What a difference two years and a well-run campaign makes.
Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’
The big day for US politics finally arrives. I don’t intend to spend too much time tracking the results today – the polls have become pretty clear and it’s a work day. But I have to admit to feeling more excited about this today than I have in recent weeks – frankly, I’ve just been over it and waiting for McCain and Palin to fade into obscurity.
We’re getting free-to-air TV coverage of the election here in Australia, so if you’re in the mood, switch on the box, load up a few US web sites, and join the discussion with some fellows Aussies: The Poll Bludger has a liveblog, as does The Tally Room; there’s an open thread at LP; or go to Andrew Bolt’s site to talk about how the liberal media lynched Sarah Palin, or tim’s site to talk about – well, nothing coherent. Oh, and Planet Janet says that Obama will appoint judges who will perform gay abortions in their courtrooms – beware, Australia.
Enjoy the day.
The actions in the Republican Party’s campaign is now all about positioning for 2012:
With 10 days until Election Day, long-brewing tensions between GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin and key aides to Sen. John McCain have become so intense, they are spilling out in public, sources say.
McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls — recorded messages often used to attack a candidate’s opponent — “irritating” even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign’s decision to pull out of Michigan.
It can’t be easy to be part of a political campaign in its death throes – you know there is no legitimate hope of winning, but also know that you can’t appear to have given up. We saw it last November in Team Howard; the Clinton campaign went through it earlier this year; and now it’s the Republicans’ turn. And Sarah Palin is presumably trying to establish her credentials for a tilt at Obama four years from now – or, at the very least, avoid becoming an historical footnote equivalent to a one-hit wonder.
The next week and a half could get interesting if the tensions and the jockeying for position are starting to spill out in public. But I did find this bit particularly interesting:
“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.
There is actually a word that might describe her behaviour better than ‘diva’:
After fomenting fear and anger during the past week, it appears John McCain is taking some steps to defuse the tensions. Nicholas Gruen, among others, is thankful that McCain is showing some sense in attempting to move his campaign away from inciting hatred and violence. Provided it’s not simply a gesture to refute criticism of the smear campaign that is largely being carried out by Sarah Palin, I concur.
But there is another aspect of these expressions of suspicion by McCain supporters that is not addressed:
Look at the interaction between McCain and the lady near the end of that clip:
And then later, somebody’s mean old gramma called Obama an “Arab.” McCain stopped her short, “No, Ma’am. No, Ma’am,” he said. “He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”
So, the rebuttal to her distrust of Obama because he is an “Arab” is to point out that he is a decent family man and a citizen. Doesn’t that imply that Arabs cannot be decent family men or citizens?
I know that McCain probably had the general form of the statements he made prepared before this meeting began – obviously, his campaign has made a decision that he needs to speak out against at least a couple of the bigoted and hateful statements about Obama – but these implications are often left unanswered. In this case, the suggestion was that he is an “Arab” – this week, On the Media noted a similar pattern in the rumours that Obama is a Muslim.
John McCain might have done something (whether real or symbolic) to distance himself from the mistrust of Barack Obama as “foreign”. But he did nothing to respond to the underlying bigotry that drives those people’s attitudes and behaviour toward Obama.