I was, honestly, not playing dumb when I asked for an explanation of how Clark’s comments were not “attacks” but Swindle’s were. I was actually being dumb. I just usually try hide it. Anyway, thanks for all the great answers, but I think OGLib put it the best (bonus points for not insulting me in the process!). The precise point:
So, no, Clark did not attack McCain’s military service – he simply said that, in his opinion, it did not provide him with executive experience and it does not automatically qualify him for executive experience. Swindle actually demeaned Clark’s performance as NATO Supreme Commander. Big difference.
Agreed. What’s more, I don’t know if it even makes sense for the McCain team to portray Clark’s comments as an attack… Wouldn’t a more effective response be simply point out what McCain has done that DOES give him executive experience? The guy jokes all the time about how it doesn’t take a lot of talent to get shot down. But I gather there is more to his military — and political — experience than that. Still, the McCain team WANTS to run a character campaign, not an experience campaign — they saw what happened to Hillary — so, here we are, having fun.