McCain Plays the Race Card

When politicians interject race into a campaign, they seldom do it directly. Consider McCain’s new ad, which the campaign says it will be airing nationally:

This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman.

Let me stipulate: Obama’s Fannie Mae connections are …


This sort of story is rapidly becoming a genre unto itself:

Mr. McCain’s once easy-going if irreverent campaign presence — endearing to crowds, though often the kind of undisciplined excursions that landed him in the gaffe doghouse — has been put out to pasture. He takes far fewer chances, meaning there are fewer risqué jokes,

Missing in Action

Catherine Dodge and John Brinsley of Bloomberg note:

This week, President George W. Bush held a state dinner for Ghana’s president, surveyed Texas hurricane damage, posed with Youth of the Year award finalists, and met with Army General David Petraeus.

Until today, Bush had publicly uttered 160 words about the worst Wall Street

You Can’t Trust Obama. Trust Us.

There was a McCain conference call earlier today about, topically enough, the economy. Responding to previously raised questions on how it is that the campaign can continue to claim that Obama will raise taxes, despite Obama’s vow that he would not, Doug Holtz-Eakin explained:

“They have said so many things throughout the campaign. It

Dodgy Politics: Using Old Votes to Obscure Current Policies

Here’s an old political consultant trick: You want attack your opponent for supporting Policy X, because your pollsters tell you such an attack would help your candidate. But there’s a problem. Your opponent doesn’t clearly support Policy X. So you send off researchers to find an old legislative vote that you can use in an ad to mislead …

In the Arena In the Arena


As reported here earlier, John McCain seemed to diss Spain’s leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero–or maybe confuse him with a Latin American leader–in a radio interview the other day. Now Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s ninja neocon foreign policy adviser, is saying that McCain meant exactly what he said:

“The questioner asked several …

In the Arena In the Arena


McCain and Palin both attacked Joe Biden for saying that it was the patriotic duty of wealthier Americans to pay more in taxes. They believe it’s the patriotic duty of wealthy Americans to pay less in taxes. Alan Greenspan, formerly held in high esteem by John McCain–who once said he was going to rectify his economic ignorance by …

In the Arena In the Arena


This is shaping up as a pretty bad week for the McCain campaign. First, the economic fundamentals are sound. Then we’re in a major crisis. He talks about the excessive compensation that CEOs receive, but continues to have Carly Fiorina ($100 million for her failed stewardship of Hewlett Packard) as an economic spokesperson. He wants to …

The Fred Davis Effect

McCain has a new ad up today that features a big bad building that casts a deep dark shadow over America. It is the U.S. Capitol Building, of course, and it represents Democratic big government regulations and taxes, which is ironic because McCain has spent much of this week competing with Obama in the …

No Mas

So, a few of my liberal friends have taken to reminding me every time I point out something vaguely sketchy about the Obama campaign (the 1982 ad, I think, was tacky, for instance) that “at least Obama never implied McCain is a pedophile. Game over.” I told this to some McCain people the other day, mainly to see the tiny fumes of smoke …

47 Days, One Question

Are you a C.J. or a Charlie?

C.J. CREGG: Everybody’s stupid in an election year, Charlie.

CHARLIE YOUNG: No. Everybody gets treated stupid in an election year, C.J.

(The above dialog is from the West Wing episode “Galileo,” first aired November 29, 2002. Full script with context here. Or see the top of the comment thread for an …

Maxed-Out Moms

As I wrote last week on, the demographic that pollsters on both sides are watching most closely in this year’s election are older, non-college-educated white women. In this week’s dead-tree edition, we looked more closely at what is going on with this group that, as John Kerry’s former campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill notes, …