When McCain Attacks

Matt Yglesias makes a good point:

Apparently on ABC this morning Mark Halperin was arguing that housegate would ultimately wind up being bad for . . . Barack Obama because . . . all news is good news for John McCain it “opened the door” to Rezko, Ayers, Wright and other attacks on Obama.

. . . [T]he underlying premises that a door needs to be opened for McCain to deploy those kind of attacks is bizarre. Nothing was stopping the McCain campaign from “going there” . . . They just weren’t doing it because they didn’t think it was the correct time[.] . . . But you’d have to be extraordinarily naive to believe that the McCain campaign was genuinely just not going to mention any of this stuff until Mean Ol’ Barack came along to make fun of the idea of being so rich . . .

Quite so. As silly as the idea that if Hillary Clinton had not mentioned Obama's lack of experience, McCain would not have mentioned it. There was a time when that argument was treated as NOT "extraordinarily naive" and "bizarre." Funny that.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Making the campaign about character (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by myiq2xu on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:26:20 PM EST
    instead of issues is playing Rove's game.

    Their rules, their field.

    The Obama campaign may be using Rove's playbook, but the GOP is using Rove.

    True that (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:32:20 PM EST
    And the GOP has 527s out there who can go as low as they want, probably keeping enough distance from McCain to get away with it.

    But only to the extent they (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:20:52 PM EST
    The Obama campaign may be using Rove's playbook, but the GOP is using Rove.

    Can figure it out. There are tactics in it we can all see.

    Kind of like trying to recreate your favorite restaurant's dish. We know it has beef, but not sure what cut.


    short memory or bad memory? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ford Prefect on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 12:06:07 AM EST
    Didnt Obama make his campaign about Hillary Clinton's character, Her "baggage" and His personality? My My!! how soon people forget within weeks of the primary? I was reading somewhere that Axelrod actually admired Rove for figuring out that elections are not about laundry list of policy positions, but it is about candidates personality, character and comfort level of the voter with both.

    You dont believe the other side noticed all this and are using the same tactics. Not that they couldnt come up with this on their own. But It isnt as alien to our own nominee as you think it is.


    The difference (5.00 / 11) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:26:56 PM EST
    Yes, McCain would have, but Obama provided him an invitation to do so.

    Doesn't seem like such dirty politics when it comes by invitation....

    It's part of the conversation process. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:58:16 PM EST
    "Well, now that you've brought it up...."

    We use this sort of topic-shift communication every day, so it feels organic as part of the ongoing discussion/campaign.

    I'm sure both sides have talking points and commercials in the can and ready to go when the other side triggers certain particular discussions.  If they don't get triggered, they can all be dumped into the media stream during the last weeks of the campaign anyway.


    attack vs counter-attack... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:21:56 PM EST
    the "opening the door" thing is about the difference between how an "attack" ad is perceived, and how a "counter-attack" ad is perceived.  People disapprove of "attack" ads, but a "counter-attack" ad does not meet with the same kind of reaction -- if it can be related to the original attack.

    When Obama released his "McCain/Reed/Abramoff ad, I thought it presented a perfect opportunity to hit Obama, and hit him VERY hard, on Rezko -- the fact that the response was about Ayres seemed off to me, because there is not the correlation between Abramoff and Rezko (political corruption felons).  

    Rezko is a gift that will keep on giving for McCain.  Not only does it provide the specific "Obama is tied to corruption" angle, but its a gold mine of dog whistle politics ("Chicago politics", and especially Rezko's slumlording in Obama's district, all are "legitimate" campaign issues that can be used in underhanded ways)


    for the media, not McCain (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by souvarine on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:30:16 PM EST
    McCain needs to give the media a fig-leaf so that they can excuse him for going more negative. His campaign has also made the argument that Obama has reversed himself and made wives fair game by going after Cindy's assets.

    McCain doesn't need an excuse to go more negative, he needs to give the media a reason to say both campaigns are getting in the gutter.

    Equalizing seems to help McCain (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by waldenpond on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:35:06 PM EST
    They picked Biden's age, equalizes McCain's age
    They picked Biden's surgery, covers McCain's ambien (yes, I know these are stupid issues)
    They picked a more experienced VP which matches McCain's view that Obama is inexperienced.
    They picked Biden for FP experience which equalizes McCain's military experience.

