In my previous post, I suggested the McCain ad with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton was subtle, and probably I really should not have. When you think about how the ad was made, the people making the ad asking themselves, "if we want to describe Barack Obama as a celebrity, whose image should we use?". Are there bigger celebrities than Spears and Hilton? Yes, Pitt and Jolie, Tom Cruise, Oprah, Tom Hanks all leap instantly to mind. What Hilton and Spears share, besides some celebrity, is a reputation for loose morals.
Now for decades African American men (and now teenage girls) have also had a reputation for loose morals. This is true particularly in southern states, but thanks to the magic of television, African-Americans have played the villain in numberless cop shows. We would naturally assume that a Britney or Paris would want to experiment with a black man, an Obama's natural impulse would be to indulge himself. That is a lot to read into one ad, but I think it is justified. Obama himself is the product of a failed interracial marriage, raising that specter with his mere presence.
Obama should push back soon against these ads, although I'm not sure how. He needs to include us (all Americans, but particularly white America) and tell us we are better than these ads. Racial overtones, even if meant humorously, are never acceptable.