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Tilting at Windmills

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September 19, 2008

THE RAINES/JOHNSON SILVER BULLET?.... John McCain and his campaign seem to think they have a new trump card to play against Obama -- he's been associated with Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, both of whom are former Fannie Mae executives. The connections are the subject of two new McCain campaign TV ads, and I was just watching an event in Minnesota where McCain seemed to find the subject of Obama's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ties utterly fascinating.

Like most of McCain's attacks, I get the sense he hasn't thought this one through.

First, McCain insists that Raines is an advisor to the Obama campaign. As we discussed earlier, McCain simply isn't telling the truth.

Second, if getting advice from officials at troubled financial institutions is a sign of bad judgment, McCain way want to explain why two of his top advisors include John Thain, from Merrill Lynch, and Martin Feldstein, who serves on AIG's board of directors.

Third, and most importantly, all McCain's attacks do is offer people like me a chance to remind folks about his own connections to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

More than Mr. Obama, Mr. McCain's circle of advisers and contributors includes current and former lobbyists or directors for the companies, although since July he has called for a ban on any lobbying by the two firms.

Among the companies' past advocates are Mr. McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, a longtime lobbyist; Mr. McCain's confidant and adviser Charlie Black, whose firm worked for Freddie Mac for several years ending in 2005, and the deputy campaign finance chairman, Wayne L. Berman, a vice president for Ogilvy Worldwide and a former Fannie Mae lobbyist.

Mr. Davis previously was head of the Homeownership Alliance, a coalition of banks and housing industry interests led by Fannie and Freddie to stave off regulations.

I just don't understand what McCain is thinking here; he seems to assume that his comments won't receive any scrutiny at all.

He is, without a hint of shame, attacking Obama for having connections with two former Fannie Mae executives. At the same time, one of McCain's top policy advisors, Charlie Black, was lobbyist for Freddie Mac for 10 years, while his campaign manager, Rick Davis, lobbied to help Fannie and Freddie steer clear of additional federal regulations (which, obviously, would have been pretty helpful in retrospect).

But wait, there's more. Tom Loeffler, who served as McCain's campaign co-chairman, also lobbied for Fannie Mae. Aquiles Suarez, a McCain economic advisor, was a Fannie Mae executive. Dan Crippen, a McCain advisor who helped craft the campaign's health-care policy, lobbied for Fannie Mae (and Merrill Lynch). Arthur B. Culvahouse, who helped lead McCain's VP search committee, also lobbied for Fannie Mae. In all, McCain has 19 people who are either advisors or fundraisers who lobbied for either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

And voters are supposed to be outraged because of Obama's connections to Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson? Why would McCain even start on this subject at all, making the argument that ties to Fannie/Freddie are scandalous, given his own associations?

It seems the underlying point to just about every McCain argument is that voters won't pay attention to the details. He may be right, but it seems like an incredibly dangerous strategy for a candidate to take.

Steve Benen 2:28 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

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Post elsewhere:
THE BACKFIRE EFFECT....What happens when you tell people that someone has made a false claim? Shankar Vedantam reports:

Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration's prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation -- the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

A similar "backfire effect" also influenced conservatives told about Bush administration assertions that tax cuts increase federal revenue. One group was offered a refutation by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it; 67 percent of those provided with both assertion and refutation believed that tax cuts increase revenue.

Italics mine. Nyhan and Reifler found this "backfire" effect only among conservatives. Refutations had little effect on liberals, but it didn't cause them to actively believe the misleading information even more strongly.

Why? Reifler suggests it's because conservatives are more rigid than liberals. Maybe so. If I had to guess, though, I'd say it's because right-wing talkers have spent so many years deriding "so-called experts" that they now have negative credibility with many conservatives. The very fact that an expert says a conservative claim is wrong is taken as a good reason to believe the claim. This could probably be tested by doing a study of factual information outside the realm of politics and seeing if conservatives react the same way. If they do, maybe that's support for the generic rigidity theory. If not, it's support for the theory that conservatives simply distrust political elites.

For more, here is Reifler's online Q&A at the Washington Post this morning.

UPDATE: I should add that these weren't the only two questions Nyhan and Reifler asked. They also asked a question about stem cell research in which it was liberals who might be expected to resist the truth. They didn't find any backfire effect there either, though.

Posted by: John McCain: Serial Liar on September 19, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's whole strategy is to just rain mud of every variety on Obama and hope he gets coated with it. There's been a backlash recently, but in the absence of any positive, credible agenda to off America, he can only keep the manure spreader in constant motion.

