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Obama Seeks to Change Focus with Ads

Faced with a juggernaut of publicity that has surrounded Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) began an effort to steer the campaign’s focus back to issues it thinks are winners: economic policy and change.

The campaign today released two ads, one that touts Obama’s economic proposals and another that casts Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as an out-of-touch Washington insider.

“After one president who was out of touch, we just can’t afford more of the same,” the ad says.

The spot focuses on McCain’s admission that he lacks computer skills as evidence he doesn’t understand the concerns of ordinary people — a theme picked up by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) in a conference call with reporters today sponsored by the campaign.

McCain is “removed from the day-to-day challenges people face,” Emanuel said. McCain will offer “more of the same,” Durbin said.

Obama’s “positive” ad portrays him as the authentic agent of change. “Change is giving tax breaks to middle-class families instead of companies that send jobs overseas,” the ad states.

McCain backers believe the candidate’s record as a maverick in the Senate will insulate him from charges that he represents a continuation of President Bush.

The McCain campaign today sought to keep the focus on its new star, releasing an ad accusing the Obama camp of being disrespectful to Palin. “He was the world’s biggest celebrity, but his star’s fading,” the ad says of Obama. “So they lashed out at Sarah Palin.”

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