Dusting Off the Dirty Playbook

It looks like the man responsible for 1988’s infamous Willie Horton ad is back and has his sights set on Barack Obama:

Starting Tuesday, a group of conservative activists led by Floyd Brown, author of the famous Willie Horton ad used so effectively against Michael Dukakis in 1988, will begin a campaign to tar Obama as weak on crime and terrorism, a strategy that aims to upend Obama’s relatively strong reputation among Republican voters.

Brown’s new ad focuses on a 2001 vote by Obama in the Illinois Senate to oppose a bill that would have expanded the use of the death penalty if the perpetrator of a crime belonged to a gang. The links between Obama’s vote on that issue and the deaths of three Chicago resident’s are indirect and tenuous, as is the further connection the ad draws between the issue of Obama’s position on the death penalty and the issue of international terrorism.

Time reports that the ads will be funded by a PAC called the National Campaign Fund “which had $14,027 in the bank at the end of March,” which probably explains why Brown is focused on creating the “most Internet-intensive effort for an ad debut ever” and hoping to gin up free media coverage to make up for the ad’s lack of funding, much like Mike Huckabee did, or at least tried to do, with his campaign ads (it is worth noting that Ari Berman of the “The Nation” reports that Brown’s efforts are being “run by Bruce Hawkins, a former field organizer for Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson who recently worked for Mike Huckabee in Iowa.”)

And speaking of free advertising, it looks like a pastor in South Carolina is trying make a name for himself by suggesting that Obama might secretly be Muslim:

ObamaChurch.gifPastor Roger Byrd of Jonesville Church of God put the sign up which reads “Obama Osama humm are they brothers?”

Pastor Byrd says the sign is not meant to be racial or political but rather to make people think. “His name is so close to Osama, I have a feeling he might be Islamic therefore he doesn’t recognize Christ,” Pastor Byrd said.

Of course the ad is not political and was merely designed to make people think … that Obama is a Muslim and possible a terrorist.