ol' mcflopsweat is proving himself to be the all-time dojo master of the pyrrhic victory. he always manages to steal the headlines from obama, but at the cost of horrible, horrible press.
his first big victory was the night of obama's primary victory, when he got roundly panned for his lame "green screen" speech.
then his veep pick stole some of the shine from the close of the dem convention, but palin got roundly panned in the press.
now he's rushing to get out in front of the big bailout, but now even letterman's roundly piling on.
mcflopsweat says he "knows how to win wars", which i guess is easy if you're willing to pay any price ...
... it is still instructive to review mccain's actions in the last two days, to see why the notion of him as president is now alarming even some republicans.
after making the hasty announcement wednesday that he was suspending his presidential campaign to rush to washington and lead the bickering sides to a bipartisan agreement, mccain did no such thing. instead, he spent wednesday night and much of thursday in new york, trying, self-servingly, to get on television.
... did mccain roll up his sleeves and put his magical maverick bipartisan skills to work? did he help get the members of his own party on board? build a bridge or two across the aisle? stick it to the wall street greedheads, as he had promised, by capping the money they can make in this bailout?
no. mccain closeted himself with his advisers and tried to find a way to salvage his rapidly deteriorating political position.
then it was time for the white house photo op, which mccain had so coveted. and what does mr. suspend my campaign for the good of the country do?
he goes awol.
ej dionne, washington post:
mccain's boisterous intervention — and particularly his grandstanding on the debate — was less a presidential act than the tactical ploy of a man worried that his chances of becoming president might be slipping away.
evansville courier & press (in):
mccain's action was a diversionary tactic and a rather crass one at that. he was not one of the key senate negotiators needed to hammer out a congressional deal on the bailout. he could vote up-or-down on the bill and still debate.
jeffrey toobin, cnn:
well, can i just quarrel with the premise of this? who says he suspended his campaign? he didn’t suspend his campaign. he’s been campaigning all day. he gave a speech in new york. he’s giving interviews all night. he’s raising money. his surrogates are attacking barack obama.
i think this is posturing of being apolitical. and, frankly, i think we’re being kind of gullible in falling for it. he didn’t stop his campaign. he’s campaigning. now whether it’s successful or not ...
... he didn’t pull his ads down. his ads have been on. and he’s done exactly what obama has done all day. and obama admits that he’s campaigning. it’s the middle of the campaign. i don’t see why we should treat what he’s doing as anything different from what obama is doing.
jack cafferty, cnn:
cafferty: i'm sixty-five and have been covering politics as you have for a long time. that is one of the most pathetic pieces of tape i have ever seen for someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country. that's all i have to say. ... blitzer: yeah, but she's ... cramming a lot of information, y'know she's — cafferty: that's just — there's no excuse for that! she's supposed to know a little bit of this! y'know ... don't make excuses for her! that's pathetic!
duncan black, eschaton:
i'm actually a little sympathetic to palin. her problem isn't so much that she speaks in gibberish, the problem is that she doesn't speak in official washington gibberish. john mccain spouts gibberish all the time, as do all politicians, but it's often the kind of gibberish which is part of the beltway dialect. it's pundit-approved gibberish. whether or not it makes any sense is irrelevant. whatever palin's knowledge of domestic or foreign affairs, her biggest problem is that she's obviously completely unfamiliar with the basic contours of the core political discourse of our country. gibberish is fine as long as it's the right kind of gibberish.
it was fun while it lasted.
ms. palin's recent interviews with charles gibson, sean hannity and now katie couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. who is clearly out of her league.
... what to do?
mr. mccain can't repudiate his choice for running mate. he not only risks the wrath of the gop's unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability.
... only ms. palin can save mr. mccain, her party and the country she loves. she can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. no one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.
do it for your country.
kathryn jean lopez, national review online:
i’m not where my friend kathleen parker is — wanting her to step aside to spend more time with her family and alaska — but that’s not a crazy suggestion.
david letterman, late night, nbc:
sure there's an economic crisis, but here's what you do if you're running a campaign in the middle of an economic crisis, and it's about to 'crater' ... don't suspend your campaign. you let your campaign go on shouldered by your vice presidential nominee. that's what you do. you don't quit! ... or is that a really good thing to do? see what i’m saying?
... when john mccain — and he was nice enough to call me on the phone and said that he was racing back to washington — our people here were told, so serious, he's getting on a plane immediately and racing back to washington. and now we've just been told ... here, take a look — do we have it on the thing? this is going live ... there he is right there.
[monitor shows live feed of mccain having makeup touches for a cbs news interview with katie couric]
doesn't seem to be racing to the airport, does he? this just gets uglier and uglier. i'm feeling bad for the man to have participated in this ... first of all, the road to the white house runs right through me. well, let's just punch up katie couric's interview and keith, you can go back to wherever you came from ... let's just see what he has to say here. this will be interesting. ... let's see if he'll mention me. hey, john, i got a question — do you need a ride to the airport? now, this stinks.
charles babington, associated press:
even for a party whose president suffers dismal approval ratings, whose legislative wing lost control of congress and whose presidential nominee trails in the polls, it was a remarkably bad day for republicans.