John McCain

Be Skeered...Be Very Skeered

Paster Swank:

Left-of-left B. Hussein, as far as knowledgeable Republicans are concerned, must conclude to be quite “scared” if B. Hussein lands in the Oval Office.

Muslims will follow him there.

Jeremiah Wright will follow him there.

All liberals—both theological and political—will follow him there.

A Dem-controlled Congress will follow him there.

Pro-abortionists and pro-homosexual “marriages” will follow him there.

Those intent on overthrowing America’s biblical
heritage will follow him there.

Is that not reason to be quite scared?

And -
And if McCain continues to stroke B. Hussein, he could just be handing the election over to the mask Muslim. [sic]

McCain's Town Halls Spiral Into Outbursts Of Anger And Panic

This has been the worst week ever for American capital markets. And in some respects, it has been another 'worst week ever' for John McCain. He failed to stop his poll numbers from sliding. He failed to attack Obama effectively at Tuesday night's debate. He is realizing that he is in danger of losing Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and perhaps even Missouri. Four of those are 'red' states (from 2004). And his campaign has been forced to unleash its most viscous attacks on Obama yet. Beginning Tuesday, McCain has allowed the participants of rallies to stir and provoke the crowd into anti-Obama and anti-ACORN chants. McCain used to tell vocal members of his audience to turn their anger down a notch and show some respect. But those days are gone. And in an additional, almost unprecedented move, he has deployed Cindy McCain as a second attack dog, to supplement Sarah Palin.

Conservative and right-wing Americans have been sharing wingnut opinion articles, books, and conspiracy theories for years on the Internet. And of course, before there were right-wing blogs, there was (and still is) right-wing talk radio. But the wingnuttery has finally come to our televisions, with McCain supporters voicing their fear and anger that this country seems to be on the verge of electing a non-white man with an Arab/Swahili name to the White House.

Try to see it from their perspective. It is scary. It's bigger than the Yankees not making it to the playoffs. New Yorkers can always ignore the Yankees, stop going to the Stadium, or follow the Mets for a while. But for these active right-wingers, the election of Barack Obama would cause genuine pain and discomfort for months, and perhaps (hopefully) years. These are pissed-off people.

John Dickerson, Slate:

At a normal campaign rally, it's the candidate who tries to whip the crowd into a frenzy. At John McCain's town hall in Waukesha, Wis., Thursday, it was the other way around. "I'm mad, and I'm really mad," said one man who'd been called on to ask a question. "It's not the economy. It's the socialist taking over our country." McCain started to respond, and the man shot back sternly. "Let me finish please. When you have an Obama, Pelosi, and the rest of the hooligans up there gonna run this country, we've got to have our head examined. It's time that you two who are representing us, and we are mad."
Here's the video of that guy. He is indeed mad, and this clip has been shown on all major US cable news networks. The crowd cheered him as a hero, and you could say that he upstaged McCain.

James T. Harris, a local African-American talk-show host, stood and said, "I doubt that anyone in this room has taken, pardon me, the ass-whuppin' that I have taken for supporting you. Sir, I believe that in the next coming debate it is absolutely vital that you take it to Obama and that you hit him where it hits" [sic]. The crowd exploded. "ACORN is out there, we have Reverend Wright, all of these shady characters that surrounded him. I am begging you, sir." McCain told the man that he would take his advice—but that he also will offer a "positive plan of action" to address the financial crisis.
I don't think that crowd wants to hear about the financial crisis. Their priority is to prevent an Obama presidency. And for time, the time to play dirty is well overdue.

Jonathan Martin, Politico:

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.

"Terrorist!” one man screamed Monday at a New Mexico rally after McCain voiced the campaign’s new rhetorical staple aimed at raising doubts about the Illinois senator: “Who is the real Barack Obama?”

"He's a damn liar!” yelled a woman Wednesday in Pennsylvania. "Get him. He's bad for our country."


Such contempt for Democrats is, of course, nothing new from conservative activists. But in 2000 and 2004, the Republican rank and file was more apt to ridicule Gore as a stiff fabulist or Kerry as an effete weather vane of a politician.

“Flip-flop, flip-flop,” went the cry at Republican rallies four years ago, often with footwear to match the chant.

Now, though, the emotion on display is unadulterated anger rather than mocking.

Activists outside rallies openly talk about Obama as a terrorist, citing his name and purported ties to Islam in the fashion of the viral e-mails that have rocketed around the Internet for over a year now.

