Thursday, September 18, 2008


Has John McCain lost whatever precarious control he might have once held over his campaign?

Is he even at the top of the ticket anymore:

Wow, a Palin-McCain Administration. That was quick!

Maybe he should turn it all over to her, since she's rapidly becoming more headache than he signed on for with his split-second vetting process. Her husband has now joined her in stonewalling investigators in her Troopergate scandal. Today's lie-of-the-day revelation is that while she may have cut her mayoral salary when first taking office, it ended up higher still than the original level, not to mention her unilateral $50,000 office redecoration. And then there's her in a speech today proposing the very same federal transparency law that Barack Obama already co-sponsored and got passed in the Senate. You know, that guy she and McCain say has "zero" legislative accomplishment.

In fact, the McCain campaign's idea of control here is to call up Alaskan truth-telling investigative reporters to try and intimidate them into shutting up!

What else if OOC (Out Of Control) for McCain? Besides the whole rain in Spain fiasco noted yesterday, today he went medieval on the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman, former GOP Congressman Chris Cox, which isn't exactly something a President can do, even if it were to somehow magically solve the collapse created by decades of GOP led financial deregulation. A statement like that is technically called, in campaign terms, "flailing."

None of the events this past week make Johnny's Social Security privatization stance appear like a smart idea, either:

Then there's his fellow Republicans. Karl Rove using terms like "angry" and "hothead" to describe the nominee, true GOP maverick Chuck Hagel calling out Palin as not ready, and another true GOP maverick, Maryland Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, endorsing Barack Obama. No control over elements of his own party.

And what is to be made of the latest smears against Obama? The Republican Jewish Coalition, in a large paid print ad, is pretending some sort of connection between Pat Buchanan and Obama, in a transparent and dishonest attempt to scare elderly Jews away from voting for him. Meanwhile the McCain campaign itself has once again injected race in to the race, getting called out by Time's Karen Tumulty for their barely disguised race-baiting ad: "Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman."

If that's McCain exerting control, it looks even worse.

And on the other side of the campaign, there's Obama working a target-rich environment, running an ad highlighting McCain economic advisers Carly Fiorina and Phil Gramm, and openly ridiculing McCain's flip-flops with comparisons to Saturday Night Live sketches and getting laughs saying that McCain can't decide if he's Barry Goldwater or...wait for it...Dennis Kucinich.

Right now the crowds are laughing along with Barack, and in politics the ridicule stage is always the beginning of the end. Witness Stephen Colbert at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner, when the room wasn't laughing but by the end of the week everyone else in America was -- at Bush. It was the turning point.

This is the piercing of the McCain teflon. The press corps is finally abandoning him, and while an international incident or an above-expectations first debate performance (the one on foreign affairs, McCain's supposed strength) might turn things around for Johnny. Maybe Obama falters, maybe McCain crates a strong enough diversion.

But follow the laughter. If you hear enough of it, in big enough crowds, public enough places or by the commentators themselves against Sarah Palin or her running mate, it'll be all over.

Like with this guy.


Anonymous said...

It is really astounding that GWB is nowhere to be found as HIS treasury secretary (unelected) and HIS Fed Chairman (unelected) unilaterally decide to commit potentially $trillions of the taxpayers' money.

(Yes, the number is trillions. All the TV reports pertain to face value of these instruments, not the underlying size of actual liabilities).

slick said...

Watching McNasty this time around, I was half-expecting his head to suddenly explode. There's no way such an angry contemptuous man should be within reaching distance of the Nuke'em button...