    I think merely equalizing will works against 'new' with undecided voters.  Go with who you know.

    Again, if the media says they are both in the gutter... for me, that's to McCain's advantage.  If McCain picks someone with economic bona fides, the Dems might very well be in trouble as it allows the Repubs an advantage on what is right now an even field even with Obama's media adoration.


    not economic bona fides... (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:25:27 PM EST
    rather, McCain should strongly consider someone who was a governor who was able to cut taxes thanks to the Clinton economic miracle.  It doesn't matter that every state's coffers were flush thanks to Clinton's economic policies, all that is important is the image of someone who could cut taxes without cutting services.  

    Bizarre is right. Short-sighted is another (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:31:08 PM EST
    word that comes to mind.  It's primary thinking, still.

    The torch-bearers for Obama need to realize that the issues were always there, and it was only a matter of time before they started appearing.  And since I would bet that the media will continue to pretend these are not issues worth covering, McCain will be the one defining them for the voters, and Obama will be on defense, not offense.  So far, "defense" seems to consist of whining.

    McCain needs to do an ad with a compilation of all these Obama whine-fests, with a siren in the background, culminating with the arrival of the "Whaaa-ambulance."

    A conservative am talk show guy (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:35:19 PM EST
    sd. the issue isn't how many homes the McCain's own, but show many houses Ayers and Dohrn blew up.  Pretty good.

    Forgot the rest: a person with Obama's (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:43:05 PM EST
    resume applying to CIA or FBI couldn't get the job due to past associations and admitted drug use.  In these trying times, do we want this person in charge, etc etc.

    What a very interesting point! (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:51:29 PM EST
    Yes, it is an interesting point. (none / 0) (#85)
    by prittfumes on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 10:41:28 PM EST
    But GWB's DWI didn't keep him out of the WH. Don't know if it would have kept him out of the FBI or CIA.

    oculus - That is a good point. (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by Bluesage on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:43:49 PM EST
    My husband has, over the years, been vetted and given top security clearances because of his work and there is no way that Obama would ever be able to get those clearances.  The first time I did all the paperwork for one of these I thought it would never end.  Every day of your life, both personal and professional, is scrutinized and any kinks and that's that.  No way with his associations and drug use could he be given these clearances.  But then again, GeeDubya should not have any clearances either.  

    In other words, (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:24:04 PM EST
    Obama will not be able to get a Government Security Clearance?



    But of course, (none / 0) (#77)
    by lilburro on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 04:12:05 PM EST
    if we hired instead of elected, we definitely wouldn't have had GW as President.  So it goes.

    Counterpunches are usually more effective (5.00 / 7) (#10)
    by Exeter on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:36:20 PM EST
    You don't come off as being negative, just defending yourself.

    McCain gave us an opening - (none / 0) (#55)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:43:28 PM EST
    he and Politico who didn't have to report that part of their conversation with him - we took it - actually the media were all over it before I ever heard Obama say a word - he piled on is probably more accurate.

    Counter-punches most times make the person who was attacked first look whiny and weak - not the person who took the first shot.  Democrats are always the wimpy guys on the playground who don't take opportunities handed to them on a silver platter and then only hit back when they've been hit so hard they can't come back.  I'm sick of that game.  It gets us no where fast.

    People need to get real - camp McCain is going to use each and every bit of dirt they can find and fabricate to win this election.  It would not matter if Obama endorsed McCain - they'd bury him regardless - that is what they try to do with out candidates - it is the only way they know to win an election.  The Rezko ad was ready to go ages ago.  Excusing themselves by suggesting that the tone deaf and extremely stupid answer McCain gave to that reporter means they get to lob some dirt doesn't cut it.  It makes them look like the bullying whiners that they always have been.

    No one suddenly woke up one morning on Obama's team and said "today is houses day".  John McCain did a phone interview in which he gave a political response - it was released by the reporter - and picked up by the media far and wide.  Why you ask?  Because it is a strange and foolish answer to what is generally an easy question for most people.  Obama would have looked like a stiff if he didn't recognize how bizarre it was too - or he would have looked like he understood - which would have been worse actually.

