Thursday, May 22, 2008

Irrational Exuberance

Is Steve gone? You sure? Okay, it's time for a little...shhhh...optimism.

Exhibit 1: McCain Throws Hagee Under the Bus.
The attacks on Pastor John Hagee are nothing more than an attempt at character assassination. Of course, it makes sense that the Left would want to find a way to seek revenge or a "pay back" for the Rev. Wright scandal....While we cannot control the Left's attempts to mischaracterize Hagee and McCain, we can expect John McCain to display more toughness than this.
When Hagee first surfaced, I thought McCain was in a lose/lose situation: hang on to Hagee and alienate moderates, or ditch Hagee and piss off the evangelical authoritarians. Then, when it died down, I thought maybe I was wrong. Now I think I was right.

Exhibit 2: McCain strategist also lobbied for dictators - Clients included Marcos, Zaire's Mobutu and Angola's Savimbi.
Longtime lobbyist Charles Black Jr. is John McCain's man in Washington, a political maestro who hopes to guide his friend, the senator from Arizona, to the presidency this November.

But for half a decade in the 1980s, Black was also Jonas Savimbi's man in the capital city. His lobbying firm received millions from the brutal Angolan guerrilla leader and took advantage of Black's contacts in Congress and the White House.
One quibble: doesn't 'guerrilla leader' really mean 'terrorist'? Let's not mince words here: McCain's right-hand guy was a lobbyist for terrorists.

But even without that correction, this is good stuff. Strictly lose/lose for McCain: keep the guy who lobbied for mass murderers, or lose the most competent and effective guy in the campaign.

There's another good McCain story in today's Chron; the title is weak ("Liberals seek to change McCain's image") but the content is good, including a lot of examples undermining the McCain image--and explaining that McCain's coziness with journalists is the reason he keeps getting a pass.

I don't want to make the mistake of underestimating McCain--it will be a difficult election--but it's clear the guy has some problems of his own. I don't know if we're approaching a tipping point in public perception of McCain, but it feels to me like it's at least possible.

Just don't tell Steve I said so.

[Cross-posted at If I Ran the Zoo]

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