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.
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.
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.
Please, take a look.
First, here's a brief timeline that puts the story of the day in context:
July 23: A Washington Times piece on Tavis Smiley quotes Gwen Ifill and identifies her as "author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."
August 5: The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Ifill's been tapped as the moderator for the VP debate.
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.
There may have been other cases in which the Globe editorialized online hours after a given story broke, but I can't think of any.
In any case: the paper's editorial page has already weighed in on John McCain's proposal to cancel Friday's debate and grind the presidential campaign to a halt. An excerpt:
McCain's desire to seize the initiative is understandable, for the
meltdown on an ill-regulated Wall Street is the harshest indictment
possible of Republican stewardship of the economy.
That's the obvious, racially charged subtext of this new, factually incorrect John McCain ad:
One more reason to think the GOP knew exactly how the Sarah Palin pick would pan out.
Some of the people who responded to my story in this week's Phoenix--which argues that John McCain's decision to run against the press is going to lead to tougher coverage of his campaign--lamented my suggestion that journalists do their jobs differently depending on how they're treated.
Maybe we shouldn't, but we do.
Remember that FactCheck.org report which concluded (dubiously, I've argued) that Sarah Palin had been the victim of "sliming"?
FactCheck now reports that the McCain campaign is misusing the report in question by suggesting, in a new ad, that the alleged "sliming" came from the Obama campaign. Here's how FactCheck puts it in its latest report, "McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding":
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.