Monday, July 28, 2008

John McCain: Republican Attack Dog

In politics, you know you're doing it wrong when the media writes that you're saying something, rather than writing what you're saying.  Like this Politico story, which showed on the Yahoo homepage as "In new tactic, McCain takes aim at Obama's character."  Now granted, I don't really think there's anything really new about this, and couldn't believe that they wrote that McCain is "uniquely qualified" to attack Obama as un-American and that Obama was "uniquely vulnerable" to it, just because McCain served in the military and Obama didn't.  Somehow, I don't remember things playing out this way in 2004.

But the main point is obvious: They're reporting about McCain and not Obama.  The article is about what McCain is doing, and that's not what he wants at all.  For an attack to work, it needs to be repeated.  But when the media just talks about the guy making the attack, it backfires.  Because for as much as political attacks really work, people still do think poorly of the people making them.

And in fact, that's one of the biggest problems for McCain with this attack: There really isn't any way for the media to report it as factual.  The Politico couldn't really write a story about how Obama doesn't care about the troops or cares more about winning the election than winning a war.  It's one thing when you're spinning what someone else said and getting the media to repeat it.  But there really isn't anything to report on this one, besides that McCain is saying it.  And that's just not how this works.

And as I've said before, the fact that McCain feels it's necessary to say these things directly is strong evidence that he's really desperate.  Apparently, the viral emails against Obama aren't enough, and Fox News and Rush just aren't doing the job.  Presidents are supposed to be above all this, yet here's McCain, slinging mud with the rest of them and looking petty the whole time.  I'm not sure if he's doing this because he's just getting angry or if it's because the Republican strategists who wants McCain to lose this election while crippling Obama are tricking him into it, but in any case, it's bad news for McCain.

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