Wednesday, May 24, 2006

After the deftly choreographed self-righteousness moment that following his commencement speech at the New School, I started to think that John McCain might actually be on his way to winning over the wingnuts who'll vote in the '08 GOP primaries. But a front-page story in the new New York Observer, about a closed-door meeting McCain recently had at a Manhattan hotel, suggests to me that he still doesn't get it:

The exclusive audience included R.N.C. finance chair Lewis Eisenberg, Blackstone Group co-founder Peter G. Peterson, former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman and Gail Hilson, the politically influential socialite who has organized events for Mr. McCain in the past....

He cautioned against ghettoizing immigrants, which he noted has brought about disastrous results in France, and criticized elements in his own party as "nativist" before lambasting the punditry of Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs and Michael Savage for helping to "fuel the problem," according to two of the sources.

Wow, that's three mistakes in one: He insulted Saint Rush and his fellow Tribunes of the People, he insulted the seal-the-borders wingnuts themselves, and he did it in commie-lib New York, playing to a crowd of bankers, socialites, and (we're told later in the article) "some Democratic names." Not a smooth move.

(The saving grace for McCain, of course, is that two years from now, when he makes his pilgrimage to the Limbaugh show, takes back everything he's saying now, and kisses Rush's ring, the besotted mainstream media will still say he's a straight talker.)

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