With less than one hundred days left before Americans head to the polls to elect the next President of the United States, things are getting decidedly nastier.

Today Senator John McCain launched a new ad that compares his Presidential rival Barack Obama to fluffy celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

Without making specific reference to the troubled pop star or the hotel heiress, McCain’s latest negative ad portrays the presumptive Democratic nominee as having star power, but not being ready to become President.

The ad opens with flashing images of the Hilton and Spears and then cuts to shots of Obama waving to massive crowds.

Meanwhile, as the crowd chants “O-ba-ma,” a female voice intones:

“He’s the biggest celebrity in the world. But, is he ready to lead?”

Pundits suggest that the McCain strategy was fuelled at least in part by Obama’s European tour, which though successful on the surface, does not appear to have helped the Democratic nominee’s numbers among American voters.

Despite the reception Obama received abroad and the image of leadership he projected in meetings with world leaders, McCain has surged ahead of the Senator from Illinois in some polls, leading some to now suggest that Obama has hit a ceiling of support below the 50% mark with likely voters.

The attention-grabbing ad also puts the McCain camp back in the news and the Obama camp on the defensive.

For its part, the Obama campaign has responded to McCain’s Britney-Paris-Obama ad with a new attack ad of its own which calls McCain’s latest negative spot, “the same old politics.”

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