Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

The Real McCain Emerges

Posted in politics by allisonkilkenny on April 19, 2008

Well, it finally happened, and by “finally happened,” I mean the mainstream media is finally doing their job and reporting about the real McCain.

This week, Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, debunked the concept of Maverick McCain when he pointed out that McCain has crossed the aisle “maybe three times in twenty-six years.”

Reid dropped the bomb in an interview with National Journal’s Linda Douglass:

Q: Would John McCain, who says to independent voters that he’s one of these people who can cross party lines, heal partisan divisions — would he face something of a brick wall with the Democratic majority on his economic proposals?

Reid: Of course. We don’t need more of Bush. I think it’s fair that John McCain, during his 26 years in Congress, on maybe three occasions has crossed over. But where was he the rest of the thousands of times that we needed some help from these Republican-driven policies that have caused us to have no health care, the war in Iraq — which he thinks he should be there another 50 or 100 years. I think as soon as we get this problem worked out between Obama and Clinton, there will be a spotlight focused on him and all you’re going to see is a George Bush clone.

Next, Huffington Post‘s Will Thomas reported that the McCain camp has been circulating an e-mail that attempts to link Barack Obama to Hamas, the Palestinian majority party, which the U.S. has listed as a terrorist organization.

Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas political leader, spoke highly of Obama:

“We don’t mind–actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance.”

John McCain has repeatedly insisted in public that he wants to run a respectful campaign, but a recent fundraising email from his campaign suggests there will be nothing revolutionary about the Republican nominee’s tactics this year.

McCain’s deputy campaign manager, Christian Ferry, sent an email to donors today with the subject line: “Hamas Weighs In On U.S. Presidential Election.” The email, which attacks Obama over his foreign policy stances, includes these paragraphs:

Barack Obama’s foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders. Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister said, “We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change America.”

We need change in America, but not the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas, surrenders in Iraq and will hold unconditional talks with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

The letter comes in response to this report of a Hamas leader speaking favorably about Barack Obama. The article — though not the McCain campaign — notes that Obama has condemned Hamas, repeatedly said that he would not meet with the terrorist organization, and also condemned former President Carter’s decision to meet with Hamas leaders.

Contrast the fundraising letter to the praise McCain has won for statements about running a respectful campaign:

Sen. John McCain called Saturday for a presidential campaign that is more like a respectful argument among friends than a bitter clash of enemies, and said he is better able than either of his Democratic rivals to govern across party lines….

“It is more than appropriate, it is necessary that even in times of crisis, we fight among ourselves for the things we believe in,” McCain said. “It is not just our right, but our civic and moral obligation.”

“Let us exercise our responsibilities as free people. But let us remember we are not enemies,” he added.

And speaking of former Rep. Morris Udall, McCain said:

“I intend to wage this campaign and to govern this country in a way that they would be proud of me.”

McCain, in April, on running a “respectful campaign”:

The subject arose when a questioner at Episcopal High School asked McCain whether the prospect of two senators running against each other in the fall might lead to less negativity.

McCain said he hopes so, adding that he respects both Obama and Clinton, and believes they respect him. “Americans want more respectful campaigns,” he added.

And in January, respectful McCain said:

“I’m going to raise the level of political dialog in America,” McCain, R-Ariz., said at a campaign rally in central Michigan, “and I’m going to treat my opponents with respect and demand that they treat me with respect.”

2 Responses

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  1. MaxMarginal said, on April 21, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    I wouldn’t call The National Journal may be MSM as in “not a blog”, but it hardly has a readership outside of insiders and people who have already made up their minds… so alas I don’t think that the relevant MSM is covering the total un-maverickness.

  2. Illaim said, on May 2, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    “But where was he the rest of the thousands of times that we needed some help from these Republican-driven policies that have caused us to have no health care, the war in Iraq”

    Yes yes where was he…where will (hopefully not) be in the future?

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