Unfortunately, half the population appears to be watching Fox News, listening to right wing radio and greeting every flying bucket as evidence to support their already firm opinions of Obama.

Posted by: ghillie on September 19, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

he seems to assume that his comments won't receive any scrutiny at all.

Well, in 2004 and 2000 he would have been right. It takes his campaign a really long time to catch up to reality, I've notcied.

Posted by: The Answer Is Green on September 19, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

still think (hope i'm wrong) that in addition to the effect john mccain: serial liar notes above, that if obama has to defend himself by saying well, mccain is worse, then it creates some kind of equivalency between them, and mutes any real differences. anyway, that may be what the mccain people are hoping.

Posted by: snidely on September 19, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

In all fairness, John Thrain CEO of Merrill Lynch has been CEO for 9 months. He effectively took charge of the institution after it already lost billions on its books. I wouldn't paint him has culpable for the failures. Just wanted to keep everything in perspective here -at least as far as Thrain is concerned.

Posted by: Mick on September 19, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse me, I meant Thain.

Posted by: Mick on September 19, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Forget all those lobbyists on the McCain team: the one name Obama should make sure everybody knows is Phil Gramm, whose tireless work to gut securities and financial regulations in the late 90's is bearing such beautiful fruit today. McCain has long said that Gramm is his economic brain and has even been talked about as a Treasury secretary or chairman of the Federal Reserve in a McCain administration. Break out the "whiners" quote again too.

Posted by: jonas on September 19, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

"he seems to assume that his comments won't receive any scrutiny at all."

Have you met the US press corps?

Posted by: thorin-1 on September 19, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't McCain get rid of Tom Loeffler? Has he rehired him?

I always thought Loeffler's connection to these guys was troubling:

http://www.asecondlookatthesaudis.com

Predictably, in all his years as a "national security expert," McCain hasn't said a peep about the Saudis.

Posted by: Bill in Chicago on September 19, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

They've gamed this very well.

Keep throwing mud, and even though it is wrong, some of it will stick.

You have to remember the marginal independent voter is not engaged with the facts, nor particularly interested.

They want to know whether McCain is a good guy, and whether Obama is an out-of-touch elitist. So far, just as they defined John Kerry, the McCain campaign has managed to define Barack Obama. Facts are not relevant to this effort nor of particular importance to the voter you are trying to influence.

I remember the famous comment 'John Kerry was only wounded 3 times, and only served 3 months, that doesn't sound like that long to me' from some woman voter in Ohio. She had no conception that the Swiftboats was one of the most dangerous jobs in Vietnam at the time, and that most Vietnam vets were not wounded 3 times in 3 months.

The media collaborates with his 'he said, and the Obama campaign put out a counterstatement'. Ie there's no effort to tell the reader (let alone the viewer or the radio listener) who was telling the truth. They did this to Gore, and to Kerry.

The Republicans are masters at this kind of warfare.

It's not a bug of the McCain campaign, it is a feature.

It worked for Richard Nixon, and it will work for John McCain.

Posted by: Valuethinker on September 19, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

but it seems like an incredibly dangerous strategy for a candidate to take.

Yeah especially for someone who is rapidly trading his maverick reputation for a liar reputation. I guess his thinking is that the first accusation gets the headline and the correction is on page 13.

That's Just What I Said

Posted by: Dale on September 19, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Why would McCain even start on this subject at all, making the argument that ties to Fannie/Freddie are scandalous, given his own associations?

McCain could be trying to inoculate himself against someone noticing that his team of campaign and economic advisers are the architects of this mess. Just like the way Republicans claim that the "culture of corruption" is bipartisan by pointing to Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, McCain will be able to point to Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson and declare that the influence of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyists was pervasive throughout Washington.

The corporate-controlled media will, of course, report on Obama's knowing two guys and McCain's having 177 lobbyists on his campaign staff as being equivalent.

But it could be that McCain simply doesn't remember that he has so may lobbyists with ties to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Wall Street in his campaign.


Posted by: SteveT on September 19, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

PA: It seems the underlying point to just about every McCain argument is that voters won't pay attention to the details. He may be right, but it seems like an incredibly dangerous strategy for a candidate to take.

1) Voters certainly won't be helped to pay attention to the details, unless Mr Obama pumps out another refutation ad. Mainstream media are unlikely to lift much of a finger.
2) McCain is pathologically reckless. We know that (five planes written-off, VP gamble, multitudes of flip-flops and lies). Clearly it's the only strategy he's got, but it is a darn nuisance. Every time he fires off of one of these scatter shots Mr Obama, Mr Benen and their cohorts have to scrabble around engaging in damage control. What a waste of time! - but probably that's the intention.