Some of this activity is finding its way into the events, too.

Which beings me back to my previous point about the opinions and soundbites of the wingnuttosphere making their way into live campaign events with the mainstream media candidate present.

And here is some if of that anger and wingnut behavior, albeit provoked by the videographer.

UPDATE: The fastest comment in the history of this tiny blog reminded me that Indiana is also in danger of falling into Obama's column. I will try to make my state-by-state predictions this weekend. I'm doing it for fun. But this election is dead serious. We have up to nine red states from 2004 that are totally in-play in 2008. In fact, New Mexico and Colorado might already be beyond John McCain's grasp. So my predictions are coming soon.

The Campain Ground War Surges

In the combined average of national polls, Real Clear Politics shows a 5-point lead for Obama.

In particular, today's Gallup national poll shows Obama with his biggest lead ever over McCain - 11 points.

It is still too early to declare the McCain campaign to be in a tailspin, but they have lost momentum just as they have unleashed their most fierce attacks. September was the month the McCain campaign was supposed to win the post-convention bump and keep it. They got the bump, but then lost it in the frenzy of our current economic crisis, and the way both candidates were perceived in recent weeks. Obama has been perceived at remaining calm, clear, and friendly. McCain has increasingly been perceived as irritated, erratic, and sometimes angry.

In previous election cycles, an angry candidate was sometimes seen as a sign of strength and would win a lot of white male votes. Geroge H.W. Bush was pretty swift in his dismissal of Michael Dukakis in 1988. His son was often snappy and angry at John Kerry in 2004 ("Tell Tony Blair we're going alone!"). But I am tempted to say that a good number of voters are better informed and watching a little closer this election cycle. It could be the result of our faster news cycle (which seems to look only 24 hours back and 24 hours forward). It could be the effect of YouTube and other Web 2.0 mediums. Or it could be that those who voted against Bush in 2004 are working harder to both promote their candidate and stay informed about the other side. The Left is hungry for a victory. We haven't won a presidential election since 1996 (or 2000, if you want to get technical, as Gore won Florida).

Meanwhile, some of our best bloggers are reporting movements both home and abroad.

Digby: They're getting their asses kicked. Time to start the 'ground game.'

Apostropher: Swift boater Jerome Corsi is seeking a Kenyan -any Kenyan- to appear in a 527 ad claiming Obama is a closeted Muslim terrorist sympathizer. But his evil plan has hit a little snag.

Obama Unleases 'Keating Five' Attack Video

Obama waited for Palin to open her mouth and accuse him of 'palling around with terrorists [plural!]' before unleashing his most vicious attack yet. At Noon Eastern time, the attack was publically released on YouTube. Here is Obama's 14-minute Keating Five documentary. Spread it around. Keep in mind McCain and Obama have a town hall debate tomorrow night. This video will help set the agenda against McCain. McCain scored major points unveiling Palin the day after Obama's historic acceptance speech in Denver. This is Obama scoring points in response. Well played.

Michigan Stays Blue / Palin's Huge Gamble

McCain pulls out of Michigan. He has canceled TV ads, and is closing his Michigan campaign offices. With Obama now surprising everyone with a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania polls, McCain has sounded the alarm to fall back and regroup.

Oh, and his campaign is beginning to run short on cash. Not good.

And in Palin news today, her handlers have revealed her strategy: aggressively go after Biden:

“This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks,” a McCain official said. “She was herself. She was authentic, and people related to that. ... Tonight, she’ll get into a rhythm. You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”

Really? I thought she was just going to portray herself as a humble regular Jane Doe. But, if she wants to go down swinging at the wrong guy, she can go right ahead.

IIf McCain Were A Democrat, This Election Would Be OVER

From the McCain campaign:

Senator McCain has spent the morning talking to members of the Administration, members of the Senate, and members of the House. He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations, including Representative Blunt as a designated negotiator for House Republicans. The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the Senator will travel to the debate this afternoon. Following the debate, he will return to Washington to ensure that all voices and interests are represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners.
Does this not make McCain look totally insane? Again, the question of judgment and temperament is front-and-center when observing the actions of candidate McCain. First, there was the selection of Sarah Palin without proper vetting and due diligence. And on Wednesday, we saw McCain panic and request that tonight's debate be postponed or even canceled just minutes after talking to Obama on the phone. Minutes! This is a dangerous, unstable man.

Why isn't this thing over? McCain's behavior this week is the biggest self-inflected wound I have ever seen a presidential nominee inflict on himself.

