Would This Ad Have Defeated Obama in 2008?

Would the outcome of the 2008 election have been different if John McCain had allowed the "Character Matters" ad to be aired? McCain's lead media guy, Fred Davis, produced the ad, and he's involved with an effort to get a Super PAC to exploit Rev Wright this time, too.

The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.

The plan was revealed in a New York Times article Thursday, which admitted that there's no sign that the proposal was going to be approved.

“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.

The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”

Ricketts and Mitt Romney both repudiated the proposal in response to the story.