[Note: If you are reading this via the news feed, you may wish to click through to see the videos. There are some good ones this week.]
The week started with McCain successfully putting the race card “issue” (subtext: Obama is black!) on the front pages, so that was good for him. On the other hand, the idea that McCain is old and grumpy got more traction too. We then found out the answer to last week's question whether McCain could go any lower and dirtier — Yes, he can! — as we moved to a McCain ad suggesting Obama is the anti-Christ (yes, really). And that was only the weekend.
Then McCain was up — his weird commercials had taken the focus off issues that matter like jobs and the war.
Then facts — and Paris Hilton — bit back.
- From the Democratic Party via YouTube:
- Talking Points Memo, Gramps/Grumps
- Bob Herbert, Running While Black
- Joe Klein, The Scum Also Rises (guess who the “scum” refers to …)
- Carpetbagger, McCain doesn’t think his campaign is ‘negative in the slightest’
- New York Magazine, The Low-Road Warrior
Mudslinging will damage McCain’s brand—but it may be the only way he can win.
- Obama released an anti-McCain ad, Low Road Express
Probably not Obama's best ever, but makes the point.
The McCain campaign released another anti-Obama commercial, but to most viewers this one will seem like the political equivalent of scoring against yourself. Has to be seen to be believed.
But there may be a (very evil) method to the madness: SoonerG at Kos suggests that the point of the latest McCain ads is to depict Obama as the anti-Christ. Don't laugh. The first thing I thought of when I saw the ad was that it was a dog-whistle call-out to evangelicals who would be offended by Obama's suggestion that “a light will shine down upon you” and inspire people to vote for him.
The reason this is evil — really evil — is that the logical and devout thing for true believers to do is to assassinate the anti-Christ. McCain is playing with nuclear weapons here.
- Wonk Room, McCain Embraces Newt's Big Oil Lie, Chants 'Drill More, Drill Now, Pay Less'
- Late night comics have their way with McCain:
- Crooks & Liars, McCain Lies About His Support For MLK Jr. Day in Arizona. FWIW, I think this is the sort of lie that is a window into the soul. There's no way a person could forget this, or not be fully informed; there's no excuse other then either (1) dangerous self-deception; or (2) a complete willingness to lie to the public.
- msblucow, The “attack” ad I'd run against McCain If It Were Up To Me
- TPM, It's Hard, is worth quoting in full:
I'm amused to hear the McCain camp's deep sense of “grievance” over any suggestion that McCain is running a xenophobic and often race-tinged campaign against Barack Obama. It's amazing how you can be pushing a message that your opponent is in league with foreign terrorists and comparing him to twenty-something white women best known for their 'behind the music' episodes and so many people can get the wrong idea.
- Kos, McCain website scrubbed of 'celebrity' citation
- Gergen: McCain Using Code Words To Attack Obama As “Uppity”
- JoeTrippi, McCain – Race? Not me!
- Prominent S.Florida blogger Bark Bark Woof Woof asks how John McCain's Cuba Connection will play down here.
- Joe Conason, Salon, Wanting the White House in the worst way: The pundits who adore John McCain wonder why he has adopted campaign tactics he once despised, but his compromise with the smear merchants began a long time ago.
- Crooks & Liars, Scrub a dub dub: JohnMcCain.com removes McCain calling himself “The One” from website
- Carpetbagger, McCain on Social Security — four contradictory positions (and counting)
- Carpetbagger, ‘A surprisingly immature politician’;
- Obama Campaign, Original:
- TPM, Multiple Oil Company Executives Gave Huge Contributions To Electing McCain Just Days After Offshore Drilling Reversal
- Rick Perlstein, FNB Politics: Charles Bronson Edition
- John Soltz, Senator McCain, Troops and Security Are No Joke
- Noted feminist John McCain, volunteers wife for topless (ESPN says also “occasionally bottomless”) beauty contest. (via TPM). Carpetbagger deduces that the tasteless remark was <a href=”part of McCain's prepared text — not some off-the-cuff idiocy. TPM follows up with links to video of the contest, and a video of McCain's proffer of his spouse, aptly titled, Take My Wife, Please!
