Worst Presidential Candidate Of My Lifetime. Worse Than Mondale.
I think I'm going to join the chorus from conservatives lamenting that John McCain isn't getting enough attention from the press. Because if he was, he'd be down in the polls by 116 points.
Today's "This Week" appearance is an example, containing enough gaffes, misstatements and flat-out lies to consume a week and a half in the news cycle. McCain completely contradicted himself on the question of timelines.
July 25, 2008:
BLITZER: So why do you think he said that 16 months is basically a pretty good timetable?
McCAIN: He said it’s a pretty good timetable based on conditions on the ground. I think it’s a pretty good timetable.
July 27, 2008:
MCCAIN: I didn’t use the word timetable.
I mean, that's just breathtakingly dishonest (Obama's campaign welcoming him into the timetable fold must have gotten under his skin). So is this notion that a timetable is OK when the Prime Minister of Iraq offers it up because it's conditions-based but when Obama offers the same timetable it's likely to cause the end of Western civilization.
The Maliki endorsement of a timetable simply has McCain in knots. He's gone from endorsing an open-ended, indefinite presence in Iraq to endorsing whatever timeline comes down the pike. The man has no grounding in principle and is frantically trying to pander to every element of American society by taking 13 positions on the same issue. In addition to timetables, McCain flip-flopped on affirmative action today, endorsing a ballot initiative in Arizona he once called "divisive"; he claimed that American troops were actually greeted as liberators, at odds with five years' worth of reality; and he muddled the issue on gay adoption, again.
At another point in the interview, McCain was asked to specify his position on gay adoption, an issue where the Senator's political leanings remain somewhat opaque. He did little to clear the air. McCain stumbled in his response and wouldn't answer the question definitively one way or the other. Also, after saying initially that the gay adoption issue was "not the reason I am running for President of the United States," he made an about-face, claiming,
"I'm running for president of the United States because I want to help with family values. I think family values are important when we have two parent families that are parents of the traditional family."
There was actually more than that, all packed into one interview: claiming that America has ignored the energy crisis for 30 years after tying high gas prices strictly to Obama; flip-flopping on "no new taxes"; and more. The worst is that Sen. McCain is out with a truly dishonest ad that zeroes in on Obama "going to the gym instead of visiting troops" when Obama was restricted access to Landstuhl AFB because he was on a campaign trip, and the footage they use for "going to the gym" is Obama meeting TROOPS in Kuwait. It's simply unbelievable.
UPDATE: Jake Tapper notes the ad also claims that Obama cancelled the trip because he was told he couldn't bring the media. There is absolutely no evidence for that one. The campaign insists that the plan had been to leave us at the airport, and the military has confirmed that arrangements were being made to hold media and staff there at a passenger terminal.
As I have heard the campaign's explanations for this decision over the past few days, as well as the attacks, I am convinced that it comes down to something that campaign strategist Robert Gibbs told reporters on the plane: When the campaign learned of the Pentagon's concerns (Wednesday night), they realized that, however they structured the hospital visit, they were going to come in for criticism.
I mean, this is getting ridiculous. Obama has a successful trip, a trip that mirrored where McCain visited after securing the nomination, and he's criticized for it. McCain spends a week flapping his arms trying to get attention, then lays an egg on national television, contradicting himself about eight different times. He criticizes Obama for events he concocts out of thin air. The guy is a liar and an opportunist and has left whatever honor he has claimed long before this general election campaign started. And you know, I think Americans are going to figure this out, and he's going to get stomped. Just putting that out there.
(just to note, Obama was pretty solid on MTP and CNN today)