Monday, September 22, 2008


The Obama campaign likes to say John McCain is running for Bush's third term. The Obama campaign likes to enumerate the Washington lobbyists in the McCain campaign.

So why doesn't the Obama campaign seem to want to enumerate the Bushies in the McCain campaign? Why no attack ads that resemble this story from today's Washington Post?

...Far from being a group of outsiders to the Republican Party power structure, [the McCain campaign] is now run largely by skilled operatives who learned their crafts in successive Bush campaigns and various jobs across the Bush government over the past eight years....

Nicolle Wallace ... was communications director at the White House and is now offering senior-level communications expertise to both McCain and Palin (and joined Palin on her Alaska trip). Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who served as chief economist for Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, is now McCain's domestic policy adviser (and accompanied Palin to Alaska as well). Bush confidant Mark McKinnon stopped formally advising McCain once Obama became the Democratic nominee -- but he, too, is continuing to advise the group and crafted Cindy McCain's convention speech. A former Bush speechwriter, Matthew Scully, wrote Palin's convention speech....

And, of course, as this excerpt notes -- though the Obama campaign, with its determination to keep the focus on McCain, probably won't ever want to focus on the fact -- the person who's really surrounded by Bushies is Palin:

When Gov. Sarah Palin flew home to Alaska for the first time since being named the Republican vice presidential nominee, she brought along at least half a dozen new advisers to conduct briefings, stage-manage her first television interview and help her prepare for a critical debate next month.

And virtually every member of the team shared a common credential: years of service to President Bush.

From Mark Wallace, a Bush appointee to the United Nations, to Tucker Eskew, who ran strategic communications for the Bush White House, to Greg Jenkins, who served as the deputy assistant to Bush in his first term and was executive director of the 2004 inauguration, Palin was surrounded on the trip home by operatives deeply rooted in the Bush administration.

...Stephen E. Biegun, a former member of Bush's National Security Council, was on the trip, too; he is helping give Palin foreign policy briefings.

Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt worked on the Bush campaigns and, more recently, at the Republican National Committee. Two other Palin press officers, Maria Comella and Ben Porritt, worked on Bush's 2004 reelection campaign. W. Taylor Griffin, who worked on the 2004 campaign, is helping manage Palin's communications effort in Alaska. Another Bush advance pro, Chris Edwards, is helping to stage-manage Palin's appearances around the country....

Wouldn't America be terrified at the prospect that the people teaching this utter neophyte about foreign policy are some of the people who brought you the last eight years of U.S. foreign policy? And that the people who are stage-managing her ascent are many of the people who stage-managed Bush's?

Why on earth isn't this an attack ad? Or several?

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