Gee…ya think?

Top McCain campaign officials are grappling with how far to go with negative attacks on Sen. Barack Obama in the final weeks of what is turning into a come-from-behind effort.

Sen. John McCain has allowed a series of increasingly harsh broadsides in new campaign ads and in speeches by his wife, Cindy, and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin. But the Arizona Republican has rejected pleas from some advisers to launch attacks focusing on Sen. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Some McCain campaign officials are becoming concerned about the hostility that attacks against Sen. Obama are whipping up among Republican supporters. During an internal conference call Thursday, campaign officials discussed how the tenor of the crowds has turned on the media and on Sen. Obama.

Someone yelled “Off with his head” at a rally Wednesday for Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin in Pennsylvania. Later that day in Ohio, a man stood outside a rally holding a sign that said “Obama, Osama.” At a rally in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday, someone in the crowd wore a T-shirt depicting Sen. Obama wearing a devil mask.

Stiil…do you really think these attacks will stop? I mean, this is all they have left. Attack, attack, attack. And that’s backed up by an independent study that shows McCain’s advertising is almost 100% negative.


Home Politics McCain Campaign Rethinking Negative Attacks?


  1. Well, it looks like McCain has successfully transformed the most partisan Republicans into even more rabid creatures.

    Kind of like how in Pokémon, Charmeleon is kind of a bad-ass lizard… but once he evolves into Charizard then he’s out of control.

  2. Obama should be careful of what McCain may do with his most recent association:

    Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama announced that he has a half-man half-bat half-brother, Obatma.

    “Obatma shares my DNA and will be uniquely qualified to understand some of the difficult issues facing mutants in this country and around the world.”

  3. Over-the-top reactions from the faithful are VERY bad news for McCain. Obama is outspending McCain by huge margins in places like FL and OH. Reactions such as those you describe can become the story, and that story can be told be a 3 to 1 margin, showing McCain, his scary zealots, and a tag line like “Is this where John McCain wants to lead America, into angry darkness?”

    I think Obama has done a good job calling out such behavior and making folks feel like he stands apart from it and wants to se a new approach going forward. Now, does he really? I’m somewhat agnostic on that. But the fact remains that he’s done a very good job of selling against it. And he can score body blows by calmly and somewhat sadly explaining how a once-righteous man is diminishing himself with predictable desperate late-stage negative attacks, and then once again explaining how we need to do better. The story that McCain is old, erratic, desperate, and diminished really just sells itself. Especially as McCain inevitably appears more worn out and used up and strident and ingracious in the final days.

    I am actually hoping that McCain lets up over the final week or two in recognition that winning is not worth this, and that he doesn’t want these things to be the lasting image he leaves.

  4. So far McCain and Palin have done NOTHING to discourage the deplorable behavior we’re seeing from their fans. If either of them had any shred of decency they’d speak up instead of having their surrogates release some wimpy “we do not condone this behavior” statement that shows up as a footnote somewhere on Fox News. Twice Palin was introduced by some clown using the “HUSSEIN” thing – and don’t tell me b..but it’s his middle name!. She could have said something right there. To stand by while others are hurling racial epithets and questioning another American’s patriotism is both un-American and unpatriotic.

  5. While I don’t think we should run around with our hair on fire over this, it’s very clear that the conflation of “liberal,” “muslim,” and “terrorist” is a very volatile mix, especially in the extremist wing of the Republican party.

    John McCain knows that, and doesn’t seem to care. I really hope the America soundly repudiates him come Nov. 4th

  6. McCain has foregotten what got him here. He won the Republican nomination by NOT appealing to the far right base and then the neocons took over and convinced him he cannot win without it.

    It may be true that he cannot win without the base, but it is equally true that he cannot win without the middle. Right now, he is scaring the crap out of the middle.

    It’s debatable that McCain was ever the man the myth tries to sell, but myth or reality people liked and respected him. He is fast becoming irrelevent as the reasonable people on the right shake their heads in wonder.

  7. John McCain needs to be very aware that his legacy beyond this election may be damaging not only his party but also by polemically polarizing the country to its own detriment. Someone will win this election and after that they are going to have to govern the entire country, not just his own base.

    As it stands now, McCain’s negative campaigning is coming very close to McCarthy-esque accusations that are equally as baseless as the former Wisconsin senators. McCarthy so damaged the conservative brand that it took over a decade for it to have much credence nationally and at the rate McCain and Palin are going, they will be deep into that territory come 11/4.

  8. McCain and his surrogates clearly want to paint Obama as a Muslim and a terrorist. Given the events of the last 5 years this is extremely reckless. Can McCain really not appreciate that this is the kind of thing that could lead someone to try to hurt Obama? Or, does he just not care?

  9. I think Senator Obama doesnt care about the attack ads because they are essentially making him get more votes. John Mccain has launched a series of these attack ads and to me it shows a sign of desparation. I think it is quite humorous that a man who sides with domestic terrorists and has banned civil rights legislation for most of his career … ‘ok MaVERICK ‘ Now has a person in the form of an African American Male that he has to battle the presidency for

    Isnt it ironic ? Doncha think?


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