Servicing John McCain’s Military Service

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The McCain campaign just finished up a conference call “to discuss Gen. Wesley Clark’s continued attacks on John McCain, and the Obama campaign’s response to them.”

The awesomely Dickensian (Thank you, P Mac!) named Orson Swindle (who was imprisoned with McCain in Vietnam) told reporters that the Obama campaign has not done enough to denounce Clark’s comments. He helpfully provided a script, should the Obama campaign need guidance in how to properly grovel: “He could say [to Clark], ‘Cut out Knock off that crap or you’re done with the campaign.'” [Rough paraphrase but I’m pretty sure he said “crap.”] I leave to others to judge the wisdom of keeping this story alive — DO NOT QUESTION JOHN MCCAIN’S MILITARY SERVICE reminds me a little of Obama’s protestations that he LOVES AMERICA. It’s ironic that the discussion of these august principles doesn’t make the either campaign’s tactics seem any more high-minded. I’d love to just grant them both patriotism merit badges and get on with less obvious forms of pandering.

Also of note: Swindle asserted that various “Democratic surrogates” were continuing to keep Clark-style accusations alive, listing Keith Olbermann and Mika Brzezinski alongside Sen. Rockefeller and liberal talk show host Ed Schultz. I don’t think I’ve heard any campaign call MSNBC biased quite so brazenly but I imagine we’ll hear more of it.

UPDATE: Florida reminds me that I should, for tit/tat purposes, note Swindle’s shots at Clark. I don’t have a transcript, but I think he said something about how Clark’s tenure at NATO was not held in high regard. Looking back at some news clips, I think it’s fair to say that Clark made some missteps, but I’m pretty sure Swindle’s opinion is overstated. This is fun, huh?