Sen. John McCain's campaign is finishing a hard-hitting television ad highlighting Barack Obama 's ties to shady Chicago land dealer Tony Rezko, the one-time Obama patron who was convicted earlier this summer of fraud.The calls for Obama to retract anything nasty he ever thought about the heroic Senator from Arizona should begin right about...
A campaign official said that the decision to Go Rezko was Obama's. "He's opened the door to this," the official said.
The ad will be released to network news divisions in time for their broadcasts tonight.
Though McCain is widely perceived to to drawn first blood by attacking Obama's character, the official said that the difference between Obama's mocking McCain for his wealth and his shaky answer on the number of homes he owns was that McCain's charge "reflects an existential reality," where Obama's charges "attack Cindy. She owns the homes. I thought he said the wives were off-limits."
McCain strategists hope that Obama's brass knuckles punch doesn't work. "Americans don't like this class warfare stuff," the official said. They aspire to be rich, the official said. They don't aspire to eat arugala or hang out with celebrities.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Sen. John McCain received two suspicious letters at two campaign offices, with at least one containing an unidentified white powder, U.S. Secret Service and McCain's spokespeople said.Having said this, I honestly believe this event will be cited as justification for all kinds of truly nasty things said about (and possibly done to) the Democrats in Denver next week. I mean, the city should be locked down and the convention canceled for safety reasons, right?
One of the letters was sent to McCain's campaign office in suburban Denver, the other to an office in Manchester, New Hampshire, causing evacuations of both offices.
The Denver letter, which contained threatening language and the white powder, was received at 3 p.m. (5 p.m. ET) at McCain's regional campaign office, McCain's campaign said.
Four or five people from the office drove themselves to a nearby hospital, said Bruce Williamson of Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. Williamson did not have an update on their medical conditions. Others in McCain's office were evacuated, Williamson said.
About a dozen emergency vehicle were outside the office Thursday evening. McCain's office is in a quiet business park about 50 miles away from where the Democratic National Convention will be held next week.
In an interview in Chester, Va., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said he's made up his mind, but he would not say whether he's informed that person yet. "I won't comment on anything else until I introduce our running mate to the world," he said. "That's all you're going to get out of me."Aww hell it could be anybody at this point, who knows.
(Well, Obama does.)
Let's revisit the events of the last 24 hours.Whoever's the elitist last, loses, folks. The campaign has officially begun.
The initial question, put to McCain during an interview in Las Cruces, N.M., seemed to catch the Arizona senator off guard. "I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain said. "It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you." That's not exactly the sort of definitive language that politicians and their handlers like to use when dealing with the media.
Democrats, sensing an opportunity to show McCain as out of step with voters, quickly began blasting away.
"I guess if you think that being rich means you've got to make $5 million and if you don't know how many houses you have, then it's not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong," said Barack Obama during a rally this morning in Chester, Virginia. "But if you're like me, and you've got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don't lose their home, you might have a different perspective."
The Obama campaign quickly produced an ad noting that McCain actually owns seven homes worth $13 million; as an image of the White House is shown, a narrator intones: "Here's one house America can't afford to let John McCain move into."
The onslaught by the Obama campaign was greeted in kind by McCain.
"Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?" asked McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. "Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who's in touch with regular Americans?"
The McCain campaign also promised to put Obama's ties to Tony Rezko front and center in the race now, insisting that the Illinois senator's decision to attack on the home front (heyooo!) made a discussion of his ties to the convicted real estate developer fair game.
Anytime you hear such heated rhetoric from the campaigns, you can assume that the issue being debated is one where both sides want/need badly to win.
Remember, if you say anything bad about John McSame, shame on you, he's a POW you heartless bastard! On the other hand Barack Obama is nothing more than a giant pussy who hides behind his race.
Eric Kleefeld notices that McCain aides referred back to McCain's time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam in defending him from the mockery over his houses.
This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison," says spokesman Rogers.
It does seem like they're flirting with Giuliani/9/11 territory here, in which at subject that seems utterly immune to humor, used as a first resort, suddenly becomes a running joke among your political enemies and your late night comic friends.
McCain himself, it should be noted, doesn't tend to talk about his prisoner-of-war experience in random contexts; but his staff and surrogates have been doing it a bit lately.
UPDATE: That is, he doesn't put his experience to political use, or frame his views relative to it, the way Giuliani did 9/11. He did, a reader notes, mention Vietnam to justify his preference for ABBA.
FOR EXAMPLE: A reader points out that liberal blogger John Aravosis predicted McCain's campaign would refer to his POW experience today; then the campaign did.
Washington demanded on Friday that Russia pull its troops out of Georgia "now", but Moscow said it would be another 10 days before the bulk of its force left Georgian soil.I would so like to see Putin just say "Or what, you jagoffs?"
In a sign of growing tension between Moscow and the West over the conflict in Georgia, a Russian news agency reported that Russia had temporarily frozen cooperation with the NATO alliance, though there was no immediate confirmation.
In some of Washington's toughest comments to date, the White House declared Russia in violation of its commitments to leave the territory of Georgia after routing Georgian forces in a war that erupted two weeks ago.
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said he could not imagine a circumstance in which the United States would engage in military-to-military cooperation with Moscow until the Georgia situation was resolved.
Iraq and the U.S. have reached preliminary agreement to withdraw American forces from Iraqi cities by next June, six years into the increasingly unpopular war, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Thursday after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.The obvious question is "Why do Condi Rice and George Bush want to embolden the terrorists with a withdrawal timeline?"
LIMBAUGH: It’s — you know, it’s just — it’s just we can’t hit the girl. I don’t care how far feminism’s saying, you can’t hit the girl, and you can’t — you can’t criticize the little black man-child. You just can’t do it, ’cause it’s just not right. It’s not fair. He’s such a victim.Feel free to criticize the loudmouth racist (and misogynist) white guy however. He can take it, he's a man.
Destroy McSame, my minions!
SEDONA, Ariz.-- Sen. John McCain said in an interview that he did not know how many houses he and his wife own, a comment that Democrats immediately seized on as evidence that the Republican nominee is out of touch with the economic plight of most Americans.
"I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told reporters for the Politico website. "It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you."
The Democratic National Committee quickly send out a list noting that McCain owns at least seven different residences. That catalogue includes two homes in Phoenix -- one of which is a $4.66 million condominium -- and a $1.94 million vacation complex in Sedona, where he is spending this weekend before the Democratic convention.
Muahahahahahahaha! I really love having minions that follow your commands.
He also owns two condos in a Coronado, Calif., building -- worth $2.1 million and $2.7 million -- a $1 million beach flat in La Jolla, Calif., and an $847,800 condo in Arlington, Va.Attack relentlessly until they are no more!
Democrats pointed out that most homeowners own only one house, worth an average of about $217,000. One Democratic e-mail noted that McCain also disclosed in filings that he also owns a parking lot worth at least $1 million.
"The fact that John McCain can't keep track of how many houses he owns is a telling moment that helps explain why he thinks 'the fundamentals of our economy are strong' and why he's just offering more of the same economic policies that we've gotten from President Bush for the last eight years," said Sen. Barack Obama spokesman's, Hari Sevugan.
Keep it up and do not let this go, guys. Hit him, hit him MORE.
On CNN this morning, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said, "I understand that Senator McCain was asked yesterday this question, 'how many houses do you own?,' and he couldn't answer that question. He couldn't count high enough apparently to even know how many houses he owns."
Obama was stung earlier in the year by McCain charges that he is an elitist because of comments he made about working class voters, and Republicans have tried to cast him as an arugula-eating professor from a yuppie Chicago neighborhood.
Now, Obama is trying to turn the tables.
Democrats also seized last week on comments McCain made during the Saddleback forum. Answering a question from Pastor Rick Warren about what the definition of rich is, McCain said "$5 million," before quickly realizing his mistake.
"I think if you are just talking about income, how about $5 million?" he told Warren. "But seriously, I don't think you can -- I don't think seriously that -- the point is that I'm trying to make here, seriously -- and I'm sure that comment will be distorted -- but the point is that we want to keep people's taxes low and increase revenues."
UPDATE: HELL YES!
OBAMA: But then there was another interview – this is yesterday, same day – where somebody asked John McCain, how many houses do you have? And he said, I’m not sure. I’ll have to check with my staff. True quote. I’m not sure. I’ll have to check with my staff. So they asked his staff, and he said, at least four. At least four. Now, think about that. I guess if you think that being rich means you’ve got to make $5 million and if you don’t know how many houses you have, then it’s not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong. But if you’re like me, and you’ve got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don’t lose their home, you might have a different perspective. And by the way, the answer is John McCain has seven homes.
So there’s just a fundamental gap of understanding between John McCain’s world and what people are going through every single day here in America. And you don’t have to be – you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize Laureate economist. You just have to have a little bit of a sense of what ordinary people are going through to understand that we can’t afford eight more years or four more years or one more year of the same failed economic policies that George Bush has put in place.
McSame is *screwed*.
Today: What The Other Side Is Thinking about...Joe Lieberman as McSame's Veep.
Dear Senator McCain:This highlights a basic difference between the two sides. One side wants to abolish all abortion period, with no exceptions made for any reason whatsoever. The other side does not believe in the total abolition of abortion. Only total abolition of abortion is acceptable to this side. People forget this, or overlook it on purpose.
The buzz in recent days has been that some of your key aides were calling national and state GOP leaders to alert them to the possibility that you were seriously considering a pro-abortion running mate and to take their temperature on such a selection.
As Dan Henninger of the Wall Street Journal asked: Are you politically "stupid" or do you care little for conservative principles?
It also shows that you don't understand why the Republican brand has taken a massive beating in recent years. You clearly don't comprehend why millions of conservatives are off the Republican reservation and sitting on the political sidelines.
The other thing is this notion that McSame is somehow too liberal for the modern Republican Party in 2008...a man that believes wholeheartedly in endless war, more tax cuts for an economy facing $10 trillion of debt, and more police state tactics is intolerable to this side because his Vice President does not believe in the absolute abolition of abortion.
Your indication that you're willing to put a person who has a clear, unequivocal pro-abortion record within a heartbeat of the presidency is alarming.That's the other thing, these days a Conservative is someone who has an inviolate record on certain social issues without any compromise, and yet these issues conflict: no room for abortion and its inhuman barbarism, but on the subject of suspected terrorists any and all physical horrors must be allowed to be inflicted upon the subject in order to "save lives". Likewise there are all kinds of cries that American government spends too much money on programs that are wasteful, but the same conservatives have no problem going trillions into debt for our wars, in fact demanding more tax cuts to fuel an economy already on the brink of disaster.
Pro-life conservatives understand that, to change the laws to protect innocent life, first and foremost, we need good, articulate leadership--from the president and vice president.
To put it as simply and clearly as I can, most Republican leaders at the national and state level have betrayed, abandoned, and sold out the principles that define conservatism. Talk of selecting a pro-abortion liberal Republican (Tom Ridge) or, even worse, a pro-abortion liberal Democrat (Joe Lieberman) drives the Republican brand lower and lower.
What is causing the Republican brand to sink is not Joe Lieberman, but conservatives themselves, and the inability to recognize that fact. Here's the thing: I'm a social moderate and fiscal conservative common sense kind of guy. If a program works, great. If it doesn't do its stated goal, it needs to be scrapped and the problem needs to be readdressed. What passes for a conservative in 2008 and a liberal in 2008 is insanity, the meter has been pushed so far out of whack that we're talking about has no basis in reality...only perception.
But here is the real kicker:
Your apparent interest in selecting a running mate who is out of sync ideologically with the vast majority of conservatives reinforces the image of the Republican Party as a party without principle and dedicated to one proposition above all others – the seeking, acquiring, obtaining, and holding onto power.The prosecution rests, your honor.
Senator McCain, you are exceedingly proud of being a political maverick – you wear it as a badge of honor.
Well, poke the base of the Republican Party – the conservatives – in the eye one more time by choosing a pro-abortion vice presidential candidate and conservatives will show you that two can play the maverick game.
Conservatives are people with proudly held principles. We're now waiting to see if you share our principles.
Richard A. Viguerie
It's like a new Wendy's opened in town and people celebrated because they wouldn't have to eat at McDonalds anymore. You shouldn't consume fast-food...ever. It is terrible for your health. The same is true of Cable News.But on the other hand, Double G reminds us that frankly, the best (and only) way to improve the vapidity of cable news is to give it more viewpoints other than the processed crap we're fed en masse. Of course, the Village is SCREAMING that Maddow now represents unfortunate (and intolerable) partisanship on MSNBC's part, and G-Man uses his kung-fu upon it.
Yes, every once in a while the Cable News channels will air a debate or forum that is safe for human consumption. But most nights they provide the equivalent of a balloon of nitrous oxide. If you hooked your cranium up to a scanner you could actually see the brain cells dying as you watched the pundits perform their circle jerk.
For years, cable news -- well beyond just Fox -- has been suffuse with the hardest-right ideologues. Virtually every Karl Rove disciple not formally with the McCain campaign is now employed in some capacity in the media. Dan Bartlett just joined CBS News as a "political analyst", and just today, Time announced that it has hired Mike Murphy, GOP strategist and former chief McCain adviser, as a new columnist and new poster at Swampland, and he promptly wrote a column filled with trite Rovian platitudes about how Obama is "irresistible to the wine-and-cheese lovers" but can't connect with the salt-of-the-earth working-class People who "reminds them of the Ivy League whiz kids they've dealt with at work during the latest downsizing."It's the fact that Olbermann, Maddow, and MSNBC are the conspicuous holdouts from the Village idiocy, and they must be attacked until they fall in line. It's hysterical and actually quite sad how when faced with yet another GOP talking head nobody says a word, but add one more liberal and it's a shame how "partisan" cable is in the age of FOX News.
Ever since MSNBC's extremely suspect and viewpoint-based cancellation of Phil Donohue's Show in the run-up to the Iraq War, it's been almost harder to find an actual liberal on cable news than it is to find a Marty Peretz post free of ugly anti-Arab smears. Yet the ascension of Keith Olbermann -- who is far more a Bush critic than he is a doctrinaire liberal -- by itself spawned a cascade of panic. Olbermann's success at MSNBC means that Modern Journalism is now threatened because -- as AP put it -- "Olbermann's popularity and evolving image as an idealogue (sic) has led NBC News to stretch traditional notions of journalistic objectivity." AP even asserted that Olbermann's status as a news anchor means that MSNBC is even more biased than Fox, which at least has the decency to keep a non-partisan, serious news man like Brit Hume -- who only explicitly spouts extremist right-wing rhetoric on Sunday -- as its anchor: "Fox has never done that, perhaps mindful of the immediate controversy that would result."
Glenn sticks the fork in.
Maddow is unquestionably one of the smartest and most incisive commentators anywhere on television -- perhaps the smartest. One would think that the presence of smart commentary in the wasteland known as "cable news" would be cause for celebration among those super-Serious intellects at TNR. Zimmerman even brings herself to recognize that Maddow's "no mere histrionic provocateur" and "has proved herself to be a savvy commentator with quick, smart takes on the news of the day." But no matter. She's a liberal -- and, therefore, to the Tucker-Carlson-loving Sacha Zimmermans of the world, her mere presence is likely to infect and degrade our political discourse with shrill, overheated, fringe, sickly partisan rhetoric -- "refusing to acknowledge anything but spite, paranoia, and conspiracy theory when it comes to the other side."Personally I'm looking forward to Countdown and The Rachel Maddow Show...just because it annoys the Village. Anything that causes this kind of reaction before it's even on has to be worth it.
