I've always been puzzled by the metaphor of "Big Oil," as if the complex oil market can be reduced to a simple darkened boardroom where white men with handlebar moustaches conspire to raise profits.

Back when Ida Tarbel was writing, said conspiracy actually existed, and yet I bet she managed to avoid ever putting the adjective "big" next to the noun "oil."

In fact, the cliches in both of these ads are maddening. "Played political games." No one talks that way! Aaaah.

Here's Clinton's ad.

Here's Obama's response.