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John McCain's attack ad released Tuesday evening is perhaps the most outlandish yet this election cycle -- not simply because the spot claims that Obama lacks any substantive record on education policy (he actually can claim several achievements on that front), and not because McCain charges that Obama's lone feat is "comprehensive sex education" for kindergartners (a hysterical description of efforts aimed at protecting children from predators).
What sets this ad apart is that every article save one that the McCain camp cites as being critical of Obama's education policies either has far more derogatory things to say about McCain himself or goes on to praise the Illinois Democrat.
In the spot, the McCain campaign references a June 2008 Washington Post editorial that called Obama "elusive" on school accountability. That same editorial, however, stated that McCain "has not been forthcoming with any detailed plan." Moreover, when the Post editorial board revisited the subject of education last month, it found that "Obama has given the issue more attention" than McCain, whose plan was "both late in coming and still a work in progress."
Moreover, the specific "elusive" claim is in reference to a David Brooks op-ed in the New York Times that was noted by the Post. But in that piece, Brooks was far more critical of McCain. "Obama endorses many good ideas and is more specific than the McCain campaign, which hasn't even reported for duty on education," the Times columnist wrote.