The Barack Obama campaign has rolled out a new ad that bids to reinforce the Democrat's theme that Republican opponent John McCain represents a continuation of the unpopular policies of President George W Bush.
McCain, too, was out with a new commercial that questions Obama's readiness to help American families. The ad indulges a theme the campaign has pushed since Obama's overseas tour -- that the first-term Illinois senator is a worldwide celebrity but not ready to be the American president.
As both candidates move toward their party conventions, which will mark the home stretch toward the Nov four presidential balloting, the campaign has become increasingly negative. The race remains relatively close, with the most recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll showing Obama with a six-percentage point advantage over McCain at 47-41. A Time magazine poll yesterday showed Obama leading McCain 46 per cent to 41 per cent.
Obama in a speech yesterday in Indiana, questioned McCain's claim to being a maverick. While the Republican has broken with his party on many issues in the past, he "reversed himself on position after position" to secure his party's nomination, Obama asserted.
"That doesn't meet my definition of a maverick."
The Obama ad was the latest in a series of tit-for-tat exchanges on American television screens but notable this time for not contrasting criticism of McCain with praise for Obama. The commercial was issued in response McCain's most recent, in which the Arizona senator said the US government is broken and he -- known for independence and bucking the system -- would fix it.