The Best Of Ads; The Worst Of Ads

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The Good The Bad and The Ugly
CBS

This may be remembered as the week that the presidential campaigns took the emphasis off personal attacks, and back on a serious issue. CBS News senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield takes a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of this week in campaigning.



The Good

The financial storms this past week did something the Obama campaign had been unable to do for the past two weeks: shift the spotlight away from questions of culture and values back to the economy, where Democrats generally fare better, CBS News senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield reports.

Obama's campaign produced a two-minute straight-to-camera ad - a rarity in today's 30 second universe - about what he would do to address the issue.

"End the anything-goes culture on Wall Street with real regulation that protects our investments and pensions," McCain said in the ad.

Obama got an unintended boost from McCain's response to the crisis, from reassurance (Monday he said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong") to an attempted explanation ("The fundamentals of our economy are the American workers," he said on Tuesday's Early Show) to a proposal that sounded very much like a familiar Washington response to crisis ("We need to set up a 9/11 commission in order to get to the bottom of this").

The Bad

This week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee unveiled an ad in Minnesota in which bereaved parents who lost their son in Iraq point an accusing finger at Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

"At 10:30 that night … the Army came to our house," a mother of a soldier who died says in the ad. "If Norm Coleman had stood up to the president and said, 'This is not a good idea,' maybe he would have listened."

The suggestion that President Bush would have changed course because of a single senator - and that the deaths in Iraq can be laid at that senator's door - is likely to trigger charges that this ad crosses the line.

The Ugly

As for the head-shaking category - a conservative group, Freedom Watch, is running an ad in Colorado, ridiculing Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall's support for a Department of Peace. It paints the idea as a wacko notion from Woodstock Nation - complete with its favorite recreational pleasures.

Anybody got a brownie?