"Writing is a skill, not a talent, and thus one's ability as a writer can be improved by thoughtful effort. The problem with some people is that they graduate college as good writers, experience early success on account of that, and thus never devote themselves diligently to the relentless quest for improvement that could make them great writers."
Here is the McCain campaign's documentation for the ad:
· Barack Obama: "And, You Know, In Terms Of My Toughness, Look, First Of All, I Come From Chicago." (MSNBC's "Hardball," 4/2/08) · Barack Obama Assuring Democrats He's Tough Enough Because "He's Been Schooled By Chicago Politics." "The feistier, more sarcastic tone came as worried Democrats urged Obama to get tougher and show more passion. Obama has tried to assure donors and voters that he's been schooled by Chicago politics. 'I'm skinny but I'm tough,' he says." (Kathleen Hennessey, "Obama Mocks McCain In Nevada Stops," The Associated Press, 9/18/08) · The New Yorker: "Obama Had Won His First Campaign By Using Old-Fashioned Chicago Machine Tactics At A Time When The Notion Of Machine Politics Was Increasingly Anachronistic." (Ryan Lizza, "Making It," The New Yorker, 7/21/08) ANNCR: His economic adviser, William Daley. Lobbyist. Mayor's brother. · OBAMA ECONOMIC ADVISER: As An Obama Adviser, Former Commerce Secretary William Daley Participated In A Meeting Of Barack Obama's Top Economic Advisers Last Week. "The press conference followed Obama's meeting with top economic advisors and his running mate Biden, who participate d by phone. The meeting participants included former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; Gene Sperling, former National Economic Advisor for Pres. Bill Clinton; former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers; Laura Tyson, the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors and former Fed Chair Paul Volcker; Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett; former Commerce Secretary William Daley; former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill; and Joseph Stiglitz, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers." (Domenico Montanaro, "Obama: Tax Cuts, Stimulus Needed," MSNBC's "First Read" Blog, http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com, Posted 9/19/08) · ECONOMIC ADVISER AND CHICAGO MAYOR'S BROTHER: Daley Serves As An Obama Adviser For Economic Policy And Is The Brother Of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. "At his stop in New Mexico, Obama sought to keep the focus almost exclusively on the economy, appearing with a panel of experts that included William Daley, brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and a former U.S. commerce secretary." (John McCormick and Jill Zuckman, "Rivals Spend Day As Frequent Fliers," Chicago Tribune, 2/2/08) · LOBBYIST: Daley Was The Chief Lobbyist For SBC. "Then this spring, Whitacre and his chief lobbyist, SBC President William Daley, produced banner headlines with an effort to bypass the Illinois Commerce Commission and appeal directly to the Illinois General Assembly for relief. ... In late 2001, he hired William Daley, a Clinton administration Cabinet member and the Chicago mayor's brother, charging him with lobbying for change." (Michael Oneal And Jon Van, "Tone-Deaf Approach Hinders SBC," Chicago Tribune, 7/6/03) · LOBBYIST: While Serving As SBC President, Daley Also Led A $40 Million Lobbying Effort For Industry Deregulation. "Last week those three companies, led by SBC President William Daley, summoned chief executives of several large vendors, including Christopher Galvin of Motorola Inc., to a Washington dinner where they outlined plans to launch a $40 million marketing and lobbying offensive to abolish industry regulations." (Jon Van, "SBC Competitors Seek Congress' Help," Chicago Tribune, 11/1/03) · LOBBYIST: From 2002 Through 2005, Daley Was A Registered Lobbyist For Fannie Mae. (U.S. Senate Office Of Public Records Website, soprweb.senate.gov, Accessed 7/27/08) ANNCR: His money man, Tony Rezko. Client. Patron. Convicted Felon. · MONEY MAN: Tony Rezko Was "One Of The Biggest Fundraisers" For Barack Obama. "'This was discussed a lot. They wanted to have a good showing,' said a source familiar with the fund-raiser [Rezko held for Obama], speaking on condition of anonymity. 