McCain Smear Ad On Troop Visits To Begin Tonight

by: Chris Bowers

Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 18:22

Via sb in quick hits, it looks like John McCain will begin directly attacking Obama tonight with yet more respectful language:
"Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan. He hadn't been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops. And now, he made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras. John McCain is always there for our troops. McCain. Country first."

It is a very small ad buy, only in Denver, D.C., and Harrisburg. Still considering that the Pentagon told Obama he couldn’t visit the troops in question, expect this to continue to be part of a wider Republican Noise Machine attack on Obama. This hissy fit will be the next Wesley Clark incident. That it is completely bullshit and coordinated with Republican controlled branches of government won’t matter to most of the national press corps. Republican attacks are, somehow, news in and of themselves.

Update (tremayne): Classic blog headline from Jake Tapper tonight:

"New McCain Ad Bashes Obama for Not Visiting Troops Using Footage of Obama Visiting Troops"

Chris Bowers :: McCain Smear Ad On Troop Visits To Begin Tonight

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It's a complete BS attack (4.00 / 1)

 But that doesn't mean it won't be effective.

 Obama needs to punch back. HARD.

 The high road often leads to the edges of cliffs.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

seriously (4.00 / 3)
Can we get a free trade, hedge fund, millionaire tax cut, anti-GI bill pro-outsourcing ad for McCain now?

Time to go for the jugular.  

[ Parent ]
Hey let's be honest (1.00 / 4)
Obama could have visited those troops if you read the link and any number of other news stories on it. The Army only said:

Pentagon officials told Obama aides that he couldn't visit the base with campaign staff. This left Obama with little choice but to cancel the trip, since the plan to visit with campaign aides had been in the works for weeks.

So he couldn't take his staff because the Army rightfully doesn't allow visits to the wounded to be for political purposes. But Obama still could have gone. The hospital was in Germany so it was not like he needed staff with him to go visit.

"Sen. Obama is more than welcome to visit Landstuhl or any other military hospital around the world," said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary. "But he has to do so, just as any other senator has to do so, in his official capacity. It is not acceptable to do so as a candidate."

So there you go. He can go to any hospital in the world as a Senator and could have gone as a Senator this time as long as he left his presidential campaign staff behind at a hotel or wherever.

This story is somewhat being misrepresented in the diary as it does not mention the above facts.

Now I am not a McCain supporter nor am I an Obama supporter but what McCain is saying in the news and I presume in his ad is correct and Obama gave McCain an opening and McCain took it. Mistake on Obama's part. One can only assume he didn't go because the news cameras could not be there. And if that is the case then the natural extension of that is he cared more about the cameras than visiting the troops. That was a big mistake by him and does not show the right judgment IMO.

[ Parent ]
Uh huh. (4.00 / 2)
Well if we're going to be truly honest, then I guess I can say that McCain is partly responsible for the death of my cousin in Iraq because he supported this unjust war based on lies. Right? Isn't that the ultimate test of 'supporting our troops'?

So apparently McCain cared more about sending young men that weren't himself off to war to die for a lie rather than actually fighting terrorists and the people truly responsible for 9/11. Sounds like an error in judgment IMO.

[ Parent ]
How would he get there? Hitchhike? (4.00 / 3)
Obama was on a campaign trip, staffed by campaign staff. How would he get to the base? The Pentagon told him he couldn't come as part of a campaign trip, and that's what he was on. It's not as simple as just leaving a few people behind and heading over on the plane. McCain did the exact same thing when he was on a campaign trip, and his campaign manager's response was simply, "we follow the rules," so they didn't go. And now, they hit the Obama campaign for doing exactly as they did.

And, contra the ad, he never planned to bring any cameras. He's visited Walter Reed a number of times and never brought a camera.

Everything about this ad is misleading.

McCain has never attended a single Armed Services Committee hearing on Afghanistan in this Congress. Obama's Committee doesn't have jurisdiction over NATO's activities in Afghanistan. The "support the troops" stuff isn't even worth responding to. And the bit about the cameras is essential an outright lie since that wasn't the point at all.

