Political-media reporter Katharine Seelye reviewed the third in a series of "betrayal" themed ads from the radical leftists at MoveOn.org, the group recently notorious for its infantile "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" ad in the Times that embarrassed even many Democrats.
Seelye found the latest MoveOn.org ad just boffo, writing in Tuesday's "Giuliani's Exit from The Iraq Study Group in 2006 Draws Criticism" that
"The spot is a direct hit on Mr. Giuliani and could severely undermine his argument that he is the best person to lead the nation in a time of war. It also fuels the escalating rancor between MoveOn.org and its Republican critics with its deliberate and repeated use of the inflammatory word 'betrayal.' It is a searing ad, especially when it shows the silhouetted image of the soldiers, with the voiceover: 'Where were you when it counted?' A possible beneficiary of the spot among his Republican primary opponents is Senator John McCain, whose military credentials are solidly intact. If Mr. Giuliani becomes the Republican nominee, this spot will no doubt re-emerge to the benefit of the Democratic nominee."
By contrast, Marc Santora analyzed a Rudy Giuliani ad criticizing Sen. Hillary Clinton for dismissing Gen. Petraeus in "Giuliani Attacks Clinton on War" in Saturday's paper (note how the tone of the headline is personalized when Republican Giuliani is doing the criticizing). Ironically, Giuliani's ad pivots off the MoveOn.org's "Petraeus or Betray Us?" ad, saying "Clinton stood silently by when MoveOn.org ran this venomous ad in the New York Times."
Just like Seelye, Santora predicted the spot would be effective - against Giuliani. His summing-up paragraph stated:
"The spot seeks to generate excitement among Republican primary voters who loathe Mrs. Clinton, while giving Mr. Giuliani the aura of a front-runner likely to challenge the senator, who remains atop many polls of Democrats. But is he also helping the campaigns of Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards by highlighting her perceived shifts on the war? The risk for Mr. Giuliani is that the advertisement exposes him to accusations that he does not talk about Iraq in a substantive way, and it highlights his support of an unpopular war, which could hurt him in a general election."
Well, at least the Times is consistent - both MoveOn.org's anti-Giuliani ads and Giuilani's own anti-Hillary ads make him look bad.