Who's playing politics with Gustav?

After the RNC winnowed itself back yesterday afternoon due to Hurricane Gustav, I considered the political ramifications and suggested that McCain could benefit--but only if his campaign displayed caution and sublety.

So much for that. From Politico's Jonathan Martin:

John McCain's campaign manager today accused Barack Obama of practicing politics as Hurricane Gustav bears down on the Gulf Coast.

Rick Davis, in a brief interview following a pep talk he gave to convention volunteers in St. Paul, Minn., said there was a difference between the actions of McCain and Obama.

"Look at what happened today — did Barack Obama attack John McCain or Sarah Palin?" Davis asked.  

Told Obama had criticized McCain and Palin on the campaign trail over pay equity, Davis continued: "So he attacks us while there's a hurricane going on and John McCain suspends his convention basically. What bigger contrast can you have about putting your country first?" 

Unfortunately, Martin didn't note that Davis is actually the one playing politics with Katrina here. Maybe next time, Jonathan?

Meanwhile, Time's Michael Scherer actually keeps his thinking cap on and notes that some of McCain's allies haven't been heeding his call to suspend partisan politicking.

Keep an eye on this one, folks. The press's willingness (or lack thereof) to be clear-headed about McCain's Gustav spin could end up deciding who wins in November.

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