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Two new ads released this week paint sharply contrasting pictures of President Barack Obama’s first term in the White House.

The first ad — entitled “Cool” — was made by American Crossroads, the Karl Rove backed 527 organization. The ad slams Obama as a lightweight celebrity-in-chief, picking up on a theme that John McCain’s 2008 campaign tried to push until it added Sarah Palin to the ticket. The spot splices together footage of the president singing Al Green, dancing on “Ellen,” drinking a beer, swatting a fly, and joking on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon while a crowd chants his name over a hip-hop beat in the background. Apropos of nothing, a quick shot of divisive rapper Kanye West briefly appears on screen as well.

“After 4 years of a celebrity president is your life any better?” the ad asks.

The Obama campaign was quick to counter American Crossroad’s narrative by releasing an ad of its own. In “One Chance,” the campaign marks the anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death by having former President Bill Clinton walk viewers through the gravity of President Obama’s decision to order the Abbotabad raid that killed the 9/11 mastermind.

MSNBC’s First Read provides a transcript of the ad:

“There’s one thing that George Bush said that was right,” Clinton says, “The president is the ‘Decider-in-Chief.” It then shows pictures of Obama in the Situation Room during the Osama bin Laden raid. “Nobody can make that decision for you,” Clinton says. “Look he knew what would happen. Suppose the Navy Seals had gone in there, and it hadn’t been bin Laden. Suppose they’d been captured or killed. The downside would have been horrible for him. … He took the harder, and more honorable path.” Then, a graphic comes up asking, “Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?” And highlights this Romney quote: “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”

This is the second time that Clinton has been deployed to talk up President Obama’s national security credentials — he also appeared in the Obama campaign’s 17 minute documentary, “The Road We’ve Traveled.”

For its own part, the Romney campaign has slammed the Obama campaign for trying to “divide us” by marking the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death.

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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