Posts Tagged ‘truth squad’

How McCain, Obama, Handle Attacks

August 25, 2008

In responding to the “seven (maybe eight?) houses” attack, John McCain did something that I haven’t seen Barack Obama do.

He went on CBS News with Katie Couric and answered direct questions about it:

Couric asked about McCain’s answer when Politico inquired about the number of homes he and his wife, Cindy, own. McCain referred the question to his staff, who said he had at least four. Records show the number could be twice that, depending on how you count the family’s properties.

“I am grateful for the fact that I have a wonderful life,” McCain said. “I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair, and I know what it’s like to be blessed by the opportunities of this great nation. Cindy’s father, who barely finished high school, went off and distinguished himself in World War II in a B-17 and came back with practically nothing and realized the American dream, and I am proud and grateful for that, and I think he is a role model to many young Americans who serve in the military and come back and succeed.

“So the fact is that we have homes, and I’m grateful for it. We spend our time primarily in Washington, D.C., where I have a condominium in Crystal City, [Va.]; here in this beautiful Sedona that I am blessed every moment that I can spend here; our condominium in Phoenix, Ariz.; and a place over in San Diego. The others are also for investment purposes.”

McCain was asked if an Obama ad mentioning his memory was implicitly an attack on his advancing age.

“I don’t know, Katie. I’ll leave that to others,” he said. “We tried to inject some humor in some of ours, which I think were quite effective and entertaining for people. But that’s a judgment the American people will make.”

Finally, Couric asked if he was sorry he had answered the question about houses the way he did.

“I’ll continue to say I am blessed and very proud that [his late father-in-law] Jim Hensley, a war hero, a man who barely graduated from high school, was able to pass on to his daughter what he struggled for and saved for. That’s the ambition that all of us have for our children and grandchildren. If someone wants to disparage that, they are free to do that.”

It’s interesting to go back to the last sentence of the first paragraph (“Records show the number could be twice that, depending on how you count the family’s properties”) and then examine Katie Couric’s last question. It would seem to me that, if dozens of journalists scouring the record are still unable to say for certain precisely how many homes the McCains (actually Cindy McCain) own, then you can understand why John McCain had a little difficulty coming up with a politically appropriate and factually correct answer in a “gotcha” moment.

But the Obama campaign has been treating this as THE central campaign issue.  I suppose we’re supposed to believe 1) that wealth is demonic; 2) that Cindy McCain is demonic because she is wealthy; 3) that John McCain is demonic by proxy for having married wealthy heiress Cindy McCain; that John McCain should have busied himself with a detailed study of his wife’s financial situation, even though finances are evil; that therefore John McCain should be excoriated for not knowing exactly how many houses his demonic wife has when even the media have to use the word “could” to describe the number.

What occurred to me is just how differently McCain handled an attack from the way Barack Obama has handled attacks.

Obama has a huge network of bloggers in every state who have devoted their pathetic existences to attacking every negative claim about their messiah as part of “truth squads” (although that title hearkens me back to “freedom is slavery,” “ignorance is strength” from 1984). Obama’s campaign responds with instantaneous counterattacking television ads. And he rails about what McCain (or fill in the blank conservative) said in his teleprompter-reading town hall meetings in what amount to preaching to the choir.

But I’m not seeing Barack Obama going into enemy media territory and doing interviews to face the charges personally and head-on, like John McCain did. Obama has done a few interviews that probably became testier than he planned, but I don’t recall him going on a conservative-oriented program (do I really have to mention the forged Bush military records being waved around by uber-lib uber-anchor Dan Rather in a clear attempt to destroy Bush’s re-election to depict the climate at CBS?) to answer tough questions.

I like the way McCain dealt with this.  Ultimately, John McCain – all response ads and campaign counters  aside – chose to personally and immediately confront an issue that was being used to dog him.

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Barack Obama: All Hail the Complainer-in-Chief

August 20, 2008

The other day Barack Obama had this message. Too bad there were no violins playing in the background:

But one of the things that we have to change in this country is the idea that people can’t disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism. I have never suggested that Senator McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition. I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America’s national interest. Now, it’s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same.

Let me be clear: I will let no one question my love of this country. I love America, so do you, and so does John McCain. When I look out at this audience, I see people of different political views. You are Democrats and Republicans and Independents. But you all served together, and fought together, and bled together under the same proud flag. You did not serve a Red America or a Blue America — you served the United States of America.

So let’s have a serious debate, and let’s debate our disagreements on the merits of policy — not personal attacks. And no matter how heated it gets or what kind of campaign he chooses to run, I will honor Senator McCain’s service, just like I honor the service of every veteran in this room, and every American who has worn the uniform of the United States.

Wah-ha-ha-whah-boo-hoo-hoo. Snif. Oh. I’m sorry. Are you through reading?

Obama claims he wants a “serious debate.” He just isn’t willing to go on any tough programs that would make him defend his policies. Or even actually HAVE a real debate with a John McCain who has already proven he would clean his clock.

Obama claims he has never questioned McCain’s character or patriotism. I’m not so sure of that: he’s questioned McCain’s commitment to veterans over veterans funding programs, his senior adviser said McCain “shot from the hip, very aggressive, belligerent statement. He may or may not have complicated the situation,” clearly suggesting that he was politically posturing at the expense of American foreign policy. His campaign literally called him a cheater (without any proof) due to McCain’s strong performance at the Saddlback debate. Rick Warren called that charge bogus. And all that’s just been in the past few days.

But let’s go back the last few months, with chief Obama surrogates repeatedly attacking John McCain’s war record and his POW experiences in what was nothing less than one cheap, vicious shot after another. Obama was whining about people questioning his patriotism even as his thugs tried to undermine a war hero’s record.

And Barack Obama’s bogus cheap shot at McCain, alleging that he would use racism in his campaign, was so far beneath contempt that he himself now deserves ANY attack.

So pardon me for my lack of tears.

Obama has been taking his complaints against his opponents to record heights. I’ve never seen anything like it. Again and again, I hear Obama deliver a “somebody’s always picking on me” whah-fest.

He started a “truth squad” which hysterically cries foul about one thing after another. It’s almost like this guy wants to start his own secret police to arrest his detractors or something.

I pointed out some time back that:

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others have mocked the fact that Barack Obama says his ears are off limits, his race is off limits, his church is off limits, his pastor is off limits, his new pastor that replaced his former pastor is off limits, the visiting pastor who spoke at the invitation of the new pastor who replaced his former pastor is off limits, his “typical white person” grandmother is off limits, his great uncle is off limits, and now his wife is off limits.

The constant whining over allegations of unfairness had even liberal maven Maureen Dowd questioning whether Obama was much of a man.

I have long since become sick and tired of Obama’s constant whiny complaining. At some point, it will backfire on him as Americans realize this guy just isn’t tough enough to be our leader.