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McCain's big weapon: Hillary Clinton

John McCain's presidential campaign just released its latest web ad and, judging by how much punch it packs in 32 seconds, it's likely to hit TVs almost as hard as it hits Barack Obama.Forget racial politics. This is battle of the sexes stuff, just in time for the Dem convention.

McCain lets Hillary Clinton and a silky-voiced woman do all the talking to hit all these notes/allegations/suggestions: Obama's a lightweight lacking "specifics," he has the whiff of scandal, he's a meany ('cause he beats up on a woman), he's thin-skinned. (As Republicans try to wedge Jewish voters from the Dem ticket, the ad's title, Passed Over, is also intriguing in that it sounds like Pesach. But that's likely coincidence, and folks don't really see commercial titles, hence the parens here).

Clinton's camp issued the following statement through spokes Kathleen Strand: "Hillary Clinton's support of Barack Obama is clear. She has said repeatedly that Barack Obama and she share a commitment to changing the direction of the country, getting us out of Iraq, and expanding access to health care. John McCain doesn't. It's interesting how those remarks didn't make it into his ad."

If there's a misleading aspect of the ad, it's the suggestion that his primary reason he didn't pick Clinton is that she challenged him. It makes no mention of her biggest minuses: she's a polarizing turn-off to many and husband Bill Clinton seemed not only unglued at times but uncontrollable on the campaign trail.

Ad here: