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Obama's legacy: Mourning in America

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By Kathleen Parker
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sometimes when everyone is shouting, only a whisper can be heard.

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This is the thinking behind a powerful new anti-Barack Obama ad that seeks to tap not the nation's anger but its sadness.

"Mourning in America," which is hitting the national airwaves, is a poignant takeoff of Ronald Reagan's iconic "Morning in America" ad. Whatever one's political affiliation, it is impossible to watch this new ad and not feel, well, sad.

Brilliant.

Everyone's angry. But anger is cheap and tired. Rode hard and hung up wet, as we say down South. Most Americans are also sad. The always bountiful America seems on the edge of famine, spiritual if not literal, though the latter seems all too possible as jobs disappear and businesses close.

The ad, which can be viewed on YouTube, cites the latest unemployment and foreclosure statistics, and other facts that illustrate the rupture of the social contract -- the idea that our children could, should and would do better than we. Or at least as well.

Echoing closely the text of Reagan's ad, the new one is shot in darker, more somber light. Here's Reagan:

"It's morning again in America. Today, more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country's history."

The new ad, produced by Citizens for the Republic, a group of organizers who identify themselves as friends and fans of Reagan, is less sunny:

"There's mourning in America. Today, 15 million men and women won't have the opportunity to go to work. Businesses shuttered. Twenty-nine hundred families will have their homes foreclosed by nightfall. This afternoon, 6,000 men and women will be married, each of their children to be born with a $30,000 share of the runaway national debt."

The camera pans to an infant -- burdened with debt.

This is a smart ad, created by Strategic Perception's Fred Davis, one of the GOP's favorite admen. Davis produced commercials for George W. Bush and John McCain but is perhaps best known for his "Demon Sheep" ad for Carly Fiorina. Davis thinks his latest will stand out because when "everyone else is shouting, a whisper can be the most powerful form of communication. And God knows the world is shouting."


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