By Al Giordano
If I were John McCain, I wouldn't be taunting an athlete for going to the gym.
The next three-point shot will probably be with his head.
My guess? Some really smart political street fighters in Chicago are going to accurately read this as permission to hit back hard, now that the adversary has thrown the first punch. Just ask the Clinton machine about the lessons learned from the primaries: do not invite a counterpunch from the skinny guy with the funny name.
Get out the popcorn. This will be interesting to watch over the next few days.
Update: Halperin reports that the ad is running in just three states: Pennsylvania, Colorado and Washington DC (which is to say, it's aimed at Virginia and also at the chattering pundit class in DC, to generate "free media"). That indicates one of two things: penny-pinching by the McCain campaign, or, more likely, they will then poll in those markets to see if the ad worked to move public opinion and drive up Obama's negatives. In a week we'll be able to see whether McCain's internal polling showed an impact or not by whether the message is then expanded to more swing state media markets.
Update II: Speaking of Virginia, DKos diarist VirginiaDem says "get out the pitchforks" and offers some talking points to hit back from the bottom, up. (He also ads some interesting history of how similar attack ads have backfired in the Old Dominion state.)
Update III: The substance of the McCain ad critique was that, while in Europe, Obama didn't visit wounded soldiers at a base in Landstuhl. Jed absolutely nails him: It turns out that when McCain visited Europe in March, he was geographically closer to that same base, but didn't visit it either:
(Note that the pushback is so far coming from a multitude of surrogates, bloggers and journalists, none of whom waited for orders from above to get out their blowtorches. To me, that's a more significant development than anything the Obama campaign itself does. That brings to mind another rule of life: do not shake a hornet's nest! Obama's gonna have to take a number behind everybody else that has lined up to throw knives on this one.)