From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy and NBC's Mark Murray
On the candidate's plane en route Panama City, FL McCain senior adviser Nicolle Wallace responded to the campaign's new Web video entitled "The One," in which Obama seemingly is compared to Jesus and Moses.
"It was a communication to our supporters and it was kind of a bookend to a week that we thought was very successful and it was the intention to use a little bit of humor," Wallace said.
Wallace added that the campaign was "proud to use a little bit of humor," reiterating that McCain was the underdog and they are simply trying to remind their supporters not to be discouraged by Obama's large crowds. "As the underdog campaign, sometimes our crowds aren't 200,000 strong and roaring. But that it's just a different approach and style and imagery, and we're holding our own. We're very pleased with the way things are going and where we are."
Citing New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd as an example, Wallace said that it was the media and not the McCain campaign that originally "anointed" Obama "The One."
In fact, First Read found three recent Dowd columns referring to Obama as "The One" -- but the references were attributed to the McCain campaign.
-- "How does he like the McCain camp mocking him as 'The One'?" (New York Times, 7/27/08)
-- "The One, as McCain aides sardonically call Obama, glided through Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan, girding his messianic loins for the inevitable kvetching he would face in Israel as skeptical Jews 'try to get a better sense of what's in Obama's kishkes.'" (New York Times, 7/23/08)
-- "'I don't know that people in Missouri are going to like seeing tens of thousands of Europeans screaming for The One,' a McCain aide snarked to The Politico." (New York Times, 7/20/08)
*** UPDATE *** Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan reponds to the McCain Web ad: "It's downright sad that on a day when we learned that 51,000 Americans lost their jobs, a candidate for the presidency is spending all of his time and the powerful platform he has on these sorts of juvenile antics. Sen. McCain can keep telling everyone how 'proud' he is of these political stunts which even his Republican friends and advisors have called 'childish', but Barack Obama will continue talking about his plan to jumpstart our economy by giving working families $1,000 of immediate relief."