HITTING THE LOBBYIST ANGLE…. Yesterday, we learned that the McCain campaign had brought yet another powerful, high-priced DC lobbyist onto the team, this time to help prepare for a possible McCain transition. Today, the Obama campaign responds by using the story in a new TV ad.

The voice-over tells the audience, “His campaign is run by lobbyists. Now we find out McCain’s White House will be lobbyist-run too. McCain just picked a Washington super lobbyist to plan his administration. A ‘consummate insider’ who lobbies for oil companies, the credit card industry. Corporate special interests rigging the system against hard working Americans — pushing failed Bush economics. Does that sound like change
to you? We just can’t afford more of the same.”

Now, I have no idea if hitting McCain over his excessive ties to DC lobbyists is a political winner or not. Presumably, the campaign is running focus groups and knows more than I do about what messages resonate.

But I do think it’s to the Obama campaign’s benefit to take advantage of the opportunity — over the last week or so, McCain has begun accepting the notion that this presidential campaign is about change. Indeed, in a radio ad released yesterday, the voice-over encourages people to vote for McCain-Palin because “change is coming.”

In an important way, this shifts the race to Obama’s playing field — it becomes a contest about which ticket offers more (and better) change. And with that in mind, we’re likely to see more ads like this new one. The message isn’t subtle — if McCain has surrounded himself with insiders and corporate lobbyists, he’s been a Washington insider for more than a quarter-century, and he’s voted with Bush 90% of the time, how can anyone honestly perceive McCain as a legitimate agent of change?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.