Monday, October 13, 2008

Does McCain Have Control of his own Campaign?

The oft-asked question, answered daily, as McCain goes lower and lower: How low will he go? What would John McCain not do to achieve his goal of the Presidency?

Though he has pointed out Obama’s ambitions to become President, he ignores his own obvious ambitions and ignores the lengths that he has gone to in order to achieve those ambitions. His campaign has sunk SO low recently that even Republicans are complaining about the tactics he is using and the hate speech that the campaign is inspiring.

Check out this statement from an article on Yahoo News on Friday, Oct 10:

The raw emotions worry some in the party who believe the broader swath of swing voters are far more focused on their dwindling retirement accounts than on Obama’s background and associations and will be turned off by footage of the McCain events.
John Weaver, McCain’s former top strategist, said top Republicans have a responsibility to temper this behavior.
“People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Sen. Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Sen. McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”;_ylt=Agc6EwS_vqq.dZJuGSW7yhJWr7sF

After three weeks of ever-heightening accusations, smears and outright lies about Barack Obama made by the campaign during these rallies and “town halls,” even other Republicans were disgusted by the tone and tenor of the statements and the visceral reactions that were occurring daily on the campaign trail. So much so that McCain was finally forced to say something himself to ratchet down the vitriol.

And I assume that we are supposed to be impressed by the fact that he was willing to finally stand up and be decent. But, of course, that ignores the fact that he is the one whose campaign started down this ugly path to begin with. And he only partially ratcheted down the innuendo and continues to lie about Obama. Also, I have yet to see any evidence that Palin is going to do the same. I guess we’ll wait and see whatever it is she has to say at whatever campaign stop she is making today.

Though they are trying to distance themselves now, they are doing so half-heartedly and are not being let off the hook so easily. This from

Palin, at a fundraiser in Ohio on Friday, told supporters "it's not negative and it's not mean-spirited" to scrutinize Obama's iffy associations.
But Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania an author of 15 books on politics, says the vitriol has been encouraged by inflammatory words from the stage.
"Red-meat rhetoric elicits emotional responses in those already disposed by ads using words such as 'dangerous' 'dishonorable' and 'risky' to believe that the country would be endangered by election of the opposing candidate," she said.

Having lead his followers down this road, how difficult will it be to turn them around? After all, they booed him when he corrected the folks at the Town Hall that were inferring that Obama was dangerous and an Arab. That is something that he might have considered before this whole mess began. (And perhaps, if any violence does ensue, his campaign and propagandists like Rush Limpballs should be charged with inciting a hate crime.)

Meanwhile, McCain is attempting to distance himself from this whole sordid affair. Déjà vu anyone-- McCain distancing himself?

And today we have a new smear, this time from the head of the republican party in Virginia. Check it out:

The chairman of the Virginia Republican Party has compared Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden because of the Illinois senator's past association with Bill Ayers, who has confessed to domestic bombings as a member of the Vietnam War-era Weather Underground…
According to a report in this week's Time magazine, the Virginia party chairman, Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick (R-Prince William), told Virginia volunteers working for GOP nominee John McCain that Obama and bin Laden "both have friends that bombed the Pentagon."
That is scary," Frederick said while providing talking points to GOP volunteers in western Prince William County as they prepared for a door-to-door canvass.
Yesterday, Frederick said he stood by the comparison, even though bin Laden planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon that killed 184 people and Obama was a child and hadn't met Ayers when the Weather Underground planted a bomb at the Pentagon in 1972. No one was hurt in that blast, in which a bomb exploded in a restroom and caused flooding and damage to computer tapes containing classified information.

Further along in the same article, we see the pattern that has been established by the campaign; people close to the campaign or members of the Republican party say something nasty, then the campaign “distances” itself from the comment.

Gail Gitcho, a McCain spokeswoman, also denounced Frederick's remarks, calling them "not appropriate."
"While Barack Obama is associated with domestic terrorist William Ayers, the McCain campaign disagrees with the comparison that Jeff Frederick made," Gitcho said.
It was the third time in a little more than a week that Gitcho repudiated something said or written by someone affiliated with McCain's Virginia leadership team. Last week, the head of the McCain campaign in Buchanan County in southwest Virginia was forced to resign after a column surfaced in which he made disparaging remarks about Obama, African Americans and gay people. Last weekend, the McCain campaign distanced itself from McCain's brother, Joe McCain, after he referred to Alexandria and Arlington County as "communist country."

How do you “distance yourself” from your own brother? And am I the only one that noticed the back-handed way that this Gitmo person (Gitcho, whatever) attempted to distance McCain from the Frederick comment? She managed to link Obama with terrorists while denouncing Frederick's linkage of Obama to...terrorists.

Here is the pattern: somebody associated with the campaign says something outrageous that McCain does not have the balls to say himself, but that will appeal to the blood-sucking, salivating mob of ultra-conservative dittoheads. Then the campaign comes out with a message that McCain does not agree with the statement. Then, the next day, or sometimes the same day, somebody else comes out and makes a new outrageous statement.

Is this McCain’s way of having his cake and eating it too? His campaign appeals to the base and he stays above the fray by supposedly repudiating the appeal (obviously with a wink and a nod)?

Or is this evidence that McCain has no control over his campaign?

Either way, it does not instill confidence in his ability to lead a nation.

Please click on the title of this blog to read a beautifully written essay on what the McCain campaign's hate speech has wrought.

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