Posted by: Goldilocks on September 19, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is clueless and the handlers feeding him his talking points are still stuck in 2000/2004 mode where they could count on large swathes of the population to start frothing at the mouth at every breathless pronouncement of phony outrage that rolled off of the White House fax machine.

They just can't figure out that those tactics don't work anymore. The more they use them the more ridiculous they appear. But being lazy as well as rock-stupid they just keep churning it out even though the rest of the world isn't paying attention.

Or most of it, anyway.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on September 19, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is in Karl Rove overdrive; trying to hit Obama on his (McCain's) weaknesses. How does the McCain campaign deal with his close connections to the failed financial institutions? Easy, accuse Obama of it first.

There is only one problem with the application of this theory: Obama doesn't have ties so he can just call it what it is: a LIE! and that will only reinforce the meme that McCain is a liar.

Posted by: PeninsulaMatt on September 19, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's goal, which is actually the goal of much Republican advertising, is not to convince anyone that Obama is worse than McCain on any particular issue, but generally to muddy the waters so that voters will conclude that all candidates are equally corrupt, equally in the pockets of the big companies. Of course, McCain can be attacked on the same grounds. McCain knows that, and this pre-emptive attack on Obama is aimed at neutralizing Obama's advantage.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on September 19, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Mick - Hands off the Arkenstone.

Posted by: inkadu on September 19, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: Orwell on September 19, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

orwell: if you say that obama is an unknown person, you have been shutting your eyes and your brain. of course we all knew that already from the idiotic posts you've made here.

orange

Posted by: just bill on September 19, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what I see as the overall strategy...just muddy things up enough with so many lies that it becomes a chore just to respond to each and every one of them. Think about it. Every single day is a new lie from the McCain campaign. There are just so many lies and scandals out there it's just too much for most primitive minds (read: most voters) to understand or even care to understand. All they know is this mantra of "McCain is an honorable man," "He was a P.O.W.," and "He opposed Bush." Facts be damned, they don't know what's going on with the daily journal of lies exposed by the multitude of bloggers, some mainstream media (finally), and the Obama campaign.

Posted by: Ben on September 19, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hell the founding fathers of our country were considered treasonous by the King of England when they decided to construct the Constitution and make war.

Needless to say our government at the time was loaded with lobbyist by the King making deals. Likely some of them made out like bandits. So, here we are two hundred years later. Same, same story, more over watch about the stock market making rule changes out of no where. Sort of like saying after the sixth inning home runs don’t count. Sheesh.

Also this short selling stuff that has been going on is being considered for temporary suspension. Isn’t this something, to get free money from tax payer via the Federal Reserve then change the rule in middle of the game so the money screw ups don’t loose too much money? This has got to be the coolest place to be.

Hell if anyone out in the free street was to sell something they never had they would be hulled off the slammer.

Only on Wall Street can they do that, sell stocks sort, and get your tax money to do it. Sheesh America this is better than poker.

This is a resilient poker game isn’t it?


Posted by: Megalomania on September 19, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

McEvil is nothing more than an embalmed corpse now that is taken out of it's crypt as necessary and given electro shocks by Karl Rove and Steve Schmidt to make it say and do what they want it too ...

Posted by: stormskies on September 19, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't Franklin Raines black?

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 19, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

No response by the Obama campaign can possibly counter the real message of this ad: "Look what happens when an uppity negro gets in a position of power: the housing comes crashing down around us. And look, those negroes are all in it together." I didn't check, but he must be playing this ad in Michigan and Ohio.

Posted by: Keith Smith on September 19, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Can WE make up names to serve as McCain advisors too?

"Noted McCain campaign advisors, Charles Murray, Muamar Qadafi, and John Mohammed today insisted..."


This is fun! Facts are so confining!!! I'm free! To do what I want! Any ol' time!

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on September 19, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, maybe I wasn't clear enough in the previous thread: it's a racist dog-whistle. The idea of running ads about Franklin Raines and Fannie Mae is *not* for McCain to make logical arguments, it *is* for McCain to get away with running ads that say, "LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET SOME BLACK GUY RUN THINGS!"

That's all. Well, that, and the fact that such apparently nonsensical ads (like the "celebrity" ads) actually *help* McCain, because they get attention from the media, because people try to puzzle through the message(s): "What's he trying to say? Does that make sense? Is that true? Why would he say that? Is it working? What does it really mean? And how's Obama going to react? How are people going to react to what Obama does/says?"