This ad shows desperation on McCain's part, pure and simple. They see their entire foreign policy campaign crumbling, so they are trying to change the conversation right now.

[ Parent ]
I would like to see (0.00 / 0)
an ad in which they say McCain doesn't know where Afghanistan is, because he thinks it is in Europe.

But it's probably silly of me.

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

[ Parent ]
Obama visited the Troops in Iraq Hospital without cameras (4.00 / 2)
Now why would he do that according to your point?  The difference is that during the Iraq/Afghanistan leg of the trip, it was an official Senate visit along with Senators Hagel and Reed.  During the next leg it was funded by the campaign.  They didn't receive notice from the DoD about it being considered a campaign visit until after he was already on his trip.  They decided to cancel because it was obvious that it would be  viewed it as a campaign visit instead of as a Senate visit even if he left his staff sitting in a hangar.  He also never planned to bring press or cameras with him on his visit to the hospital in Germany so that point is lie.  

McCain is attacking him on this because after such a successful overseas visit and Maliki's endorsement of Obama's withdrawal plan, it's all he has left.  He would attack Obama about his visit to the hospital in Germany either way.

John McCain wants to put SS in hedge funds.

[ Parent ]
Nicely put (0.00 / 0)
It shows their desperation in a nutshell.

[ Parent ]
This kind of BS can work to our advantage in that... (4.00 / 1) can rally support on our side because it pisses us of so much. The only thing going for McCain is that he can win some Dems. If he takes the Bush/Rove scorched earth strategy he is going to drive people, namely disaffected Clinton supporters, insane with anger and thus behind Obama.  

The other thing (0.00 / 0)
is if we start explicitly making parallels between this and the swiftboaters, maybe we can generate some backlash as well against McCain.

Another thing about this that I'm hopeful shows this will NOT be like the swiftboating is that it was a one day (non-)campaign event, not a concocted multi-year story from 35 years ago. So it should be easier to knock down. It will be very interesting to see how the Obama campaign responds.  

[ Parent ]
The media is the message (4.00 / 1)
Please correct me if this sounds wrong but:

It seems like the important thing isn't the ad itself or necessarily even the Obama camp's response, exactly, but how the media covers it (or, perhaps, how the media can be induced to cover it). This ad's only running in like three places? Therefore the point isn't the people who see the ad, it's all the news stories the ad generates (which as always, will wind up showing the ad for free). Right? So the question it seems like is whether the media runs this as "McCain attacks Obama for not visiting troops" or "McCain attacks Obama for not visiting troops, but U.S. authorities told him he couldn't visit" or maybe even (incredibly unlikely) "McCain stretches facts in attacks on Obama".

That's why these are so hard to defend against (4.00 / 2)
The more you defend, the more it becomes a "story", and the more the ad gets run for free hundreds of times on TV. McCain probably doesn't need to put this on TV more than once.

Obama needs a strong response ad that eviscerates McCain's record on troops. He has a horrible record on veterans health care and sent troops into a war that didn't need to be fought.

[ Parent ]
I Think We Need to Throw a Hissy Fit (4.00 / 15)
I think the Dems need to respond with disproportionate force. Biden, Hillary, Clark and Kerry should all be deployed to call McCain a lying dogfucker (exact wording open to negotiation, although I do think my draft gets the essential nuance.)

McCain's absence from duty in the Senate this congress needs to be brought up, as well as every even vaguely unsympathetic thing he's ever said about the troops.

There needs to be a full-court press to put forward the idea that McCain has stepped over the line and needs to step back. And the narrative of the media cycle should be "Is John McCain a colossal asshole or just an asshole?"

