Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Break

I don't know if that's the right term. But it seems to me that media coverage of McCain's response to the crazy-old-woman-can't-trust-an-Arab at his rally has been really stoopid. The coverage fixates on how McCain is "torn," how he is uncomfortable with running the dirtiest, sleaziest campaign in moden political history . . . and maybe he is. I don't know, I can't read his effing mind, unlike the people on my teevee. (I wonder if Chris Matthews can tell what I'm thinking? If so, he not like it.)

When crazy-old-woman-can't-trust-an-Arab asked that question at the rally, that was potentially the decisive moment in the campaign. McCain was face-to-face (eek) with the ugly underbelly of anti-Obamaism. That's what I mean by the "break." If McCain doesn't step his crowd back at that point--if he doesn't say, "No, he's not"--then that moment defines the race and his reputation forever. It would have destroyed the remaining shreds of his credibility. It would have been the only thing talked about, in terms of the campaign, until the end of time: "The 2008 election? Oh, yeah, McCain called Obama an Arab at a campaign rally."

It's like a key play in a football game--the interception in the end zone, the fumble--or the pitch on a 3-1 count that just misses and is parked in the center field bleachers. I generally hate sports analogies, but I think that this one is right on.

McCain was essentially the WR on that pass play, and, seeing that he couldn't catch the ball, he knocked it down rather than let the DB intercept in the end zone.

In other words, McCain did what a smart, ambitious politician does--he played that one right. Does that mean he's torn, conflicted? Not necessarily. (Again, I can't read his mind.) But he clearly knows how the game is played.


At 11:28 AM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Yeah, that was pretty much a no-brainer play. What candidate in that situations says, "yes, ma'am, he's an Ay-rab!"? I don't doubt that he's been a little taken aback at just how crazy his own supporters are--who wouldn't be? OK, Rudy wouldn't be, and probably not Mitt either, but that's a subhumanly low bar. And yet he's got no one but himself to blame b/c McCain himself fed the beast. Publius at Obsidian Wings has a great post on this.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Number Three said...

Clearly he couldn't say THAT. But he could have done something more like he did when asked, in the primaries, "How do we beat the bitch?" (He didn't correct that woman. Interesting.) Or he could have evaded the "Arab" comment and said something like, "Many people have a great many questions about Senator Obama. Just who is the real Obama?" I think that that is a line from his stump speech.

IOW, I don't think it was a no-brainer. He could have played it wrong, in the moment.


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