- Carpetbagger, ‘The oil companies have placed their bet on Senator McCain’
- Greg Palast, The McCain [Energy] Plan: Homer Simpson without the Donut
- What does it mean when Paris Hilton (responding to McCain's ad mentioning her), turns out to have a better energy policy than McCain does?
- Carpetbagger has the same reaction I did: Why is Paris Hilton better able to talk substance than John McCain?
- At Political Animal, Kevin Drum is reduced to accusing McCain of Buffoonery
- Political Animal says the state-by-state numbers <a href=”Strongly favor Obama
- Carpetbagger, Chutzpah Watch: McCain calls on lawmakers to spend more time on the job in Congress
- Brave New Films does it again, with this super video, McCain Women's Clinic:
- Delong, McCain's energy policy is Yet Another Reason to Shut the Republican Party Down Today…
- Susan Crawford is waiting for McCain's tech policy — promised for July. But she's not optimistic: “Sen. McCain is much more interested in offshore drilling than innovation.”
- Crooks & Liars, McCain Tire Gauge Mocking Of Obama Ignores Support From Those On His Side Of The Aisle. And, later, inevitably, McCain deflates his own “tire-gauge” attack
- Modo, McCain’s Green-Eyed Monster asserts that it's envy driving McCain: “That’s the only explanation for why a man who prides himself on honor, a man who vowed not to take the low road in the campaign, having been mugged by W. and Rove in South Carolina in 2000, is engaging in a festival of juvenilia.” [To which one can only say, “the only explanation???”]
- Washington Post, McCain Bundler Collects From Unlikely Donors — they smell a scandal, but don't come right out and say it. Incidentally, it is illegal to launder political contributions from abroad via US residents/citizens; it's also illegal to evade contribution limits by giving money to others so they in turn can donate it.
- TPM finds the next layer: High-Ranking McCain Campaign Officials Were Paid Lobbyists For Hess—and it's Hess that's the source of a bunch of dodgy-looking bundled contributions.
- Some surprisingly relevant Hess history from national treasure Morton Mintz in The Hessians, Then and Now
- Digby, Paris Drinks McCain's Milkshake: “The tenor of this race, aided by events, has changed. McCain is on the defensive.”
- Rachel Maddow on McCain’s new PR strategy: Ride Kid Rock’s coattails; basically, McCain can't draw his own crowds, so he has to go wherever there are a lot of people.
- Carpetbagger, Watching it all fall apart at once: McCain's foreign policy in tatters
- Pumped: It looks real, but it's true, so that's the giveaway that it's a fake:
- Talkleft, Obama v. McCain on Military Tribunals
- DNC, Maverick No More
- Cenk Uygur, Politico, Not the candidate he used to be. Well, if it's in the Politico, that means it is or will soon be the conventional wisdom, right?
- McCain loses straw poll in GOP bastion Duvall County, Florida: Obama wins Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce Hob Nob straw poll with 57%.
- Maybe stuff like that is why McCain has to give people stuff to get them to post nice comments about him on blogs. Yes, You, too, can be a mindless, rewarded McCain campaign troll (Carpetbagger)
- Crooks & Liars, McCain Campaign Yanks “True Conservative” Ad from YouTube, Web Site. Here's the McCain ad (from the primaries) that McCain doesn't want you to see (anymore):
Doesn't really fit that “maverick” image, does it?
- Indeed: Crooks & Liars, Jack Cafferty on McCain: “This maverick stuff is a lot of hooey”
- Delaware GOP Senate candidate expelled from party for supporting Obama. McCain is too old, he said. “He also has concerns about McCain's temperament and past positions on illegal immigration and the Iraq war.”