Saturday, August 02, 2008

McCain campaign finally gets organized, jumps straight into the gutter

New Senate race updates 8/2, click here.

Observers agree that while Obama and Clinton were in their protracted struggle for the Democratic nomination this past spring, the McCain campaign failed to take advantage of the situation. The Arizona Senator's campaign was instead hindered by resignations of staff members and a lagging effort to build a national organization.

Recently however, McCain seems to have finally settled on a consistent theme to carry him through to November. That theme is: Abanbon completely earlier promises to run a clean campaign free of personal attacks. Instead, try to destroy Barack Obama with vicious smears and attacks on his patriotism. And no accusation, no matter how demonstrably untrue, is off the table.

The public got a taste of Senator McCain's new gutter-based game plan in July when he suggested that Obama "would rather lose a war than lose a campaign," and McCain also began running an ad showing Obama side-by-side with Fidel Castro.

More recently, McCain has desperately tried to counter the positive news coverage of Obama's trip to the Middle East and Europe by running an ad suggesting that Obama called off a planned trip to visit wounded troops because he was told he could not bring cameras with him. In reality, Obama called off the visit only because he was informed that it would not have been appropriate because the was on trip paid for by his campaign and because he was accompanied by campaign staff rather than his Senate Office staff.

In squabbles such as this, most journalists usually avoid taking sides because they value the appearance of objectivity. But in this case even the mainstream media is calling the McCain ad "literally untrue." Ironically, McCain also prepared an Obama attack ad scheduled to run if Obama had made the hospital visit, this one suggesting that was using wounded troops as campaign props.

Can McCain go any lower? Yes! This week, it's an ad implying that Obama's support is nothing more than media hype, and suggesting that he be compared to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Is McCain proud of himself? Yes he is.

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