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THE REPUBLICAN BRAND….Barack Obama is spending an awful lot of time these days trying to associate John McCain with George Bush. And why not? McCain has pretty thoroughly embraced Bush’s ideas and Bush’s approval ratings are in the tank, so why shouldn’t he?

But here’s a thought. Why is it that Obama’s ads don’t try to play off the brand of the Republican Party instead? Claiming that McCain is just a shadow of Bush, whether it’s true or not, is a tough sell. (All those years as a maverick, you know.) But claiming that McCain is a Republican is an easy sell. And the Republican brand is in the tank right now every bit as badly as George Bush’s.

And yet, unless I’m mistaken, Obama’s ads never mention “failed Republican policies” or suchlike. Why is that? Is there some legal hangup? Is it because he’s trying to be post-partisan? Is he doing it and I just haven’t noticed (always a possibility)? Or what?

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