    And you know what would have happened if Obama didn't respond?  The McCain campaign would have released the Rezko stuff to deflect attention away from themselves - and we'd all be sitting her annoyed that Obama didn't take the opportunity to hit McCain when he could.


    nonsense... (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:33:06 PM EST
    Counter-punches most times make the person who was attacked first look whiny and weak - not the person who took the first shot.

    a counter-punch is an offensive move -- using Obama's attack on McCain's houses to hit him on Rezko isn't 'whining', its fighting back.

    It should be noted that McCain did not so much "whine about the attack on his wife" as say that "now that Obama has attacked my wife, I feel free to attack his wife."  


    McCain is a coward to hide (none / 0) (#83)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 08:57:46 PM EST
    behind his wife's money.

    There was no attack on his wife.  

    People across the country from all walks of life thought it was quizzical that he couldn't answer a simple question with a simple answer.  

    John McCain made the decision to say he'd have his staff get back to the Politico reporter - his wife didn't make that decision and neither did Michelle Obama - not sure why he thinks that he can drag them into it too - as if they are pawns in his bullying game.


    are you serious? (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Ford Prefect on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 12:16:32 AM EST
    Have you been watching Obama talk? He could be the poster child for "not being able to answer a simple question" without a teleprompter. He even blew the question "why do you want to be president" in an LA forum with an bloviating long winded answer. Remember the "above my pay-grade" answer, what is he now? a leader who aspires to be the world leader or a guy applying for grade 3 govt job? I think that was one of the worst answers from anyone for that question.

    This is not to say McCain's answer was any good. Obama almost always seems to be dodging and nuancing even the simplest of answers. He made McCain look like the most straightforward man with strong convictions, at the faith forum.


    I'm no McCain fan, (none / 0) (#86)
    by prittfumes on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 10:45:54 PM EST
    but I don't the word "coward" fits a man with his history. Just sayin'.

    Interesting.... (none / 0) (#67)
    by ding7777 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:20:12 PM EST
    Was the media's intention to hurt Obama by baiting him or to help Obama by over-hyping a silly Q/A with McCain?

    Well, that's the queston... (none / 0) (#78)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 04:21:41 PM EST
    ... isn't it?

    Could be as simple as the reporter (none / 0) (#84)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 08:59:57 PM EST
    did not have a lot of loyalty to McCain and thought he had a quippy gotcha story that would get picked up - and it DID get picked up widely - before Obama ever said anything about it.

    well, (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by NJDem on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:38:28 PM EST
    what do you all think of this new McCain attack ad--using HRC not only against Obama--but the fact that she was passed up for VP?  


    OUCH!! But the obama camp makes it so (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:39:47 PM EST
    easy to come up with this stuff...

    I just don't like (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by NJDem on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:44:33 PM EST
    that she'll be blamed for the ad.  But boy, John is laying it on thick for 'disgruntled' HRC supporters.  Next thing you know he'll dedicate his rendition of ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me" to them at the GOP Convention!

    This whole election season has been just too weird...


    NJ...I hear ya, but McCain is no dummy. (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:48:37 PM EST
    He knows exactly how disgruntled we are and is pandering, sure; but at least he is paying attention, unlike some others.

    And, yes, many days I feel like we are in bizarro world.


    He knows we are very uncertain of Obama (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:26:12 PM EST
    but, that won't make my protest vote check his name.

    Now, if he proves to me that he is as concerned about the survival of our democracy, he could probably count me as a vote.


    Example: "When McCain Attacks" (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:52:47 PM EST
    lol....can't help thinking of "When Good (none / 0) (#25)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:59:26 PM EST
    Senator's Go Bad :)

    All the Repubs are laying it on thick. (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Teresa on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:50:45 PM EST
    There is no Clinton bashing even on right wing radio. They skip right over the nineties when they bash Obama for his "liberal" views. They talk about the sixties. I never thought I'd see an election where neither side wanted to mention the Clinton Presidency!

    This isn't aimed at Hillary supporters as much as (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by esmense on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:44:02 PM EST
    it is aimed at the media. It provides a reason for another news cycle in which the media get to indulge in their favorite time waster -- trashing the Clintons.

    There's no advantage to the Obama campaign in this in the long run. But his supporters, and worse his campaign, seem blinded to the danger, and the advantages the Republicans expect from this strategy, by their hatred of the Clintons.


    How many McCain operatives will (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:48:42 PM EST
    be working the crowds in Denver?

