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Obama Hits McCain With Keating Five Scandal

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And now we find out that if McCain is going to question Obama’s past connections, the Obama camp will respond in kind.

But one of the key difference here is McCain’s past connections are tied to our last massive economic crisis. So while Ayers, Rezko and Rev. Wright may not necessarily make voters more comfortable with Obama, my guess is that many of them have no idea that McCain was involved in the S&L crisis, so his association with Keating will be new and surprising.

From Politico:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday is launching a multimedia campaign to draw attention to the involvement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the “Keating Five” savings-and-loan scandal of 1989-91, which blemished McCain’s public image and set him on his course as a self-styled reformer.

Pushing back against what it calls McCain’s “guilt-by-association” tactics, the Obama campaign overnight began e-mailing millions of supporters a link to a website, KeatingEconomics.com, which will have a 13-minute documentary on the scandal beginning at noon Eastern time on Monday. The e-mails urge recipients to pass the link on to friends. […]

Obama-Biden communications director Dan Pfeiffer said: “While John McCain may want to turn the page on his erratic response to the current economic crisis, we think voters will find his involvement in a similar crisis to be particularly interesting. His involvement with Keating is a window into McCain’s economic past, present, and future.”

No doubt this is a disappointing turn of events, and the attacks from both sides will turn off independent voters. But the reality here is that McCain is trying to dominate a few news cycles before the debate, and Obama’s response has to be something other than an explanation of his associations.

Enter the Keating Five scandal, which is as strategically perfect a response as you can get because it speaks directly to McCain’s past judgement on the economy and his deregulatory philosophies.

Of note, McCain was cleared of any wrong doing in the scandal, but was publicly chided for his “poor judgement”.