That's the ideal, of course, but some much less forthright version of that will have to be deployed sooner or later, because every time this works McCain will just get worse. And every time it doesn't, he'll get worse anyway. The only way to immunise Obama is to make people hate McCain. As an added bonus, it might even, if it's very successful, give us leverage to criticise Obama without hurting his campaign to much.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

Exactly (4.00 / 1)
It should be obvious to even the densest of Dems that the media only responds to one thing: being brained into submission. If you don't whine and complain and jump on them 10 times are hard, then they will be all over you. But if you brow-beat them with everything you have, they'll shut-up and move on.

[ Parent ]
To be expected (0.00 / 0)
No matter who the Demcratic nominee was, we knew the negative attacks were coming.  Even the media knew, as they told us repeatedly throughout the primaries.

The fact that McCain is going so negative so early tells me that his campaign doesn't like the polling numbers they're getting.  What we are seeing is McCain's version of the kitchen-sink strategy.  

Sure, democrats could throw a hissy fit, but at this point it's to Obama's advantage to take the high road.  To get down in the mud with McCain at this stage is exactly what republicans want.  They would much rather fight all the way to November than discuss and debate the issues.  Look at their candidate and look at ours.  Republicans want nothing to do with debating Obama on the issues.  They will do all they can to take Change you can believe in and turn it into politics as usual.

Instead of throwing a hissy fit, the Obama campaign should make a calm and brief statement.  They should point out Obama's record of supporting the troops, and publicly remind McCain that politicizing our troops in a time of war does a disservice to our troops and their families.  Taking the high road allows Obama to represent change, and it adds fuel to the fire of McCain being angry and desperate.


[ Parent ]
They already made a statement (4.00 / 1)
"John McCain is an honorable man who is running an increasingly dishonorable campaign. Senator McCain knows full well that Senator Obama strongly supports and honors our troops, which is what makes this attack so disingenuous. Senator Obama was honored to meet with our men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan this week and has visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed numerous times. This politicization of our soldiers is exactly what Senator Obama sought to avoid, and it's not worthy of Senator McCain or the 'civil' campaign he claimed he would run."

[ Parent ]
Indescribably lame response (4.00 / 2)

 This response makes John Kerry sound like Jimmy Hoffa.

 McCain is an "honorable man"??? On what planet?

 Obama needs to rip McCain apart. Hard. This response is so milquetoast it would embarrass Harold Ford.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
I disagree -- I think it's a good response (0.00 / 0)
The intention here is to show the gaps between McCain's image and behavior -- to the voters, to the media -- in increasingly undeniable terms.  Remember, there's three months to get people to realize this and question whether they want somebody like him as President.  Every time he flies off the handle at a WSJ reporter or anybody else, it adds more grist to this mill.

Sinking to McCain's level tarnishes Obama and the message of change.  There's plenty of time to respond with hard-hitting issue-focused ads.  For now, the key is shaping the media narrative.

[ Parent ]
What happens when it sticks? (4.00 / 3)
Taking the high road was fine for Kerry until something stuck. The Swiftboaters arrived and that strategy was dead.

Since this attack is coming directly from McCain, he has no weasel room. Hit him hard here, destroy his credibility, and it's that much harder for them to try and stick anything to Obama, allowing him to take the high road for the rest of the campaign.

I'll admit it's a risk, but it's a risk that if it pays dividends will remove a lot of future risks.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
I vote for (4.00 / 1)
'lying dogfucker'.  It has a nice ring to it and sums up my feelings about McCain nicely.    

[ Parent ]
Same old song and dance (4.00 / 2)
It matters little if it's only a small ad buy.  That's all it takes, as the 24hour news culture will do the rest.  The ad will be discussed on the Sunday morning news shows and shown repeatedly on the Monday cable-news-circus.  The news anchors will pretend as if this is a serious matter to be debated, the scroll at the bottom of the tv screen will bear a question of "Obama stubs the troops?", and the talking-heads will argue over each other as to whether Obama snubbed or didn't snub.  And then Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will poke fun at how ridiculous the accusation is and how asinine the media is.  And depending on whether the story gathers legs via blog outrage and radio discussion, we'll rinse, lather, and repeat on Tuesday or wait for the next republican attack ad to do it all over again.

Yep (4.00 / 1)
As I've said many times on this blog and others, the only way for Obama to really diffuse this is to visit these wounded troops before returning to the U.S. Call the Pentagon, get things straightened out, and fly there solo if need be.

Otherwise, Obama's going to be having to explain this from now until the election.

Plan B is to simply say the Pentagon is being controlled by Bush and prevented Obama from seeing the troops. It's mostly true anyway and plays into notions about Bush's abuse of power for his pal McCain.

[ Parent ]
That makes a lot of sense (0.00 / 0)
Why else would it target Denver, D.C. and Harrisburg? Those areas aren't especially similar politically or demographically.

That said, if it is a play solely for media attention, I'm not sure those were the best areas to target. Denver is pretty expensive and a lot of its market is outside Colorado in areas that will only be competitive if Obama wins 400+ electoral votes. Harrisburg only covers part of the state, most of which should be McCain country, and not the north-eastern part of the state where one would think he'd want to attack hardest.

One would think that it would have made sense either to go for very cheap media markets or to have concentrated the buys in an area so that they could have a concrete effect outside from the media furore.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
The harrisburg buy was really weird. (4.00 / 1)
You're right. Why not Scranton? Or Pittsburgh? Or even a place like Dayton?

Dauphin county itself is a swing state, but anything outside of that should be McCain country as you say. They are probably getting some really bad poll numbers and are trying to salvage their base at this point. Denver is really the only place they could be playing offense, and that's not exactly encouraging for them since Bush won Colorado twice. The harrisburg market does have a pretty far geographic range. But I wonder if them choosing that instead of Scranton or Pittsburgh shows that they really are burning through their money right now and they can't afford a more expensive market.

The Obama folks really do need to put this to bed though because it's the free media that will make this bad. Ugh.

[ Parent ]
He's counting on the netroots to publish (0.00 / 0)
It is incredibly weak and hopefully Obama et al will just keep moving and not give this credibility.

The ads will get some nods from the racists and the rest of the Republican party but won't change any minds.

John McCain doesn't care about Vets.

Wow, the McCain campaign is DESPERATE (4.00 / 4)
And stupid.  I guess they don't see any better options than this, but it looks awfully dumb to me.

Remember a key difference with the Swift Boating of '04 (as I think some others here have been pointing out): that was built around deniability for Bush himself.  Once Kerry hit back, he hit back VERY hard (the mistake was not doing it right away), painting the entire Swift Boat operation as part and parcel of the Bush campaign.  And then Bush, in the carefully choreographed next step, pretended to distance himself from it by saying "those 527s have been unfairly attacking me too" or whatever.  Now, everyone in the media knew that Rove and the SBers were working hand in hand, but their usual bullshit conventions prevented them from saying so.  Bush and company, realizing that from the start, played the game properly, in terms of helping themselves.  It was dishonest and disgusting, but still effective.

On the other hand, for McCain himself (and campaign ads under his name) to go nuclear on Obama is, I believe, an absolutely major miscalculation.  It seems like it's partly coming from the fact that his surrogates couldn't get any traction with this stuff--a couple of them accused Obama of being willing to lose a war in order to win an election a couple of weeks ago, but it went nowhere.  They must have calculated that it was a potentially winning line that just wasn't getting enough attention, so then they had McCain himself say it a week later (more than once).  This new ad is along those same lines: would rather lose a war than lose an election, won't visit the troops unless he can use them to help with his campaign.

The reason I think it's a miscalculation is that it makes a difference when the candidate himself says it.  Think about it: how effective would the Swift Boating have been if Bush himself had been the one openly accusing Kerry of lying about his war record?  No way it would have worked.  Now, the one real advantage McCain has had from the beginning over Obama is the stronger image of a war leader, commander-in-chief, etc., so I guess his campaign is figuring that they can hold onto that mantle while knocking Obama down, if only people will listen to them.  So (this thinking would go), when Mr. Maverick/Patriot/War Hero himself slams Obama for using the war and/or the troops for purely political purposes, surely there must be something to it, right?

But Joe Klein already laid out the problem for McCain in dropping this far into the gutter: it just isn't presidential, no matter what image the person doing it has already established for himself.  And at a time when Obama has clearly burnished his own presidential-ness in the one area where he was most clearly at a disadvantage, McCain goes ahead and throws himself in the mud to try to knock Obama back down.

Yes, Obama needs to hit back, and hard.  No question.  But let's not get too caught up in a Swift Boat Redux mentality.  McCain is being just as disgusting and malicious as Bush was in '04, but he's also being stupid and incredibly short-sighted, which we certainly cannot characterize Bush and Rove of being in how they deployed the Swift Boaters.

I mean, where the fuck does McCain go after this?  Bush's deniability in '04 made the Swift Boat campaign a relatively low risk operation for him, but McCain is perilously close to the point where a critical mass of people just start tuning him out.  

I'd like to believe you... (4.00 / 3)

 ...but there are a few problems:

 1. The media is to John McCain what Monica Lewinsky was to Bill Clinton. That John McCain has reduced himself to the level of a dung beetle through this despicable smear will matter not one whit to the media, which will still present him as some sort of knight in shining armor.

 2. Obama's response, so far, has been so weak it makes John Kerry look like Mr. T. Reinforcing your opponent's (false) positives (he's an honorable man) is no way to fight back against a smear.

 3. The Obama campaign should have seen this coming, and instead were caught flat-footed.

 MAYBE this will blow over. If we had an honest media, it would. But we don't, so it's all up to Obama. And when are we going to start seeing some OFFENSE from Barack????  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
That official campaign response... (4.00 / 1)
...was, admittedly, terrible.  But I wouldn't freak out too much about why Obama isn't doing this or that yet.  He wasn't about to undercut his own overseas trip by getting down in the dirt with McCain, and he isn't even back in the country yet.

And I don't think the media is THAT much in McCain's pocket.  He got pounded really hard by Joe Klein and Howard Fineman just in the past few days.  I'm not claiming that Obama can just sit back and rely on the media to be responsible about all this, but times have been changing.  This sort of BS from the Republicans just hasn't been working for them in the last couple of years to anywhere near the extent it did before.  

[ Parent ]
Small ad buy (4.00 / 4)
There's no need to do a larger ad buy as all the cable shows will pick up this ad as "news" and run it all day long on Fox, as well as all the Sunday talk shows.

It's that liberal media bias.

If teaching is so easy, then by all means get your degree, pass your certification test(s), get your license, and see if you can last longer than the five years in the classroom 50% of those who enter the profession never make it to.

You know this thread is actually instructive (4.00 / 3)
I guess it's all hidden here right now, but I imagine we'll be seeing this pattern repeated all over the internet for the next 48 hours-- an entire forum of people arguing against one person ignoring all responses and simply replying to every comment with the same unsourced claim about what "the Pentagon says". As usual, all the reason in the world doesn't count for anything against one person willing to lie with a straight face.

A suggestion: there needs to be, somewhere, a single fact-checked, sourced, comprehensive overview of exactly what happened on friday and why that can just be linked to quell flamewars like this where they're cropping up. When I look at discussions on this I'm seeing all kinds of occasionally-contradictory claims about facts slung around (for example: "the pentagon says" one thing or another, Obama visited other troop hospitals on this same trip and it was only because Hagel+the senate staff had left that the last visit had to be cancelled, Obama visited some of these with cameras implying there's no problem with cameras coming along, Obama visited some of these without cameras implying he doesn't care if the cameras are there or not, McCain's had to cancel trips to troop hospitals of exactly this sort because his entourage at the time was campaign rather than senate staff) but there's never any backup or authority to it, it's always just one blog commenter's claim of something they heard somewhere against another's. I'm not sure what a bystander seeing these confused accumulations of unsourced facts would think; there's a risk they'd just assume "the truth is in the middle", and think one way or another Obama did something dishonorable but they're not sure what.