    It's embarassing (none / 0) (#30)
    by DFLer on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:12:58 PM EST
    and I don't like it either.

    The editing of the clips makes it obvious that HRC's words were cut off.... jeez McCain...at least employ a good audio editor who knows how to do a cross-fade!


    Classic (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:51:47 PM EST
    I would bet $100 that the McCain camp is puttng next to no money behind this ad - doing no ad buys.  Instead they are counting on the media to run it for free.  And since it's about that demon Hillary, the media will oblige.  

    Annoying as heck.  Wonder if one could make a similar ad using Romney?  Course, he didn't get as many votes as HRC but they could run it in states he won handily.


    think you're right, there (none / 0) (#27)
    by DFLer on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:09:44 PM EST
    and they are making a deal of it....I wish the msnbc hairs would stop asking about Hillary and get to the issues.

    Hillary is still the story. Obama wants (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:14:48 PM EST
    it to be about him and the media talks about her. They have nothing else to say until something happens at the convention. CNN people today were saying that her speech should be extraordinarily pro-Obama to win "her supporters to him." And, that her speech, at this point in time, is way more important as to what she says that is Bill's.

    I wish (none / 0) (#35)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:21:50 PM EST
    That the media would require campaigns to prove they were actually putting substantial money behind these ads before they run with these stories.  If the McCain camp bought $50 worth of time in Boise, this is not a national story without the consent of the national media.  The media shouldn't provide thousands of dollars of free airplay.

    Unfortunately, reporters are dumb, ads are easy to cover and there is air time to fill (that certainly couldn't be filled by a discussion of issues - heaven forbid!  because then the talking heads would actually have to learn about issues.)


    You forget one thing: (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:31:11 PM EST
    McCain has to spend all the money he's raised before the convention, when he will be using public financing.  He raised - what? - over 20 million in July, and we don't know the August numbers yet.  That's going to go into ads and buying time to run them.

    I read he was planning on spending (none / 0) (#43)
    by nycstray on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:33:45 PM EST
    20 mil this month.

    Can they use the money they have now for printing materials, office rents, etc that they will need later?


    Sure (none / 0) (#44)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:34:57 PM EST
    But I doubt a lot of money will go into THIS ad.  It's the kind of thing that works when talked about by pundits but would just seem bizarre if you caught it during 30 Rock.

    It is another instance where the Democrats (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:12:45 PM EST
    gave McCain the opening.

    The Republicans have been lying in wait for the Democrats to bring up a number of issues, so they can look like they're countering, not firing the first shot.

    The Obama campaign keeps walking right into it.  If they learn their lesson and stop opening the door, the Republicans will just switch to opening it themselves.


    I'm (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by tek on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:41:41 PM EST
    lovin' it!

    Apparently Joe Biden's retort (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:12:05 PM EST
    to his earlier statement about Obama being to inexperienced, etc., he is now saying that he said that then, he has gotten to know him now, and so should we. I'm curious as to whoeveer McCain chooses as his veep will have to have good foreign policy credentials to debate Biden. The only one I can think of is Lieberman and I'm not too sure lingering, undecided dems would vote for that ticket, nevertheless, conservatives.

    I'm not sure McCain's VP need FP cred (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:15:48 PM EST
    since the U.S. gives the edge to McCain.  Also, if McCain's VP pick is 'educable' as Cream discusses, they won't need 25 years on the FR Committee (or however long Biden has been there).

    Got to know him how? He's been on the (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by Teresa on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:18:30 PM EST
    campaign trail nonstop since Biden said that. I wish he's just say that people say things like that in primaries all the time. Look at the stuff the opponents said about McCain.

    Also, I thought he said yesterday how closely he had worked with and watched Obama since is first day as miracle worker in the Senate. I know this is politics but I'd rather have a straight talker (like Biden was).


    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by lilburro on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:36:29 PM EST
    hopefully that statement by Biden about Obama's inexperience can just recede into the past pretty quickly.  In yesterday's speech Biden acted like Obama was a miracle worker in the Senate and Biden was impressed way back then.  That doesn't exactly harmonize with Biden's tune that he "didn't know" Obama well enough...but whatever.

    They can lie out their butts as usual, I just want cheaper healthcare and no new wars.


    neither is guaranteed by either candidate (none / 0) (#89)
    by Ford Prefect on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 12:32:11 AM EST
    The truth of the matter is that despite what all of these candidates say (including Hillary) there are absolutely no guarantees when it comes to either healthcare or wars. On the war, What Obama advisor said in private is exactly the ttuth. Governance almost surely wont be influenced by the campaign rhetoric. Prevailing political climate as dicated public opinoin and other things + on the ground situation will always be the determining factor on the war. Democratic presidents too get suckered into wars out of the necessity to prove they are tough, although they wont hopefully get into pre-emptive phony wars like Iraq.

    On healthcare, if you think the progressive utopia is about to be ushered in either by Obama (or clinton or anyone else) and a veto proof dem majority, then you might be sorely disappointed. The fight on that wont even begin until the new admin is well underway. Those fighting this thing will be 20 times as effective and ferocious as the repubs are. THose caving in first might well be the blue dogs, yellow dogs and whatever else colors of them there are, even if a dem president is able to get this underway seriously.


    I don't know if it matters that much.. (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:21:59 PM EST
    But.. Not attacking him because obviously he can't help it, but McCain is 72 years old.  For that reason alone I'd think he'd do better to choose a VP who's perceived as experienced and ready to take over as CinC.. because the odds are higher than normal with McCain that he would not finish his term if he has health problems etc.  I hate to say that because it feels like bad karma and I certainly don't wish anything to happen, but in practical terms it's a factor (I think his own team would agree).

    Far as a debate goes.. hmm.. Would we have debate moderators who'd ask substantive foreign policy questions and challenge the candidates to draw on extensive knowledge in order to answer... instead of just "gotcha" crap and letting them stick to talking points.. What are the odds of that.


    Biden in debates (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:26:25 PM EST
    I don't recall Biden being that great in debates - he has a tendency to talk and talk and talk.  There is a reason that someone who's being touted now as "perfect" had such a piss-poor showing in the primaries.

    And, I know others disagree, but despite the "fighting" rhetoric yesterday, I just don't buy it.  Biden has not had a career of "fighting"; just the opposite.  Until someone can show me where Biden actually stood up against someone (because it surely wasn't Clarence Thomas, the Bush Administration or the credit card companies), I'm inclined to think all this new "street fighting" rhetoric is ... just words.


    Street fighting, (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by tek on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:40:17 PM EST
    that's a great image for the Democrats isn't it?  Nope, it's not your grandfather's Democratic Party anymore--it's Barack Obama's, and it ain't pretty.

    His reputation is for (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by waldenpond on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:02:05 PM EST
    his ego and for his mouth, not issues, his mouth.  He's considered a blowhard/bloviator.  In some weird way I feel it could look like a ticket of two talkers and two egos.

    Only thing I recall (none / 0) (#48)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:39:25 PM EST
    Is the "Giuliani only has a noun, a verb, and 9-11" line.  It was pretty darn funny and spot on, IMHO.  And??  Bentsen's A+++ zinger of all time vs. Quayle didn't win the election.  And if his ads so far are any indication McCain's people are not so bad at writing comic lines either..

    Might get him a 10 second (none / 0) (#73)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:30:02 PM EST
    walk-on on a sitcom.

    Debate prediction: (none / 0) (#76)
    by Landulph on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 04:09:06 PM EST
    McCain: "People have been comparing you to Moses, Senator Obama. Well, I knew Moses. Moses was a friend of mine. And believe me, Senator, you're no Moses."

    Double zinger: Deflates Obama's celebrity status while defusing the age issue.


    i think mccain will finish his first (none / 0) (#80)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 07:29:05 PM EST
    and only term. i'd like to hear him say that also.

    In a debate, McCain's VP choice can say... (none / 0) (#37)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:23:31 PM EST
    ... "I'm not in charge of our foreign policy, so you should ask John about that."  Or "Ask our Secretary of State."  And then add... "I'm not John McCain's babysitter."

    This is not much of position of strength for the Obama team at this time.  (At least as far as I can tell.)  


    McCain's VP choice may also be smart (none / 0) (#41)
    by nycstray on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:31:32 PM EST
    enough to prepare for debates and answer the questions with enough of a grasp ;)

    Wonder what Obama is going to do without Hil leading? Hope Saddleback was a wake up call for him.