'Tony was one of the biggest fund-raisers.'" (Chris Fusco and Tim Novak, "Rezko Cash Triple What Obama Says," Chicago Sun-Times, 6/18/07) · MONEY MAN: Barack Obama Has Admitted To $250,000 Worth Of Campaign Funding Provided By Tony Rezko. "For the first time, Sen. Barack Obama put a figure Friday to the amount of campaign contributions that indicted political fund-raiser Tony Rezko raised for the senator's campaigns, and the number -- about $250,000 -- was far more than he previously acknowledged." (Tim Novak, Chris Fusco, Dave McKinney and Carol Marin, "More Rezko Dough Found," Chicago Sun-Times, 3/15/08) · CLIENT: Barack Obama Did Legal Work On Some Projects Involving Tony Rezko's Company, Rezmar. "But Obama did legal work on real estate deals while at Davis' firm, according to biographical information he submitted to the Sun-Times in 1998. ... And he did legal work on Rezko's deals, according to an e-mail his presidential campaign staff sent the Sun-Times on Feb. 16, in response to earlier inquiries. The staff didn't specify which Rezmar projects Obama worked on, or his role." (Tim Novak, "Obama And His Rezko Ties," Chicago Sun-Times, 4/23/07) · PATRON: "As A State Senator, Barack Obama Wrote Letters To City And State Officials Supporting His Political Patron Tony Rezko's Successful Bid To Get More Than $14 Million From Taxpayers To Build Apartments For Senior Citizens." (Tim Novak, "Obama's Letters For Rezko," Chicago Sun-Times, 6/13/07) · PATRON: Barack Obama Paid $300,000 Less Than The Asking Price For His Mansion, While Tony Rezko's Wife Rita Paid Full Price For A Vacant Lot Next Door On The Very Same Day. "Two years ago, Obama bought a mansion on the South Side, in the Kenwood neighborhood, from a doctor. On the same day, [Antoin 'Tony'] Rezko's wife, Rita Rezko, bought the vacant lot next door from the same seller. The doctor had listed the properties for sale together. He sold the house to Obama for $300,000 below the asking price. The doctor got his asking price on the lot from Rezko's wife." (Tim Novak, "Obama And His Rezko Ties," Chicago Sun-Times, 4/23/07) · CONVICTED FELON: Tony Rezko Was Convicted Of Wire And Mail Fraud, Money Laundering, And Aiding And Abetting Bribery. (Bob Secter and Jeff Coen, "Rezko Convicted," Chicago Tribune, 6/5/08) ANNCR: His "political godfather." Emil Jones. Under ethical cloud. · POLITICAL GODFATHER: Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones Is "Barack Obama's Political Godfather." "Ethics legislation is stalled in the Illinois State Senate, bossed by Barack Obama's political godfather, Senate President Emil Jones who put the brakes on the measure and may let it die. Obama called Jones from the road in Nevada this morning. Jones indicated to Obama--according to the Obama team -- he would bring the bill to a vote and would support it." (Lynn Sweet, "Obama Urges Political Godfather Emil Jones, Illinois Senate President, To Pass Stalled Ethics Package," Chicago Sun-Times' "Lynn Sweet" Blog, http://blogs.suntimes.com, Posted 9/17/08) · POLITICAL GODFATHER: "When Obama Praised Jones As 'My Political Godfather,' Jones Began Using The Theme Music From 'The Godfather' As His Cell-Phone Ringtone." (Ryan Lizza, "Making It," The New Yorker, 7/21/08) · ETHICAL CLOUD: "[S]tate Senate President Emil Jones, Serves Under An Ethical Cloud. He Has Several Family Members On The State Payroll And Uses His Clout To Aid Their Business Interests." (Ron Fournier, "Obama's Life And Record In Springfield, Ill., Hint At The President He Would Be," The Associated Press, 6/16/07) ANNCR: His governor, Rod Blagojevich. A legacy of federal and state investigations. With friends like that, Obama is not ready to lead. JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message. · INVESTIGATIONS: Governor Rod Blagojevich Has "A Legacy Of Federal And State Investigations." "The bill of particulars against Rod Blagojevich is numbingly familiar. His is a legacy of federal and state investigations of alleged cronyism and corruption in the steering of pension fund investments to political donors, in the subversion of state hiring laws, in the awarding of state contracts, in matters as personal as that mysterious $1,500 check made out to the governor's then-7-year-old daughter by a friend whose wife had been awarded a state job." (Editorial, "Removing a governor," Chicago Tribune, 10/28/07) · INVESTIGATIONS: In June 2008, A Federal Judge Unsealed Records That Showed That Blagojevich Was Questioned By Federal Agents For His Involvement With Tony Rezko. "Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been interviewed multiple times by federal investigators looking into allegations that he and key members of his administration offered contracts and state work in exchange for campaign fundraising help, according to documents unsealed Thursday. The documents were made public in the Antoin 'Tony' Rezko criminal case on the same day that Blagojevich held a major fundraising event at the River East Arts Center. Similar events in past years have reaped millions of dollars for the governor's campaign, much of it coming from firms that landed lucrative state contracts and individuals given coveted state jobs or board appointments." (Jeff Coen and Bob Secter, "Feds Quizzed Blagojevich," Chicago Tribune, 6/27/08)