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Like Looking Out on the Freshly Fallen Snow in Some Gorgeous Mountain Hamlet - De File
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Like Looking Out on the Freshly Fallen Snow in Some Gorgeous Mountain Hamlet
I was already glad I'd said nice things about John McCain in my classes on Tuesday after his heartfelt and powerful concession speech, which struck me as his best of the whole campaign. But the revelations pouring in from the campaign trail are forcefully reinforcing that sentiment. Could it be that John McCain actually did refuse to do what it would take to win? Here are some gleanings from Newsweek:
• Palin launched her attack on Obama’s association with William Ayers, the former Weather Underground bomber, before the campaign had finalized a plan to raise the issue. McCain’s advisers were working on a strategy that they hoped to unveil the following week, but McCain had not signed off on it, and top adviser Mark Salter was resisting.

• The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. "Why would they try to make people hate us?" Michelle asked a top campaign aide.

• McCain also was reluctant to use Obama's incendiary pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as a campaign issue. The Republican had set firm boundaries: no Jeremiah Wright; no attacking Michelle Obama; no attacking Obama for not serving in the military. McCain balked at an ad using images of children that suggested that Obama might not protect them from terrorism. Schmidt vetoed ads suggesting that Obama was soft on crime (no Willie Hortons). And before word even got to McCain, Schmidt and Salter scuttled a "celebrity" ad of Obama dancing with talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres (the sight of a black man dancing with a lesbian was deemed too provocative).

• While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

• McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.
I recognize, of course, that one must try to filter the partisanship out of these reports. McCain certainly approved of tactics that he had once condemned -- not unlike his shifting stance on torture -- and Palin couldn't have been that bad. Right?


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From: babyiwasshot Date: November 6th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I read a similarnewsweek article, but was reluctant to bring it up at the time for fear that people would think I was partial to McCain.
ankh156 From: ankh156 Date: November 6th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

The GOP should be congratulated for bringing in Palin ...

They actually found somebody more incoherent and scary than McCain himself. The only real problem is that she had to stand on the same ticket as him. But it is true that when you look at her, all of a sudden The Mac starts to look like a reasonable choice.

If Palin had a brain she'd be really dangerous.

Let's just all be grateful that they didn't get in.

Btw : talking of 'really dangerous', I just read this


I can't work out if the last paragraph is sarcsm or not.

derdriu From: derdriu Date: November 6th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I was waiting for the Palin-blaming to start. I imagine that this is the tip of the iceberg for what we will hear regarding how she was just a manipulative, ignorant, incapable woman.

Granted, I think she's an ignorant, creepy, incapable person... but I'm struck by the focus on the shopping spree and her "unruly" and "out of control" behavior regarding speeches. Seriously, I can't believe she had the audacity to believe she had the right to speak without asking the campaign that rarely allowed her to speak to its front-runner, or how she thought it would be appropriate to give a concession speech too. Clearly she needs to lose the Saks shoes and go back to making babies and pie in Wasilla; and perhaps she ought to get those "possessing spirits" checked out while she's at it.

Truly, I'm sure she is a bit, as the kids say, "whack," but I wonder how much of the report is legitimate, and how much an attempt to take the failure-focus off of McCain and put it on someone who is easier to hate and far easier to blame.
derdriu From: derdriu Date: November 6th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Er, also...

I realize that this comes off as implying that YOU think that way... which is not at all how I meant my comments. I'm commenting on Newsweek's piece and the reactions (not necessarily here) that I have heard to it thus far.
masoo From: masoo Date: November 7th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
If Palin turns out to be even worse than people realized, and McCain is the one atop the ticket and thus the one who chose Palin, why would anyone want to give McCain a free ride, as if he were blame-free?
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