To show that the Presidential election is almost in full swing in mid-June, here are a couple of notable TV ads currently running.

First, here’s a John McCain ad that emphasizes the environment and global warming:

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I’m skeptical as to how effective the environment actually is as a campaign issue. Everyone considers themselves an environmentalist, but few are actually willing to vote on that basis. Furthermore, people are increasingly getting the idea that “environmentalism” equals “higher gas prices.”

But this ad is important for McCain not because he’s any kind of beaver hugger, but because the environment serves as a platform for differentiating himself from other Republicans. He’s obviously seen the polls that show the GOP doing poorly across the board, and he wants to get away from them like they’re a garage sale nose hair trimmer. (The hint here is his use of a newspaper clip image that expressly says “McCain Climate Views Clash With GOP.” You need a graduate degree in political science for this kind of insightful commentary, folks – don’t try this at home.)

Next up is a anti-McCain ad:

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The central talking point of this ad is almost too stupid to address, and since you’re obviously smart enough to be reading a public policy blog, you know why it’s bogus. When McCain said we were going to be in Iraq for 100 years, all he meant was that we would have a presence there. Hopefully a peaceful one. We’ve been in Germany since the end of World War II, but nobody suggests we’re at war with them. (I actually had a sister born there as a result of my father’s military duty in Germany. My mom wasn’t exactly dodging grenades during childbirth.)

In closing, a couple amusing graphics: