At the risk of offending Chris Matthews, whose leg was clearly feeling warmth again last night after Obama’s 30-minute ad, I thought the ad stunk. It looked too staged. It felt and sounded too staged. It sounded like a cheap salesman hawking vegomatics on the Shopping Network. Promises upon promises, tear-jerking stories upon tear-jerking stories: It felt so overtly manipulative that I think it may have backfired with a lot of people. Even if it was a small net plus for Obama — and I doubt even that — I think the McCain campaign was probably expecting something a lot more effective than that. One other thing wrong with it was that it played into the whole Obama “cult of personality” thing that was hurting THE ONE in mid-to-late August. Look for the race to continue to tighten.