Beliefnet
Steven Waldman

Here’s a new Obama ad on abortion. It’s responding to an independent ad featuring, Gianna Jessen, a survivor of a botched abortion who criticizes Obama for opposing Illinois “born alive” legislation.Putting aside for a moment the conflict over the Born Alive bill, which I’ll address again in a separate post, what’s notable is the evolution of the Obama campaign’s rhetoric on abortion.Until now, they’ve always talked about preserving “choice” and protecting “Roe v. Wade.” I’ve never understood the emphasis on philosophical principles and court cases. It’s why the hosts of The View went through an entire conversation with McCain on abortion without seeming to realize his party supports a ban on all abortion. You could have watched that show and come away believing that McCain just wants the states instead of the Supreme Court to decide these matters, and whichever way they go was fine with him.This time the Obama campaign went directly at the plank in the Republican platform calling for a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion. “He’s running on a platform to ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest.” Only 15% of the public supports that position. Here’s the anti-Obama ad on the Born Alive bill, which strikes me as also extremely effective.Two other things strike me about this exchange of ads. First, the Obama campaign is finally taking the Born Alive issue seriously. This has been HUGELY damaging to Obama, especially among those moderate evangelicals he’s been courting. The Obama campaign’s response at first was slow and then muddled.Second, there’s no mention of abortion reduction. May have been two many notes to strike in one ad, but I wonder when they’re planning to mention that? Or have they now concluded that since they’ve probably blown it with moderate evangelicals, there’s no point it emphasizing abortion reduction?

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