Remember, just because *YOU* don't perceive a message *YOU* understand, doesn't mean someone else isn't.

Posted by: Chris on September 19, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Take a look at the campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie officers and directors. This was a sidebar to the piece by Jackie Calmes in the NY Times on September 9. Contributions to McCain = $169,000. Contributions to Obama = $16,000. Looks to me like there are way more links to McCain and the Fannie/Freddie folks than to Obama. But then the MSM wouldn't notice that, since St. John is always right.

Posted by: nj progressive on September 19, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Darryl +1

Posted by: Ron on September 19, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect that McCain's attacks today are more designed to obscure the question of "whose to blame" then it is to actually try and put the blame on Obama. McCain is being rightly flamed for the multitude of connections he has to this crisis. So he's hoping to push back on some that heat by saying, "But Obama should be flamed as well."

The fact that Obama's connection is minimal while McCain's goes back decades is unimportant. In the world of media false equivalency, McCain is once again appealing to the "pox on both your houses" dynamic.

Posted by: Chris Andersen on September 19, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's getting close to crunch time, and a win is essential for the Republicans if they wish to avoid undue scrutiny of the Bush years. John McCain is flailing about, picking up on a strategy only long enough to see if it's working or not. As "John McCain: serial liar" astutely alleged - and defended - in the initial comment, it matters less to Conservatives that something is true than that it creates consternation for the Democrats/liberals. It's not about putting the best person for the job in the Big Chair, it's about beating the Democrats. Removing the notion that deserving to win means anything is greatly enabling to using whatever tactics you think will bring success.

Everybody on the right side should stop wasting time trying to bring Conservatives into the fold. Those people are committed to voting for McCain/Palin, even if you showed them a video of John McCain shooting pensioners from his hotel window. The best you can hope for is to swing independents, and hope the rabid conservative nuts are not sufficiently numerous.

orange

Posted by: Mark on September 19, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sport Analogy Alert

McCain's campaign managers remind me of a football coach who calls a play (say a screen pass) early in the game, and it gets good yardage. On the next series, he calls it again, and it gets a few yards. Then the other team adjusts, and the play loses yards every time it is called.

But he keps calling the screen over and over and over again because it gained so much the first time.

McCain's managers got a huge bounce for a month by telling one whopper after another. Then lots of people noticed the lies and adjusted. But they keep calling the Big Lie play over and over and over, hoping for a TD.

I suppose they think they are one magic lie away from victory. I guess they think they don't have anything else.

Posted by: Catfish on September 19, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

I wish it were as dangerous as you might like it to be, but it's not, and that's why they are playing that game. They depend upon the ignorance and laziness of the masses, and they get it. Not even the H-Bomb of bailouts that will cost us a trillion dollars or more will wake these dumbarses up. Hopeless.

Posted by: Geoff on September 19, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Orwell, back to troll some more, eh? You know, you never did give me any evidence for your previous troll the other day, when you insisted that "lobbiests" were "all over Obama's campaign".

Though some anonymous piker tried to claim that an alleged LA Times article about employees of mortgage companies donating their own personal money was evidence for it.

Posted by: Shade Tail on September 19, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Gramps McDrool is, flat out, a LIAR. When he opens his mouth, he lies. 'Nuf said.

Posted by: Doofus on September 19, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it also the case, though, that political candidates will frequently accuse their opponents of things they themselves are guilty of? Sort of the political version of the psychological idea of projection: a liar will accuse *you* of lying, and a cheating spouse will accuse his wife of being unfaithful.

Seems to me that McCain's team knows full well that he's deeply interconnected with the financial meltdown (and not just this time, either -- Keating Five, anyone?). So, rather than try to distract people from the subject (which would be impossible, given the media sh*tstorm), instead, they accuse Obama of being guilty of McCain's sins.

And like everyone is saying... what's the point of "facts" anyway? Just keep repeating it and it lodges in the voters' "minds"...

*sigh*

Posted by: Steve on September 19, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, maybe I wasn't clear enough in the previous thread: it's a racist dog-whistle. The idea of running ads about Franklin Raines and Fannie Mae is *not* for McCain to make logical arguments, it *is* for McCain to get away with running ads that say, "LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET SOME BLACK GUY RUN THINGS!"

I agree. Given that they've already tried tying Obama to the convicted mayor of Detroit, this is another attempt to link him to a "bad" black man.

It's even more tenuous than the Detroit one, though: Raines left Fannie Mae in 2004. How on earth is he personally responsible 4 years later for the crash today?