How could McCain tell David Letterman that he was canceling his media appearances to fly to DC to 'save the country', only to schedule new interviews with Katie Couric and others? He didn't suspend his campaign, either. In other words, he lied. Actually he lied, panicked, called for a time-out, lied some more, arrived in DC, postured, disrupted, accomplished nothing, and is now lying again, hoping everyone forgets he asked for a time-out.

Please, Obama. Deal the death blows tonight. I have faith in you.

Spencer Ackerman:

So, in summary: Humiliating failure. John McCain didn't screw the pooch. He was the pooch.

McCain's Really Bad Wednesday - Recap

Senator McCain lied to David Letterman in order to duck-out of yesterday afternoon's show. He called Dave to say that he was off to Washington, when in fact he dropped his appearance on Letterman in favor of an appearance on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Dave let the hammer come down, and rightly so.

Wednesday was so bad, Palin's poor interview with Katie Couric didn't get proper attention until Thursday.

Firedoglake to come-up with not one, but two recaps for what was a crazy day.

Blue Texan:

Special scared little scaredy cats edition.

* McSame wimps out.
* And so does Palin.
* But Bush comes to their rescue!
* Of course, no one cares what Bush says.
* And only 10% of Americans think the debate should be postponed.
* Here's why McSame flipped over the game board.
* Does she ask his permission to go to the bathroom, too?
* "I'll try to find you some and I'll bring 'em to ya."
* Stupid Democrats.

Christy Hardin Smith:

So, let's recap:

-- McCain campaign manager Rick Davis not only worked for Freddie Mac, but Davis persuaded the troubled lender to pay his lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, $15,000 a month for not working because he was close to John McCain.

-- Alaskans are now beyond miffed at Palin's troopergate machinations. Especially since it's McCain folks from outside Alaska who are roiling the political waters.

-- After a disastrous interview with Charlie Gibson, and bizarre spoon-fed answers with Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin moved into the Katie Couric Zone of Death. Wherein Palin promptly sucked. That Katie, she's a tiger. Sarah Palin let Katie Couric give her homework. Uh. Mah. Gawd.

...Palin did so badly that McCain tried a reverse maneuver to overshadow her crapitude. (With McCain's $5,000 make-up pro in tow?)

-- To do this, McCain had to cancel Letterman. By lying. What's worse than pissing off a comedian with a daily late night show? Other comedians now must one up Letterman's snarking about your craptastic idiocy. Because comedians cannot help themselves. Just tack a "big joke" sign on McCain's forehead now.

-- Palin. Witchcraft exorcism. Um...

-- Then there's the too frazzled to debate maneuver with a side of chicken. And the leaked McCain memo on selling it.

Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, the economy is still are McCain's electoral numbers.

What's This?

Golly, it seems that McCain's webmasters never bothered to take down the Mississippi debate page from their web site.

Maybe....just maybe, this stunt was designed to trap Obama into accepting a debate postponement, and then calling him for being a follower, not a leader?

Just saying.

I don't think McCain ever meant to skip the debate at all. This was a bad attempt at a trap.

And if McCain somehow does not show-up to the debate, then oh my god, he is really stupid.

There He Goes Again

McCain is always such a drama queen. Is this what we want in a president?

Mickey Kaus, Slate:

No convention today! ... OK, it's on! ... The economy's sound... No, wait, it's going to fall apart unless I go to Washington tomorrow! ... We need a commission! ... We need to fire somebody! ... Get me Andrew Cuomo! ... I want ten more debates! ... But let's postpone the one we've scheduled! ... Do you get the impression a McCain presidency would be a bit exhausting?

McCain actually threatened to cut and run from a nationally televised debate to be watched by over 80 Million people.

Now he will have to go, of course, which would naturally lead to a snyde remark from Senator Obama (if he has the balls):

"Nice to see you Senator. I heard a rumor that you wouldn't show-up. But I know you always keep your engagements. Country first, right?" [Big Smile]

And why is McCain's left eye blinking wildly? Is that something I have to look forward to when I'm nearing 80?

Hey McCain...Postpone This!

This just in: McCain wants to postpone the Friday presidential debate so he can focus on getting the Bernanke-Paulson $700B scam passed. This is his way of trying to act serious about the economy.

McCain just announced that he is 'suspending' his campaign Thursday morning and will not be attending the debate.

