he, and not Obama, is the one who likes to bring up celebrities. (Personally I don’t mind an occasional reference to celebrities in politics, as a post such as this should be good for several hundred extra hits.)

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