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McCain ad, a subtle patriotism swipe?

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
McCain has a new ad, focusing on energy, that is "being cycled into" the campaign's current buy, the campaign says. Notably it will run on national cable and in Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa.

Note that even though the ad focuses on energy, there is a new McCain campaign message that has emerged this week: "Country First." The patriotism-focused slogan appears on screen at the end of the ad next above McCain's name. "Putting country first" is one of the last lines of the ad. A campaign memo by McCain adviser Steve Schmidt echoed the theme earlier this week. The title: "Country First Vs. Self-Serving Partisanship."

Obama has fought accusations of a lack of "patriotism," including his stated opposition to wearing a flag pin. (He now often wears one.) Obama's wife, Michelle, has also been the subject of this patriotism line for her first-time-being-proud-of-her-country comments. Cindy McCain also invoked the specter of her counterpart's love of country in TV interviews by talking up how much she, in fact, loves America.

Script: "Purpose":
ANNCR: American technology protected the world.
We went to the moon, not because it was easy, but because it was hard. John McCain will call America to our next national purpose: Energy Security. A comprehensive bipartisan plan to: Lower prices at the pump; Reduce dependence on foreign oil through domestic drilling; And champion energy alternatives for better choices and lower costs.

Putting country first. McCain.

MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.