Oh boy, they’re really mad now! First, in May, John McCain and the RNC challenged Barack Obama to go to Iraq to see for himself the facts on the ground. The RNC installs a clock on their website; “Obama has done shockingly little to educate himself firsthand about the war in Iraq. Instead, he displays an arrogant certainty gained on the campaign trail. … Obama’s failure to visit Iraq, listen and learn firsthand and witness the surge’s progress demonstrates weak leadership that disqualifies him from being commander in chief.” -- RNC Chairman Mike Duncan
Then when Obama makes plans to visit Europe and Iraq, McCain’s communications director Jill Hazelbaker leveled the harshest attack to date, calling Obama’s trip a “campaign rally overseas.” Just another case of the Calamity John Express coming off the tracks again. Their attempt to box Obama in has blown up in their faces and threatens to become a huge plus for Obama and potentially a deathblow to McCain.
McCain’s camp complains that the press coverage is unfair, that McCain didn’t get this type of coverage when he went to Iraq, but McCain went as part of a congressional delegation and on your dime. The McCain camp, short on campaign funds, makes liberal use of taxpayer dollars for his junkets/campaign trips overseas. McCain’s recent trip to South America was funded by the taxpayer to showcase McCain as a free trader with foreign policy experience. Unfortunately the release of the FARC hostages in Colombia upstaged him yet again.
Now the German government is struggling to decide whether to let Mr. Obama make a major foreign policy address in front of the Brandenburg gate. Reminiscent of John Kennedy’s Berlin speech, the thought of fifty thousand Germans cheering could kill McCain’s perception as better equipped to handle foreign affairs. "Many Germans want to get to know him," Ruprecht Polenz, chair of the foreign relations committee in the German parliament, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "It's not just politicians, but the broader public. When the best possibility for that to happen is at this place, then I have no problem with it," he said, referring to the Brandenburg Gate site.
Many Germans are thrilled by the prospect of an American president who speaks in complete sentences, who is articulate and an intellectual. The event could become an end of the Bush celebration and that’s a part of the reservation by the government of Angela Merkel. She fears antagonizing the current administration, and possibly the next if McCain were to be elected this fall. Likewise if Obama visits troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and is warmly treated, what happens to the General McCain perception?
It is normal for Republicans to become mean-spirited when they lose; they criticized FDR for taking his dog with him overseas. They criticized Truman for everything he attempted and even criticized his daughter's singing career much the same way they have attacked Chelsea Clinton. They called Bess Truman frumpy when she wore a cloth coat and said she was putting on airs when she wore fur. So their behavior is to be expected, but what is different is that the kept media isn’t waiting for an Obama victory.
Friday on “The Morning Joe,” co-host Little Willie Geist and Mika Brzezinski opined that Obama went to the gym three times in one day for a total of 188 minutes. They showed file footage of Obama playing basketball with Giest, sniping, “Watch, he always goes left,” then claiming that Obama doesn’t sweat because he’s too cool. I don’t remember anyone criticizing Bush for his daily jogs, but if you remember much was made when Clinton stopped at McDonalds after his jogs. But the viciousness of these attacks on Obama are premature because he hasn’t won yet.
Yet these attacks were personal in nature and in no way involved the candidate's positions. He goes to the gym, so what? Anyone who has traveled knows travel can be very boring and dull. Sit in a chair for two hours, walk to the car, walk from the car, make a speech, then do it all again. Mr. Obama is 46 years old and vigorous, but these are the Republican tactics of character assassination. So perverse that they even went on to condemn themselves! Continuing the McCain line, “The Morning Joe” crew condemned the three network anchors for accompanying Obama to Iraq. The decision was made to send NBC’s anchors by the same network executives that hired Brzezinski and Little Willie.
Do they smell defeat? Do they fear for the Calamity John Express? The gang that couldn’t shoot straight? Do they fear that a flaming bag of dog poop left at the front door will be vigorously stomped out by the candidate and then marched through the headquarters to see who is at the back door? Obama will accept his nomination at Invesco stadium outside Denver before 75,000; McCain is scheduled to accept his party’s nomination on the first night of the NFL preseason football season.
McCain's senior campaign advisor, Phil Gramm, announced his resignation on Friday. His "nation of whiners" comment did for John McCain what tank driving did for Michael Dukakis, as Gramm answers, "It is clear to me that Democrats want to attack me rather than debate Senator McCain on important economic issues facing the country." Gramm continued, "That kind of distraction hurts not only Senator McCain's ability to present concrete programs to deal with the country's problems, it hurts the country. To end this distraction and get on with the real debate, I hereby step down as co-chair of the McCain campaign and join the growing number of rank-and-file McCain supporters."
The Calamity John Express, coming off the tracks somewhere near you.