Although superficially this was a better week than last week's disaster, since McCain's attack ads shaped a good bit of the campaign narrative, I'd argue that in retrospect this week may turn out to be the one that the McCain campaign jumped the shark. The negative ads were so untrue and undignified that even the national press started to notice. Which means that if this continues McCain is going to have trouble with his base.
- Kos, McCain's Campaign: So Dumb, We Had to Check to Make Sure It Was Real
- NYT, McCain can't count on carrying his home state. See also Kos, John McCain's Arizona problem explaining just why local folks might be unhappy with their Senator.
- Eschaton, THEY LEFT JOHN MCCAIN ALOOOOOONE
- Fearguth’s Great Snark Hunt does a compare-and-contrast of the McCain/Obama images
- National Journal, GOP candidates facing tough races are avoiding McCain's nominating convention
- Temper, temper, McCain Blows Off WSJ Reporter (VIDEO)
- Kos, McCain's Hispanic problem
- “Women for John McCain”: McCain flunks the milk test:
- TPM Election Central | Talking Points Memo, Critic Or Cheerleader: The Definitive McCain Iraq Timeline:
Our time-line casts some doubt on a key McCain campaign claim: That he's been a broad critic of Bush's war policies for many years now.
It also finds multiple inconsistencies in his public statements on the war.
The claim that McCain has been a critic of Bush's war policies in general is central to his candidacy. In July, he said: “I think you know that I opposed the failed strategy of the Bush administration.”
Our timeline does support some of McCain's argument. It's true that as early as August of 2003, after he'd visited Iraq, he started saying that there weren't enough American troops in Iraq. At the time, this was consensus opinion among Democratic members of Congress and foreign policy hands. When McCain claims credit for having called for more troops early on, he's right.
Nonetheless, from the very beginning, all the way up to the present, McCain has repeatedly voiced strong support for Bush's approach in general, in ways that are at odds with his later claims of prescience.
- Texas Cowboy, The Truth About John McCain
- Kos, McCain: We won the Iraqi civil war
- NYT, McCain Now Adopts Obama/Iraq Timetable (last week it was surrender or something)
- Reidblog, McCain is The angry American
- Carpetbagger, McCain can’t stop hitting the wrong note
- Bob Herbert says McCain is worse than you think
- Crooks & Liars, John McCain, gaffe machine?
- Yee-haw — the McCain country concert is free
- Crooks & Liars, McCain Increasingly More Unhinged In Denver Speech
- DeLong, Two People Who Do Not Speak for John McCain: Phil Gramm. John McCain; see also Carpetbagger, McCain may not speak for the McCain campaign
- Carpetgagger notes that McCain reverses course on affirmative action, crosses flip-flop threshold — 70!
- Crooks & Liars, Gay Marriage Issue Leads to Problems Counting and Adding for McCain
- HuffPo, McCain Fumbles His “This Week” Appearance
- Crooks & Liars, 2003 Flashback: McCain Mocked Germany and France
- TPM Video, McCain 'evolves' on how long we should be in Iraq.
See also TPM Video, The Big Picture
- McCain — the honorable McCain — did a dishonest commercial. Here is only some of the reax: Carpetbagger, When the going gets tough, McCain gets disgraceful; Kos, McCain Would Rather Lose His Honor In Order To Win a Political Campaign, and Carpetbagger, When a presidential campaign gets caught lying, it should be news … and eventually the media gets shamed into covering the story … Andrea Mitchell: McCain attack ad “literally not true”
- Faced with reporters calling him on his dishonesty, McCain first doubles down and stonewalls. See Kos, Who's Lying? John McCain or Andrea Mitchell?. In my opinion this is a very serious error.
- And, apparently, they eventually figure out that it's an error, and back down a little: Kos, McCain camp admits ad was false. But not very much. And, as this Washington Post article, McCain Charge Against Obama Lacks Evidence shows, it's starting to wear thin. Although the headline guys still have no guts.
- And then, another day later, we learn that McCain was ready to attack Obama for having gone to visit the wounded soldiers and Marines — when Obama decided not to go, they just attacked him for that instead:
What the McCain campaign doesn’t want people to know, according to one GOP strategist I spoke with over the weekend, is that they had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the wounded troops saying that Obama was…wait for it…using wounded troops as campaign props. So, no matter which way Obama turned, McCain had an Obama bashing ad ready to launch. I guess that’s political hardball. But another word for it is the one word that most politicians are loathe to use about their opponents—a lie.
- Kos, McCain's phenomenal grasp of economics
- MSNBC.com, McCain has spot removed from his face (turns out it's harmless, but even so).
- Campaign for America's Future have a new video explaining Econ 101 to John McCain
- TPM, New and Improved McCain Timeline
- Carpetbagger, McCain campaign exploits Black Hawk Down hero, continues dishonest smear
- Carpetbagger (he's good!), McCain’s policy on Russia gets slightly less coherent (yes, that’s possible)
- Kos, Obama Outraising McCain … in Idaho?
- TalkLeft, McCain Was Against Raising Taxes Before He Was Maybe For It
- TPMMuckraker, McCain Adviser's Horrifying Iraq Track Record: Will the Press Notice?
- Washington Independent, Maverick McCain Turns Mean
Sen. John McCain, American war hero and admired political maverick, as well as presumed Republican nominee for president, had a message for Elisabeth Bumiller, the venerated New York Times reporter, along with the rest of the media assigned to travel with him the week of July 20.
“What do you want, you little jerks?” McCain said to Bumiller and those behind her, as the press surged forward on the “Straight Talk” Boeing 737 on July 21.
- Crooks & Liars, Didn’t McCain’s camp say they would run a “respectful campaign?” Romney knows!
- Huffpo, Afghan Ambassador Trumpets Obama Agenda
- Kos, McCain paid a year's salary since he showed up to work
- Great Snark: TPM, « McCain Refuses to Endorse Likely GOP Nominee
- Jamison Foser at Media Matters points out how the McCain campaign's attempt to subject the press corps to Pavlovian conditioning has been working pretty well.
- Carpetbagger, Did the McCain campaign give up on its lobbyist ban? (Yup.)
- The Washington Independent, McCain's Cowboy Persona deconstructed.
- NYT, Editorial – Low-Road Express. Well, he wasn't going to get their endorsement anyway…
- It gets worse: Carpetbagger, How low can McCain go?
- Werblog, McCain's Entrepreneurial “Supporters”
- Carpetbagger, McCain still doesn’t speak for the McCain campaign
- Call him “the albatross” — the question is what does McCain do with “W” at the GOP convention. Slate's John Dickerson considers The Party Crasher
- Weaver, McCain's Former Strategist, Calls “Celeb” Ad “Childish”. He's referring to this McCain ad trying to link Obama to sleazy and brainless bimbettes (oh, and taxes and dependence on foreign oil) …
- Good summary of the week by the Carpetbagger: Senator Small and It’s not the campaign, it’s the candidate.
- DeLong, Stupidest Celebrity Alive: John McCain
- Let the jokes begin:
- Let's give the final word this week to Billmon — happily returned to blogging after more than a year of silence — The Great White Hope
Note: this week's summary cuts off a bit earlier than usual due to my being in the wrong time zone…