A subliminal message in an ad (or blog post) might work.
But then again, it might not.
Just as the subliminal message might be intentionally done by the ad's creator.
Or it might be nothing more than the viewer's overactive imagination.
In this example we just don't see the upside for Romney.
Team Romney's 11th hour anti-McCain ads in New Hampshire are not so much aimed at pulling people from Johnny Mac as they are aimed at keeping Romney supporters from jumping ship to McCain's Big Mo. And we don't believe that a "McCain as rat" (huh?) subliminal narrative would be all that effective in this instance.
Sleazy. But not terribly effective.
But what if this story were to jump from Race 4 2008 and GMP1 to the AP and CNN?
Well, what if it does?
That would matter to a candidate with limited resources. But Romney doesn't have to rely on earned media to get his message out, he just buys as much paid media as he wants (and we know Romney thanks God every day for that).
Translation: If Team Romney wants to spent the next 9 days talking about Romney and McCain having the exact same position on immigration (snark) they will simply buy the airtime and do so.
So is Alex Castellanos too cute by half?
But we think that it's meaningless either way.
Now excuse us, we're going to go play Stairway To Heaven backwards.
(h/t to Race 4 2008 for a good catch at what could be, or might not be, an example of an attempt at subliminal messaging)