    Halperin's not dumb (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:13:23 PM EST
    I can't imagine he was saying that McCain needed the door to be opened on Rezko etc. and wouldn't have attacked on this otherwise.  Halperin and Yglesias are saying exactly the same thing, but Yglesias pretends Halperin got something wrong.

    Fair point (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:47:27 PM EST
    You made a good point (none / 0) (#62)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:52:05 PM EST
    About Hillary too.. I totally agree.  I suppose they're going to pull out the comment she made that McCain had passed the CinC test and Obama, he'd have to answer that himself.  I know Obama supporter friends of mine were awfully upset about that one.  Oh well, I think she left herself an out, so that she could argue he had answered it since then.  Biden's taking the same tack after all.

    I actually (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by tek on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:38:14 PM EST
    think Halperin is pointing out the biggest weakness of Obama's candidacy.  Obama has so many volatile issues that the media did not exploit during the primaries and he did so many dirty, corrupt things during the primaries, he will have no defense to the inevitable attacks from the Republicans.  That is why I say Obama is a bad candidate.  

    The 'bots might get outraged when their Darling is attacked, but the people still deciding will see that it's a two way street and McCain has more experience.

    He *said* (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:46:15 PM EST
    A lot of controversial things during the primaries as well, if I recall.. not controversial to the Democratic base, but things that probably wouldn't play well on a national stage.  As if the GOP wasn't paying attention.  And then the 'the light will shine down.. you HAVE to vote for Barack' thing in McCain's current ads.  Pretty sure there have been more things he said like that. I know he was joking. To me, it came off like 2/3 sarcasm and 1/3 ego.  And taken out of context.. it's trouble.

    Very true. (none / 0) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 04:59:36 PM EST
    All the flip flops on stances will be explored I'm sure.

    the folks are supposed to be the (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 07:31:46 PM EST
    leaders of the country? that's what amazes me. why wasn't obama vetted properly. why did they not prepare for what even we knew was coming?

    This question (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by weltec2 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 04:13:57 AM EST
    has left my 87 year old dad and I in incredulous disbelief since around last March. After eight years of no one looking too closely at Bush, I guess the Dems have just decided that vetting like accountability is just not necessary.

    yup, my condo complex (none / 0) (#94)
    by hellothere on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 11:59:27 AM EST
    has a buyout offer which is a good thing. i googled the guy and found some issues with other deals he has done. i sent someone of the board an email and today they won't speak to me. pathetic! what is with people? you need to vet folks who come to you with deals that seem to be too good to resist.

    This may be somewhat off-topic, but (5.00 / 7) (#49)
    by miriam on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:39:47 PM EST
    On Lou Dobbs this past Friday, a viewer email response was priceless: If God wanted us to vote, He would have given us a candidate.

    I saw that! I don't like Dobbs' show much but (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Teresa on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:41:53 PM EST
    that was cute. I'm still boycotting Tweety so I didn't have much to select from.

    Thanks. (none / 0) (#53)
    by tree on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:42:30 PM EST
    Best laugh of the day.

    Heh (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:51:56 PM EST
    I -still- run into people who insist that the inexperience argument against Obama is so incredibly groundless that the only possible reason to make it is his race.  What can you do?

    Personally? (none / 0) (#66)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:05:32 PM EST
    I've heard comments along those lines from friends.  I've filed them away in my brain, and almost wished they'd say them to me, so I could indulge myself by expressing this anger, pitch a fit, and tell them not to call me any more or invite me to their parties, if they thought I was a racist for criticizing Obama.  I'm also trying to tell myself, they don't realize I am so personally and deeply offended.  

    But I think it would help the Obama campaign if the moment presents itself, to stand up and say a specific attack on him is not about race.  Just strategically speaking to help their chances of winning the election.  Even though some of them, from the GOP, are about race, the stuff about affirmative action and taking quotes of his book out of context, it's happening now on right wing radio, and it's wrong.  Like Harold Ford Jr. did regarding the "Call me" ad, for strategic reasons, even though the ad was morally and ethically wrong, and racist.  Maybe one day a GOP official will apologize for that one, long after the damage has been done.


    well ask them to point out a few instances of (none / 0) (#90)
    by Ford Prefect on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 12:42:32 AM EST
    his leadership experience. I would love to see one instance in his past public or private life where he truly was a leader or a visionary or a major force, not counting the co-sponsorship horsetrade or community service nonsense, where again he was no leader.

