Recently, Time published an interview with John McCain's ad man, detailing the nasty campaign that never was:
What if the McCain campaign had run ads using footage of Barack Obama dancing with Ellen DeGeneres to show his coziness with celebrity? Or followed up on its Paris Hilton ad with others featuring Donald Trump and Jessica Simpson? All of that was on the drawing board of Fred Davis III, the advertising whiz that John McCain has used for almost all of his campaign media and one of the most talented conservative political operatives in America. Oh yes, he also had an Internet ad up his sleeve that would attack Obama's celebrity by associating him with Oprah. But in the end, he scotched that one. "We decided you don't really fight Santa Claus or Oprah," he says, "so we removed her."
In an extended interview with TIME, Davis detailed what might have been in the campaign ad war -- and what self-censorship the McCain staff imposed on themselves regarding the issue of race. ...
"My favorite ad of the campaign was as simple as it could be," Davis said. "And it started out something like, 'Long before the world knew of John McCain or Barack Obama, one of them spent five years in a hellhole because he refused early release to honor his fellow prisoners, while the other one wouldn't walk out of a church after 20 years of the guy spewing hatred towards America.' And the last line was, 'Character matters, especially when no one is listening.' " The ad never ran, however, because McCain ruled the topic of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the preacher of Obama's Chicago church, out of bounds shortly after he locked up the Republican nomination.
Now ABC has gotten hold of this ad, which went through the final editing and production process before being nixed. A former campaign staffer gave the spot to the network. Watch: