Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Quote of the Day

August 14, 2008

“In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations.”

John McCain, 13 August, 2008 (Watch him say it here.)

Unless they’re the USA, of course. Or there’s oil involved.

This from the man who is touted as the one with all the foreign policy credentials in the US presidential elections. Now, can anyone remember what McCain said in 2003?

Stockley on McNasty’s counter-narratives

August 7, 2008

Ex-pat political consultant Neil Stockley provides an excellent analysis of McCain’s nasty counter-narratives, and what they tell us about the American body politic.

Barack Obama: not “one of us”

During the primary season, Barack Obama gave us an object lesson in how political narratives work, engaging both the heart and the head. Now, after a slow start, the McCain campaign shows us how counter-stories really work; in the process, they might be proving something thoroughly unpleasant about American politics.

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Paris strikes back, as only Paris can

August 6, 2008

Tit for tat?

Whatever, Paris Hilton proves that she has a sense of humour. There’s more than a passing reference to Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. Anyway, she’s, like, so cool and sooo funny. And her energy policy seems fairly balanced, too. Can’t wait for McCain’s response, pretending to be amused.

So, would you vote for her ahead of McCain? Click on the link below…

See Paris Hilton Responds to McCain Ad

If you’re still undecided, this video of McCain is excrutiatingly painful to watch. Apart from McCain looking like a bumbling idiot, he says that he encouraged his (long-suffering) wife to enter a beauty pageant at a biker show. Known for its topless competitors.

Dirty politics pays off for McCain

August 5, 2008

Today’s Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that the gap has closed. “The race for the White House is tied with Barack Obama and John McCain each attracting 44% of the vote. However, when ‘leaners’ are included, it’s McCain 47% and Obama 46%.”

There’s still 3 months to go to the election, and Obama’s still well ahead in Electoral College votes, so don’t panic. The Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator shows Obama leading in states with 210 ECVs and McCain  with 165. Leaners take Obama to 273, McCain to 227. The smart money still favours Obama, if a little less than a few weeks ago. Rasmussen Markets data gives Obama a 59.8% chance of winning the White House.

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Negative and, well, weird

August 1, 2008

When I posted yesterday on McCain’s “low road strategy”, I was a bit surprised by the latest attack ad, called “celeb” for another reason. It felt distinctly weird.

For one thing, who would buy the idea that a Harvard law graduate — indeed, editor of the Harbard Law Review, which signifies that he wasn’t any old law graduate — is as shallow as Paris and Britney? And then, why make an ad that highlights just how popular your opponent is?

The Obama campaign responded with humour:

“On a day when major news organizations across the country are taking Senator McCain to task for a steady stream of false, negative attacks, his campaign has launched yet another. Or, as some might say, ‘Oops! He did it again.’”

Others have noted more sinister messages. The spot has been compared to this:

Well, you know, massed crowd of Germans chanting in support of charismatic leader with classical monument in background… Not sure about that one.

US blogger Chris Bowers says that McCain has, “just played an entire campaign’s worth of identity politics in a single ad.” He believes the comparison with the sexually active young blondes suggest:

  • Obama is a girly-man.
  • Obama will sleep with your white daughters.
  • Obama is too young.
  • Obama is a Hollywood liberal.

I’d say the sexism is in the use of two women to suggest shallowness and preening celebrity. No male role models of that type were available. Yeah right.

Even former McCain strategist John Weaver has criticised the ad, calling it “childish.”

“John’s been a celebrity ever since he was shot down,” Weaver said. “There is legitimate mockery of a political campaign now, and it isn’t at Obama’s. For McCain’s sake, this tomfoolery needs to stop.”

Comedian Steve Young jokes that “Satirists Refuse to Spoof “The Spoofiest Campaign Commercial…Ever”. Sacha Baron Cohen: “I can’t tell if they’re joking.” But that’s the whole point of the exercise. The ad gets the pundits chewing over the latest Republican attack line (“no, he’s not really a preening celecbrity..”) and gets coverage way beyond the time bought to air it.

Bottom line: McCain is an arsehole.

[Update: William Bradley at HuffPo has a go at explaining the sudden burst of negative advertising from the McCain campaign.]

McCain goes for the low road

July 31, 2008

John McCain has given up on fighting a “respectful” campaign and — with more than three months to go before the election — started hitting as low as he can. The dog.

It seems like just a few weeks ago he said:

“I respect and admire Senator Obama, and if I have ever treated him in a disrespectful way I don’t know of it,” he said. “Americans want a respectful debate. They don’t want us to finger-point and question each other’s character and integrity.”

Actually, it was. But now McCain’s people have figured that Americans are  still uncertain about Obama’s character, and that undermining their perceptions of Obama before he can establish his own narratives might just win them the election. (Remember, Obama’s big lead in electoral votes is fragile to a relatively small shift in the popular vote.) So they’ve started, well, questioning his integrity and character.

The shift to dirty politics was quite clear at the end of June. As BarbinMD on Dailykos puts it:

“… McCain has questioned Barack Obama’s patriotism, his commitment to our troops serving overseas and has even stooped to thinly veiled charges of sedition, and McCain is willing to distort and lie to do so. It’s become clear that John McCain has made a conscious choice to throw his much vaunted honor under the bus.”

That bus would be the “Straight Talk Express”, of course.

Here’s an example. McCain takes a quote from a Castro speech critical of Obama to try to link Obama to Castro. This played in South Florida.

[Update: The latest McCain ad has been moved to a new post above.]

McCain’s Double-Talk Express

July 26, 2008

US blogger Chris Bowers has a challenge: What Is Your Favorite Contradictory McCain Attack? Here’s his ampling from the last couple of weeks:

1. Seventeen days after taking a trip abroad to Colombia and Mexico, five weeks after giving a paid campaign speech in Canada, and two months after criticizing Obama for not going to Iraq, the McCain campaign criticizes Obama for taking a trip abroad that includes a stop in Iraq.

2. Eleven days after holding a press conference to claim that Obama is a serial flip-flopper, McCain argues that Obama is the most extremist member of the Senate.

3. Five days after releasing a documentary criticizing Obama for flip-flopping on Iraq, the McCain campaign argues that Obama is too inflexible on Iraq.

4. After spending April and May calling Obama an elitist, they spent June and July calling him “typical.”

So, people like Farrar may parrot Republican talking points about Obama’s “flip-flops”, but the fact is, “the biggest flip-flops in this campaign are the attacks that McCain makes.”

As the DailyKos puts it:

“Whether it’s Roe v. Wade or off-shore drilling or a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, McCain has taken opposite sides. Is it flip-floppery? Or is it flim-flammery?”

“He was anti-Grover Norquist before he was pro-Grover Norquist. He opposed torture before he yielded to White House demands. He was for campaign-finance reform before he was against a reform provision he sponsored two years earlier. He opposed presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he favored it. He was anti-ethanol, then for it. He supported flying the Confederate flag on government property before he rejected the practice. He was for talking with Hamas until he was against it. He favored privatizing Social Security before he said he never was in favor of privatizing Social Security. He opposed the Bush tax cuts for the rich until he voted for them, twice.”

PS My favourite is the criticism of Obama for going to Iraq. That really does take the cake. He went there himself, and he criticised Obama for not going there.

Mr foreign policy expert

July 15, 2008

Below, Cindy McCain’s advice on how to get around her home state Arizona. But wait! Not to be outdone, the candidate himself has got in on the act. See if you can spot the mistake:

“I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia…”

Wasn’t too hard was it? Unless you’re the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency.

It’s so hard to get good pilots, you know

July 15, 2008

Cindy McCain says that, “in Arizona, the only way to get around the state is by “small private plane.” (Excerpt of CNN interview here.)

I’ve driven across the state a couple of times, but didn’t have the benefit of Cindy’s savvy advice. I’ll know better next time.

And they’re trying to make out that Obama’s elitist!