This entire thing is so incredibly devoid of substance I'm sure it will basically blow over in 48 hours, but there needs to be some serious efforts at cleanup to keep that 48 hours from having a lasting effect-- the right doesn't need to actually "win" this argument, they just need to muddy the waters, instill doubt, distract from all the positive aspects of Obama's trip and the negative aspects of McCain's simultaneous policy changes on Iraq, and leave just a few people with some negative impression of the last week that they wind up half-rememberedly bringing up in a few weeks ("but didn't Obama...")

muddying the waters (0.00 / 0)
How about a response ad saying that, "If John McCain had had his way, those injured troops coming home would be denied medical care because he believes it's 'wasteful spending." etc. etc.  

[ Parent ]
Fight the Smears? (0.00 / 0)
Forward this suggestion to the Obama campaign. Fight the Smears doesn't seem to have much up on it (partly because much of the press about it seems to have been designed to raise its prominence, whilst making it a great rather than a good resource has played second fiddle.)

They may not have a great web outreach, but if you make your case then I'm sure they can depute a staffer to typing up their version of events with a list of citations.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
Excellent point! (0.00 / 0)
This is one of the first tests of "Fight the Smears".  It'll be interesting to see how they react.  One of my concerns is that it seems in may ways top-down driven, rather than grassroots-oriented (where's the wiki? :-)); of course, I'm sure there's a lot going on behind the scenes as well...

[ Parent ]
Here is one (0.00 / 0)

You would have to email me at if you want a user to make your own stuff as I just did googles default package.

My idea is that we can get a simple liberal position to be espoused as a generic opinion.

Rather than focusing on the facts of mccain being wrong (which I think it could have) its more focusing on the fact that the charge is simply so absurd it doesn't even deserve a response.

The liberal wiki
Send an email to

[ Parent ]
Best possible antidote (4.00 / 3)

 Chuck Hagel is scheduled to be on one of the interview shows tomorrow. If he denounces McCain in the strongest possible terms, calling him a fraud and a phony (which he IS), then this ad will not just be neutralized -- McCain will be pretty much finished.

 Let's see how sincere Hagel is about ending this war.

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

If Hagel does call McCain a fraud and phony .. (0.00 / 0)
he better use those exact words .. and if he does .. that is sure to send a thrill up Tweety's leg .. since Hagel is at least considered "serious" by the Versailles media

[ Parent ]
Hagel on CBS (4.00 / 1)
I didn't see that show this morning, but this Kos diary has a quick summary:

On the visit: "it would have been inappropriate" to do so after the Congressional part of the trip was done and it was done with campaign funds. In Hagel's words, it was the right decision.

On the ad: "It is not appropriate."

Hagel's never going to attack McCain in any sort of pointed language, but it's good that he defended Obama on this point.

[ Parent ]
It's Already Working On The MSM (0.00 / 0)
I just visited CNN and MSNBC, and the McSameAsBush smear is being run EXACTLY as their campaign would want it to run: as a "sharp" attack where the Obama campaign's correction is merely "the response" to the ad without any dissection of the claims or calling out on the fact that it is a blatant and gut-wrenching LIE designed to make that the issue on the gabfests instead of the Obama triumph and McSameAsBush crapfest of the past week.

And some people (not necessarily here but on other blogs) actually thought for a second that the MSM was ready to change its ways after last week and saw the truth about McSameAsBush.

So much for that fantasy.

Some proof of your point (4.00 / 1)
This article at CNN is just awful.  McCain gets away scott free, and the Obama response comes across as lame and ineffective.  


The article also demonstrates (albeit not intentionally) that this "issue" is COMPLETELY RETARDED.  Yes, I know that stupid crap has been blown out of proportion in campaigns before, but this one is just so dumb and pointless.  

