Saturday, April 26, 2008

Battle of the Spokesmen

First Obama's:

“The fact that Senator McCain can’t get his own party to take down this misleading, personal attack ad raises serious questions about his promise to the American people that he will run a civil, respectful campaign,” Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said in a statement.

Then McCain's:

“Barack Obama has time and again refused to step forward and personally condemn repeated attacks on John McCain’s character and integrity by the Chairman of the DNC — not a state party — nor outrageous attacks by his surrogates Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Ed Schultz. We’ll start taking lessons from Barack Obama when he displays one ounce of the decency and courtesy that John McCain has shown in this campaign.” — McCain spokesman Brian Rogers

The tussle is over an ad being run by the North Carolina GOP that attacks a couple State candidates for even endorsing Obama due to his 20 year association with Reverend Wright.

The McCain campaign and some in the national party have requested that they pull the ad and argued that it wasn't appropriate or representative of the party's values. But as everyone is aware, except perhaps the Obama Campaign, the State parties, Democratic or Republican, are not directly subordinate to the national party. Democrats should understand this quite well this campaign season, given that the defiance of Michigan and Florida State parties has led to all sorts of problems with the national Democratic Party.

It's worth noting the hypocrisy of the Obama campaign, not just on some expectation of State party subordination to the national party... an absurd notion given the Democrats Michigan/Florida mess... but also of his criticism of McCain's campaign tactics.

As noted on the DNC claims that the McCain spokesman was referring to:


Democratic National Committee proposes to spend unlimited amounts of money to "tell the real story" about John McCain before Republicans can "start smearing" the eventual Democratic nominee. But the line of attack the Democrats outline to their potential donors in an e-mail contains some claims that are false or misleading.
  • The DNC paints McCain as favoring "endless war" in Iraq. What McCain actually said is that he wouldn't mind a hundred-year troop presence "as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."

  • It says McCain "looked the other way" rather than investigate Jack Abramoff and a Republican "Culture of Corruption." In fact, McCain's investigation led to a prison term for Abramoff and the downfall of several powerful Republicans. His investigators didn't probe members of Congress directly, but that wasn't the job of his Indian Affairs Committee. And in any case, federal prosecutors opposed a competing congressional investigation which might have interfered with their own efforts.

  • The DNC message makes criticisms of McCain that could be directed at its own leading candidates as well. It notes that he lacks training in economics, which is equally true of Clinton and Obama. And it accuses him of "staggering" reliance on lobbyists for campaign help, when Clinton also has substantial aid from lobbyists and Obama has some from former lobbyists.
If recent history is any guide, the preemptive attack that the DNC outlines in this message will be followed by similar attacks by Republicans.

The fact that McCain is even getting involved in this issue to try to get the State to pull an ad is going above and beyond to run a clean campaign. Other Republicans are furious he's doing so given that Obama has shown time and time again that, while he's whine and cry all day long if anyone attacks him, he'll gladly spread dirty rumors and lies against his opponents, both directly and through surrogates.

Obama didn't just ignore the DNC's dishonest smears against McCain... he's using them.

The Republicans probably have a right to be peeved at McCain for trying to influence others to pull punches, but in my opinion the ad in question was pretty idiotic. Guilt by association by another association? Maybe if the ad was actually aimed at Obama it'd make more sense, but it's attacking people who have merely endorsed him.

Perhaps instead of being peeved at McCain, adding to the intra-party fighting, they should be joining on board with a real attack on Obama for blatant hypocrisy.

Just my 2 cents.

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