    To me, Michael moore is 10 times the leader that Obama never was and is. All he has done is make movies and given speeches.


    much to my regret, (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:54:45 PM EST
    i have gotten to know sen. obama, since the beginning of the primaries. unlike sen. biden (who was such a fan favorite, he won what, 2 or 3 delegates?), i am even less whelmed by obama now, then i was before i knew much about him.

    sen. obama is low-hanging fruit. unlike both sens. clinton and mccain, everything that came out about him (wright, rezko, ayers/dorhn) during the primaries was new to most of the voting public, making it far more interesting. there's just only so many people in AR to kill!

    further, sen. obama's claim to "new and different" is undercut by his selection of sen. biden (old, boring, and the same old same old), regardless of his reasons. and his reasons surely can't include daringly different.

    there's still time, if the SD's are paying any attention at all, to rectify the glaring error they've made, and nominate sen. clinton.

    It's not so much (none / 0) (#92)
    by weltec2 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 04:18:53 AM EST
    that he's old because he's only 65. It's that he is so much a part of the Dem machinery that so often defeats itself by trying to please too many people.

    sometimes i feel like an (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 07:36:25 PM EST
    evil villian has tied me to chair and i have to watch a trainwreck in slow motion. i keep hoping i wake up, but then i already am.

    According to Joe Biden, (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:18:44 PM EST
    McCain has already engaged in swiftboating.  What?  With those ads of Paris Hilton et al., The One, and the latest on the VP issue?  

    Not me....obama keeps throwing stuff (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:37:21 PM EST
    against the wall to see what sticks and it appears...not much has or will.  

    Remember the ABC debate fauxrage? (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by myiq2xu on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:37:28 PM EST
    The Obama bloggers ranted for days about how wrong it was for George and Charlie to ask Obama about stuff like Ayers, Rezko and Wright.

    The Obama bloggers took the position that issues were the only thing that mattered.

    Now they are cheering for Obama to attack McCain on character.

    That's rank hypocrisy.


    myiq....this is and has been obama and (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:57:01 PM EST
    his camp's M.O. from the get-go.

    Of course it is (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by myiq2xu on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:02:43 PM EST
    Hillary was unfit (according to them) because she was a Washington DC insider and voted for the AUMF.  They claimed experience doesn't matter.

    Now that Biden is the VP pick, all that will go down the memory hole.


    Was it here.. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by daria g on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:28:47 PM EST
    That Digby was quoted in a front page post, where she argued that we should attack McCain over character issues and age?  I'm not naive thinking politics is going to be all nice and fair, but since we win on the issues, why can't we try that first?  Furthermore pushing that in the blogosphere, given the blogosphere's tendencies.. isn't that just asking for it to backfire because they'll go scorched-earth with it instead of being strategic.  IMHO that sort of thinking is how "General Betray-Us" seemed like a good idea & helpful to Democrats.

    Well, attacking on age isn't such a winner (none / 0) (#93)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 25, 2008 at 08:38:29 AM EST
    All the younger people who think age alone is a disqualifier are already Obama supporters.  And most of the country is already in the 'old' demo (over 35) according to them anyway.  All those ancients won't really respond so well to age-based attacks, esp. not if they are delivered as graciously as the ones we've seen coming from the loudest Obama factions so far.

    Joe Biden is doing his job (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:20:27 PM EST
    It's not mine.

    My Reaction (none / 0) (#75)
    by Jane in CA on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:59:47 PM EST
    to that "swiftboating" comment was very similar to yours ... it's almost as if they have no idea what is going to hit them after the convention. IMHO, it is a huge political miscalculation to play the swiftboat hand this early in the game.  

    The truth hurts (none / 0) (#3)
    by bjorn on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:22:47 PM EST

    Two mainstream parties (none / 0) (#54)
    by Polkan on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 02:42:43 PM EST
    same techniques. Stoller says the netroots created the "house gaffe", not McCain. Meanwhile, a whole year in Biden's Wiki page disappeared. The year when he urged Kerry to pick McCain as his VP: http://www.bizzyblog.com/2008/08/24/more-biden-wiki-wackiness-a-whole-year-disappears/ There is no difference between the campaign techniques at this point, whatsoever.