I mean, even with the whole Clark flap, the quote in isolation really could come across as if he was sort of demeaning McCain's service.  But WTF is this supposed to be about?  Obama won't visit the troops because...he hates them, or he's too busy playing basketball with other troops, or...what?  How the hell is this supposed to accomplish anything for McCain?    

[ Parent ]
tapper's take (4.00 / 2)
Classic blog headline from Jake Tapper tonight:

"New McCain Ad Bashes Obama for Not Visiting Troops Using Footage of Obama Visiting Troops"

Excellent! (4.00 / 2)
And I think we just found a way to defuse this quickly.

Because, as we've so often seen, as soon as some politician has to explain something or add a modifier, then that almost universally means they've lost the argument.

So we now need to turn this into a McCain campaign gaffe that goes something like this,

Media (through Obama campaign) to McCain flunky: Don't you find it ironic that your campaign launched an attack ad criticizing Senator Obama for not visiting troops overseas while using footage of Obama visiting troops overseas in that very ad?

McCain flunky: No, but you see, he was supposed to visit wounded troops.

Media: Too late! Gotcha!  

[ Parent ]
Hah! (0.00 / 0)
The McCain campaign is whacked. They included footage of Obama with the troops in the video! This was always going to be a tough sell with the regular media (they don't like getting left out of things and that is what McCain is advocating Obama should have done) but now they are going to mock McCain's incompetence, not Obama's itinerary.

Karen Tumulty at Time is also mocking the ad.

John McCain

[ Parent ]
McCain's BS (0.00 / 0)
Obama's bounce in the polls is all the more impressive because he could not answer the gutter attacks while he was abroad.  It suggests that the American public sees through McCain's desperate demagoguery.

Suggestions for Obama:

"If you cannot properly prioritize the national security requirements of the US, if you cannot properly pick the wars worth fighting, then you should not claim you would be a superior Commander-in-Chief".

"Mindless belligerence is not a sophisticated foreign policy outlook".

While McCain shows his desperation Obama returns to focus on... (0.00 / 0)
...the economy.

Game. Set. Match.

ABC News Sunday morning roundup (0.00 / 0)
I just watched Stephanopolous' not-so-balanced panel (George Will, Matthew Dowd, Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts), where this issue came up.  They lamely ruled in McCain's favor--Stephanopolous even said that Obama should just admit to having made a mistake in not going to that hospital.  

But--and I think this point is important--in no way did they treat it as an issue of real significance to the electorate.  The discussion was much more about Obama's trip overall, a switch of the campaign's focus back to the economy, stuff like that.  So my arguments about McCain being stupid in throwing himself into the mud might not be accurate, in the sense that he's already getting away with spouting this BS (gee, what a shock).

On the other hand, if he can't score any real points with it, then it's just wasted energy.  Whenever a presidential campaign decides to put a direct personal attack on the other candidate in their own candidate's mouth, they have to be calculating that it's really going to work, or that it's too important to be left to the surrogates.  So if the Village is passing over it as being of little significance, even if they actually concede the point to McCain (a fair summary, I think, of how the ABC panel saw it), the overall impact is basically nothing.  

And we should be reasonably happy to let McCain flail around with stupid gotcha nonsense that gets approval from some pundits while adding up to nothing overall.  If that's his strategy for attacking Obama, he sure isn't going to win the election with it.      

Thanks for watching them so I don't have to (0.00 / 0)
I started to watch the panel but I just couldn't stomach it. Especially after Donaldson kept talking about how "folks in middle america" just aren't ready for him (but their not racist! (he says)). Um, Sam....Obama's leading in Middle America! I just couldn't watch anymore. Also, I do love how they still think that putting two journalists on a panel balances out two conservatives. Ugh....

Anyway, Obama's interview went fairly well. Made the point that no it's not a good thing that gas prices are $4 dollars a a gallon, even if people are driving less and Detroit is switching to better cars because of it because we should have been planning for this for the last 7 years (i.e. raising CAFE standards which McCain opposed).

Anyway, hope you're right and this blows over.  

[ Parent ]

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