Monday, October 13, 2008

Who IS McNasty?

John McCain has enlisted The Decider's Rovian operatives to run his campaign.... the very ones who slimed McCain and his family in the 2000 GOP primaries. The very ones who Swiftboated another war hero, John Kerry, in the 2004 campaign. Now in McCain's name, these very same operatives savagely and deceptively attack Barack Obama's character in this one.

George W. Bush's toxic influence has finally managed to destroy not just the economy and our moral standing in the world.... it has now infected the tone and substance of McCain's 2008 campaign.

McCain has repeatedly retooled his message and campaign staff in his effort to corner his fatal-obsession need to be president and commander-in-chief. But, as Fred Hiatt suggests today in "What McCain Hasn't Tried".... (WaPo) "imagine if McCain had selected for his running mate not a partisan attack dog but someone with deep knowledge of the economy and a record of reaching across the aisle.

Imagine if McCain had taken the campaign high-road. "Imagine if McCain himself had decided to respond to this crisis as an American first, a candidate second." But the reality is far different. As McCain was speaking at a campaign rally in Minnesota, after having to correct a supporter's assertion that Obama is an "Arab," McCain's "campaign ads were calling Obama a liar."

Even William Kristol in his op-ed today pleads with McCain, "Fire the Campaign." (NYTimes) He counsels that McCain "has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s. The Obama team is well organized, flush with resources, and the candidate and the campaign are in sync. The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed."

Kristol, an early diehard McCain supporter, continues, "What McCain needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over. Shut down the rapid responses, end the frantic e-mails, bench the spinning surrogates, stop putting up new TV and Internet ads every minute. In fact, pull all the ads — they’re doing no good anyway. Use that money for televised town halls and half-hour addresses in prime time."

All of McCain's frantic low-road tactics and Kristol's suggested "junk the whole thing" Hail-Marying raise worrying questions. If McCain can't run a successful presidential campaign, how can he run a country in financial peril bordering on insolvency, embroiled in two wars with rising unemployment and international relationships on the ropes?

And most worrying.... if McCain can dump his moral code and morph into Bush to further his political ambitions, just who is John McCain?

November 4.

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