So, John McCain has heeded his former chief strategist's advice and called out supporters who were engaging in over-the-top anti-Obama vitriol:
McCain was booed at a town-hall meeting here [in Lakeville, MN] when he rebuked a man who said he was "scared…to bring a child up" under an Obama presidency. "I have to tell you he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States," McCain said to audible disapproval.
This Politico piece by Jonathan Martin, who's been covering the Republicans during the presidential campaign, is an absolute must-read. First off, his description of the anger he's been seeing on the trail is chilling:
With McCain passing up the opportunity to level any tough personal
shots in his first two debates and the very real prospect of an Obama
presidency setting in, the sort of hard-core partisan activists who
turn out for campaign events are venting in unusually personal terms.
Here's the truth-challenged WTKK host working to simultaneously A) whip up extreme anti-Obama sentiment and B) insert enough disclaimers that he won't get in trouble if anyone acts accordingly:
You have a job and I do too. My job, with your help, is to start today, or recommit today, with 29 days left in this campaign, to politically destroy Barack Obama.
In which, among other things, I examine why people flipped out over Gwen Ifill last week, but keep quiet about Bob Schieffer in '04. (BTW, Schieffer's also moderating the third presidential debate nPublishext week.)
As Election Day gets closer and John McCain struggles to close the gap with Barack Obama, expect McCain and his surrogates to lean even more heavily on the William Ayers argument--wherein Obama's association with Ayers renders him unfit for the presidency.
Here's why this line of reasoning is nonsensical. Obama and Ayers met while working together on the Annenberg Challenge , an initiative funded by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, which was funded by the Annenberg Foundation, which was created by Walter H.
I'm loathe to give even bad publicity to Sean Hannity's bogus anti-Obama infomercial. But this South Florida Sun-Sentinel post on Andy Martin, who played a starring role in the program, deserves to be quoted in full:
On an hourlong documentary over the weekend, Fox News aired an innuendo-driven program narrated by Sean Hannity called "Obama & Friends: The History of Radicalism."
Today on Morning Edition, NPR's Renee Montagne reported from a debate-viewing party for undecided voters last night in New Mexico, a battleground state where Barack Obama currently has a slight edge. It strikes me as odd that anyone's still undecided, but get that some people might still be weighing the pros and cons of each candidate: maybe you like Obama's call for change but see McCain as more experienced.
Today on Salon, Gary Kamiya makes a convincing connection between John McCain's new win-at-all-costs strategy and the approach Barry Goldwater used during the final days of his '64 run against Lyndon Johnson:
In fall 1964, Barry Goldwater was tanking in the polls, hammered by the media and by his Democratic opponent, Lyndon Johnson, as a radical who might start a nuclear war and would threaten cherished social programs like Social Security.
As you watch the McCain campaign's late push to tie Barack Obama to William Ayers, and the Obama camp's response, and sundry attempts to say whether the charge is true or false, here's something to keep in mind: among conservatives, McCain and his surrogates may actually benefit from leveling charges that are promptly deemd false.
Please, take a look.
Thanks to an email from Human Events, I just learned that "patriotic black conservative" Lloyd Marcus has recorded a special musical tribute to Sarah Palin. Enjoy!
Is Sarah Palin an overmanaged candidate? Yes! says CNN's Gloria Borger:
[N]ow the McCain campaign has a real problem. They've managed to turn
a self-confident and appealing candidate into one who is afraid of
veering off her talking points. She's clearly studying and cramming,
but it's like trying to cram for an exam when you haven't really taken
This week's Phoenix included a short excerpt of a Q-and-A I did with Rory O'Connor, the media critic and author of Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio. Here--finally!--is a full transcript of my chat with O'Connor, who recently returned to Boston as a fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy.
Lipstick-gate is currently the top item on Google News. But if you look for the full quote that triggered it, you won't get it from Fox's latest write-up, or the Times's, or the Wall Street Journal's, or numerous others.
This is a shame, because the quote in question makes it abundantly clear that Barack Obama did not, in fact, liken Sarah Palin to a pig.
Therein, I suggest that the answer is yes--and that the backlash will be decisive on Election Day.