Of course, these are the same people who insist that Bill Clinton was responsible for 9/11 nine months after he left office, so logic isn't their strong suit.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on September 19, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Someone over at Swampland brought up a great point, and I really, really hope that Steve, other bloggers, reporters, and even the Obama campaign provide a bit of financial education to everyone.

Instead of rehashing the comment, here it is (shortened a bit -- linky):

The reason Fannie and Freddie got into trouble was that the loans they authorized are now upside-down - i.e., the collateral (the house), is no longer worth the principal amount of the loan. Now, when these loans were originated, Fannie and Freddie both required at least 10% down along with mortgage insurance.

So, to the extent they screwed up, it's not that they had fundamentally unsound lending practices, it's that the real-estate market was overheating. Upwards pressure on home prices didn't happen because of GSE practices, it was because of the vast secondary market in mortgage-backed securities that were packaged up by everybody else and their brother-in-law. And the reason this secondary market existed is because of lax or non-existent risk-capital regulations for banks, brokerages, and investment banks.

Now, ask yourself what would have happened if Fannie and Freddie would have said "I'm sorry, we don't care if the house appraised at $350,000, we think it's only worth 200,000 and that's all we'll lend."

Mr. and Mrs. homebuyer would have been SOL, unless they got a private market loan with much sketchier underwriting standards - i.e., "sub-prime".

Now, it's not quite that simple, because of course Fannie and Freddie had some responsibility to keep an eye on what the loan originators were doing, but I'm skeptical it would have mad much difference, overall.

Fannie and Freddie don't have a ton of subprime and no doc loans on their books -- they are, instead, suffering fallout from dropping home prices, not defaults.

So even though McCain's ad is dishonest ... even though McCain gets more donations from Fannie and Freddie power brokers (compared to run-of-the-mill employees who donate to Obama) ... and even though we, the taxpayers, are covering their butts ... neither Fannie nor Freddie did anything dishonest, unethical, or even illegal.

Just an important thing to note.

Posted by: Mark D on September 19, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Forgive me if this link has already been in play, but it looks good and "objective":

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/16/AR2008071602565.html

It may however already be "dated" since it seems some of those "advisers to Obama" were just people who talked on the phone, as per WaPo admission that Rush is touting and bleating as "blaming McCain for listening to themselves" etc.

Posted by: Neil B on September 19, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with those (Ron Byers, Chris, Mnemosyne) who think this more race-bait from Camp McCain. And, damn, the name Franklin Raines is just close enough to Jeremiah Wright that one could get confused. Isn't Jeremiah Raines the scary black preacher/executive who claimed God was going to destroy the American housing market as punishment for slavery when he ran for president in 1988. Or was that Franklin Jackson?

Posted by: PTate in MN on September 19, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

This particular ad is, I think, aimed at those voters who; rather than actually look into the issues, form their opinions based on their findings and then, maybe, cast their vote, simply fall back on the phrase "all politicians are crooks" as if that justifies their lack of interest.
Of course, with an attitude such as that, it's not surprising that an awful lot of crooks DO get elected. Self-fulfilling statement, really.

Posted by: Doug on September 19, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

are the commenters here actually defending Fannie/Freddie??????

These are the most crooked institutions that bought off congress and used its funding advantage from the gov't(taxpayers) and then profit immensely from selling it off. Its CEO's and executives have been running off with millions of dollars for the last two decades..

how can the commenters on this site insult others and then at the same time defend fannie/freddie??

Posted by: marks77 on September 19, 2008 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

both of whom are former Fannie Mae executives

They were CEOs of Fannie Mae, not merely executives.

Posted by: Neo on September 19, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Can I give you all a clue? I'm a genuinely undecided voter. I'm leaning toward Obama because I've always been a Democrat, but I have concerns about him. I have concerns about McCain too.

You are completely turning me off with this nauseating, incessant refrain that McCain is a "liar." He is campaigning, and in doing so, he is stretching the truth. But so is Obama. He has just as many examples to point to as McCain does. And if the contest comes down to judging character, Obama loses, period. He is a big nothing compared to McCain, a man of talent but no accomplishments.

You want my vote? Tell me why Obama would be a great president, without reference to McCain or Bush. He's done that so seldom since March. But don't try to sell me that this campaign is one between a liar and an honest man. It's appallingly disingenuous.

Posted by: Vail Beach on September 20, 2008 at 5:22 AM | PERMALINK

Through the filter of Fox News, Rush and Drudge, which conservatives watch and listen to exclusively, these attacks are amplified and repeated, they do not receive any type of rational scrutiny. These attack ads aren't for the average voter, only low information conservative voters...

Posted by: JoeTX on September 20, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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