What? Now he's serious about the economy? Now he wants to resume casting votes in the Senate? Can't he multitask? Isn't he a warrior? Can't he work in Washington in the afternoon, and then get his private jet over to Mississippi for the Friday night debate? Is the Senate going to be in session Friday night?

How would John McCain's presence in Washington Friday night have an influence over anything?

That's why the debate was chosen for a Friday night. Because almost nothing fucking important ever happens on Friday night.

I sincerely hope Obama does not agree to postpone the debate. He can take questions from Jim Lehrer in a solo performance and score major points.

This is pure bullshit.

If there ever was a moment for Barack Obama to go back into 'Mohammad Ali' mode, the time is now.

"Senator McCain, you had better be in Mississippi Friday night, or I'll go on television without you. You and I have a date, John McCain, and America doesn't like people who break dates! I'll be there. If you show-up, the debate will go-on. If not, America will know who cut and ran!"

Obama Has 18 States In The Bag - Needs Just 4 More?

It's not a given that Obama will win the 20 states that John Kerry won in 2004. He might lose New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. So let's assume Obama has 18 states in the bag.

I don't think Obama is going to be hosting rallies in any of the solid blue states (New York, New England, Washington, Oregon, California). His focus will be on the battleground states. And of those, Obama just needs four of them. The four states he seems to be focusing on are Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, and Iowa. If he wins those and retains Pennsylvania and New Hampshire (or picks-up additional battleground states like New Mexico, Indiana, and Ohio) then he's our 45th president.

In other words, this is Obama's race to lose. John Dickerson of Slate gives us the big picture:

Here's where things stand: If you look at the latest national polling, Obama is up by an average of about five points. That gap may shrink if McCain gets a bounce from his convention, but with each passing day, national numbers are increasingly meaningless. What's most important now is how things are going in the battleground states. In those states, things look much better for Obama than they do nationally. If you look at the map of state polling, Obama has 260 of the 270 electoral votes he needs. John McCain has 186.

If current trends hold, Obama needs only to pick up Virginia and Colorado, two states where he's ahead, where trends favor him, and where he won in the primaries. Obama is not only ahead in all the states John Kerry won, he's virtually locked down Iowa, a state George Bush won. (He's ahead by 15 in the latest CNN poll.)

McCain's best chances to pick up states John Kerry won in 2004 are New Hampshire, where he is tied with Obama, and Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Obama is ahead just outside the margin of error. Yet even if McCain can reverse the trends in those states, he's still only at 241 electoral votes. So he also needs to keep Ohio and Florida in the GOP column (polls are even there) and not give up any of the other states, like North Carolina.

Sarah Palin Won't Be Facing Questions Anytime Soon

Perhaps she will be accepting filtered questions from Republican voters at campaign rallies and town halls, but Sarah Palin is not ready for questions from the evil media. Not Sunday morning, not on Oprah, not on MTV, not in primetime. Not for a while.

So says Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign. You remember Nicole "It doesn't matter" Wallace. She's that Scots-Irish American hothead who runs the communications for the Scots-Irish American hothead running for president.

Here she is telling Jay Carney of Time Magazine that Sarah doesn't have to take any questions from the media, or from the general public.

Sorry, public. You'll have to rely on Ms. Palin's scripted speeches until her debate with Senator Biden. Nyah-nyah! You'll just have to trust us handlers. You're not naive to think that we live in a democracy, are ya?

Fair Investigative Journalism Covering Sarah Palin

The Right can complain about commentators on Daily Kos, but there are paid, legitimate journalists who are doing the work that the McCain campaign should have done weeks ago.

Laura McGann at the Washington Independent is doing a fine job going through all the public documents related to Sarah Palin's two terms as mayor of Wasilla. Take a lot at some of her first dispatches from Alaska:

Wasilla hired a Washington lobbyist in 2000 to attract more federal grants.

Palin to Wasilla librarian in 1996: Are you OK with censorship?

Palin on running Wasilla in 1996: "It's not rocket science."

McGann's colleague at the Washington Independent, Mike Lillis, follows-up on the federal lobbyist story:

With Palin remaining receptive to “Don Young’s Way,” Sen Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, has seen an opening. Thursday his office pounced, sending an email blast to reporters proclaiming, “Palin only announced opposition to one ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ still supports the other one.”

[Lobbyist Steven] Silver, the former chief of staff to the now-indicted Stevens, began lobbying Congress on behalf of Wasilla in 2000. With Silver’s help, the town secured nearly $27 million in federal earmarks while Palin was mayor, according to an analysis done by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group.