The reaction to Maddow's show highlights just how suffocatingly narrow, and right-wing, the spectrum of mainstream political discourse in America is. Hiring Michael Savage, Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson to host their own shows didn't jeopardize NBC's news brand, just as giving Glenn Beck -- Glenn Beck -- his own show didn't jeopardize CNN's. Most mainstream political and media figures even continue to insist that Fox is a legitimate news organization because Brit Hume confines his overt right-wing talking points to the Sunday show. But the presence of a liberal on MSNBC instantaneously destroys traditional principles of Journalism.
But beyond that, the reaction also highlights the pitiful pretense of high-minded objectivity that people like Zimmerman have adopted in order to glorify themselves. Laced throughout Zimmerman's oh-so-saddened lament about the loss of sober journalism, "iconoclasts" and "nuance or intellectual rigor" is that it is people like Zimmerman and the trans-partisan, oh-so-unpredictable and intellectually vibrant TNR that we need more of -- people who rise above "this trend toward partisan networks and news." Liberals like Maddow are plagued by a partisan agenda that precludes deep and free thought, in contrast to the high-minded "iconoclasts" at TNR who prove their independence with their friendships with Jonah Goldberg, endless praise for National Review commentators, and publication of articles glorifying and praising Ann Coulter. So unpredictable and intellectually vibrant and iconoclastic.
Not even the Village can get McSame out of this one.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.John Aravosis at AmericaBlog takes it from here:
"I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."
The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.
How rich do you have to be, and how cognitively impaired, to not remember how many homes you have? Folks, this is just weird. McCain's oddly inconsistent mental state is a serious, valid question in this election, and the media seems afraid to address it head on. Real people don't have so many homes that they can't remember, unless they're absurdly rich, or they're losing their faculties. McCain didn't make these kind of gaffes eight years ago, when he was 64. What's going on?What's going on is that the GOP and the Village have been pounding and pounding on the uppity elitist Obama meme for two months now and they have gotten McSame within "tight race" territory with it.
NOTE TO DEMOCRATS: This is manna from heaven. Run a freaking ad about this, non-stop.Between this and the whole "I don't disagree with you" gaffe on the draft the Obama camp has a double-barrel blast that can put this race back solidly in the Democrats' favor.
It is time to fight back.
So what's the deal? Big Orange says it's just a poll, you should really just relax...after all it's a Zogby poll.
Some people are frackin' hopeless. Really. At the same time, a new Q-poll has Obama up five, Gallup has him up three (after being tied a couple of days ago), Ras has him up two, as does Bloomberg/Times.Kos has a very valid point, last night I realized that while McSame has succeded in peeling off some Obama supporters back into the undecided category, he hasn't put those undecided supporters into his bank yet. McSame is still polling right around 45%. Again, things are about as good as they get for McSame: only recently has Obama really gone on the attack, Russia/Georgia is still fresh on voter's minds, and Obama did reverse his position on offshore drilling. And even with all that...he's still at 45%.
Look, the race is tightening at the national level, but it's much less tight when you look at the state-by-state numbers that, you know, actually decide the presidency. So while it's not exactly a cakewalk, freaking out over single polls from shitty, discredited pollsters like Zogby is pretty pathetic.
We've got the veep announcements and the conventions to get through, and then the race will start in earnest. Be zen. Freaking out over crappy pollsters is just lame. Keep your eye on the composite -- Obama still leads that by 1.4 percent -- and maintain perspective -- McCain has never crossed the 45 percent threshold while Obama bobs between 45 and 50.
I'll be officially worried when McCain shows the ability to break that barrier of support. If he suddenly starts hovering in the upper 40s, then we might have trouble. But ultimately, this is a state-by-state battle. And in the electoral college fight, Obama still has a solid lead -- without even taking into account the ground machine Obama is building (pollsters aren't).
If this is the pinnacle of McSame's power, then Obama can only get better from here. I honestly believe he will.
- Cleveland's Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones has died from a brain aneurysm.
- Tropical Storm Fay may hit Florida a third time, causing even more flooding.
- The Bush White House is still missing up to 225 days worth of e-mail.
- Pravda is reporting that Russia is dropping out of any and all NATO cooperation.
- Condi makes an unplanned visit to Baghdad to iron out the rest of the forces agreement with the Iraqis.