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New McCain ad stresses service, maverick image

Republican presidential candidate John McCain began airing a new television ad in Nevada on Tuesday that touts his service to his country, as a prisoner of war and a politician.

In clipped diction, the ad, "Love," contrasts McCain’s years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam in the 1960s with the countercultural movement of the same era, and his maverick image with the vague promise of "hope." Both seem to be implied jabs at his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.

"It was a time of uncertainty, hope and change: the ‘Summer of Love,’ " a male narrator says over images of protests and Woodstock. "Half a world away, another kind of love: of country. John McCain: shot down, bayoneted, tortured."

Photos and video clips look back on McCain’s military career and political life, including his homecoming from imprisonment, meeting President Reagan and shaking hands on the campaign trail.

"A maverick, John McCain tackled campaign reform, military reform, spending reform," the ad states. "He took on presidents, partisans and popular opinion. He believes our world is dangerous, our economy in shambles.

"John McCain doesn’t always tell us what we ‘hope’ to hear. Beautiful words cannot make our lives better. … Don’t ‘hope’ for a better life, vote for one."

Though the ad does not mention Obama, "hope" and "change" are the top buzzwords of the Democrat’s campaign. McCain has sought to paint Obama as inexperienced.

The 60-second ad is the fourth campaign message McCain has put up in Nevada and 10 other states targeted as battlegrounds across the country. Others addressed national security and energy policy.

Obama has also targeted Nevada with two ads, along with 17 other states.

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

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