Oh, John. What kind of honorable man runs an ad like yours, saying:
Announcer: Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan. He hadn't been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops. And now, he made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras. John McCain is always there for our troops. McCain. Country first.
John McCain: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.
Kind of bitchy, no? Especially when the footage of Obama playing basketball was not from Germany. Especially when, as the link above explains, "Reporters were not allowed to accompany him when he visited wounded troops at Walter Reed Medical Center on June 28. The small "protective pool" of reporters that routinely accompanies him was told by Obama's staff to remain outside, in the van, according to a reporter covering the campaign. Similarly, Obama visited wounded troops in Baghdad earlier in his overseas trip, but he did so without reporters and "without a lot of fanfare, just to say 'Thanks'," according to Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who accompanied Obama....
It says he "voted against funding our troops." He did – exactly once. Obama cast at least 10 votes for war-funding bills before voting against one last year, after Bush vetoed a version that contained a date for withdrawal from Iraq.
It says he "hasn't been to Iraq for years." He was headed there at the time the ad was released, however, and had been there in 2006.
It says he "never held a single hearing on Afghanistan." It was the full Senate Foreign Relations Committee, not Obama's subcommittee, that had the hearings on this global hot spot, and Obama attended one of those. Over the same time period, McCain himself attended none of the Afghanistan hearings held by the Armed Services Committee on which he serves.
That is some serious Rovian admaking there. Why would the Great White Hope approve such an ad if he's really running the campaign of integrity he promised? And why ding your opponent for commitee hearings that you yourself never attended?!! That is some breathtaking balls right there.
One key Republican consultant has said, [via WaPo]"One GOP strategist with close ties to McCain's campaign said the new line of attack reflected the operation's "schizophrenic" nature. He said that tendency was also on display last week, as McCain spoke at length about media coverage of Obama rather than sticking with his plan to focus on the economy.
"They couldn't help themselves," the strategist said, adding that the ad over the hospital visit is "churlish and unlike McCain, and hardly will resonate with the swing voters who are going to decide this election." The strategist continued: "They're doing it because the candidate, and the campaign, is not happy with where they are and they're lashing out."
Yup. You know it's going badly when your own party's strategists call you "churlish." And you know you've got a winner of a candidate when his response to frustration is to "lash out." America needs more of that.
ps--Balloon Juice has a great rundown of McCain's "respectful" campaign over the past week. It's right on--and funny in that it's entitled Slime of the Ancient Mariner. That's awesome.