The Ironic Associations of John McCain

One disappointing aspect of this year’s campaign is that, rather than campaigning on the actual issues, John McCain has decided to run a dishonest Rove-style campaign. His campaign is primarily based upon smears rather than issues, and when he does discuss issues he frequently distorts Obama’s views to engage in straw man attacks. McCain’s smears against Obama are based upon misinformation, often concentrating on attacks not on Obama himself but on people he has had any type of association with, regardless of how trivial.

The irony to this line of attack is not only that John McCain has had far more meaningful associations with extremists (here and here), but that McCain has had associations with some of the same people he has attacked Obama for having associated with. Yesterday Marc Ambinder wrote of an association between McCain and Acorn. Today Andrew Sullivan finds an interesting connection between McCain and William Ayers:

Republican machers Walter and Leonora Annenberg gave the former terrorist $50 million. They also gave money to Rick Santorum, Strom Thurmond and Mitt Romney. Annenberg was Nixon’s ambassador to Britain. If Obama is “palling around with terrorists,” the Republican Annenbergs are funding them.

Yesterday, the McCain campaign put out a press release boasting that Leonore Annenberg had just endorsed him for president. Why is McCain happy to accept the endorsement of a funder of terrorism?

Obama is directly referring to the Ayers connection in a new radio ad:

“Bill Ayers is a professor of education who once served with Obama on a school reform board, a board funded by conservative Republicans tied to McCain,” says the ad’s narrator. “When Ayers committed crimes in the ’60s, Obama was 8 years old. Obama condemned those despicable acts. Ayers has had no role in Obama’s campaign, and will have no role in his administration.”

“And John McCain? With no plan to fix our economy, smears are all he has left,” says the narrator.


  1. 1
    Duane says:

    In your article you stated: “One disappointing aspect of this year’s campaign is that, rather than campaigning on the actual issues. John McCain has decided to run a dishonest Rove-style campaign.” 

    I’m curious about issues.  I consistenly am referred to the concept of change.  I’m wondering what it is that will be changed?  I have not heard any specifics, and yes this is definitely a conservative talking point, but I have a specific list of what I consider serious issues needing to be addressed. I have heard very little about issues from either side.  What exactly do YOU consider the issues to be? 

    I see a great deal of finger pointing and blame being passed back and forth from both sides of the aisle, but no real solutions to any of the issues I see as critical. It is much easier to cast blame and doubt than to come up with solutions.

    I would like an analysis put forth about the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that has some semblance of sanity.   There are over 110 pages of legalese.  I read both the Washington Post summary on September 28th and the Huffington Post’s full text.  There are so many holes and caveats that it makes no sense.  This piece of legislative genius was put togehter on such short notice by legislators who have little understanding of how the financial institutions behind the meltdown even function, that the document is mostly irrelevent rhetoric except it plops down 700 Billion of my money to fund corporate welfare.

    I’d like to know what is being done to prevent another 9/11 massacre of innocent civilians.  Ben Franklin put it most succinctly:“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”   Nonetheless, I do not feel safe.
    The environment is one of the issues. I’d like a plan to take care of the environment that is neither short sighted nor economically crippling.  We have very intelligent people in this country who can solve this issue.  They don’t seem to be in congress or the white house.  Nor will they be based on the candidates running for those offices.

    Energy seems to be important, but with no one providing solutions and everyone providing blame, I am puzzled.  There are many paths to follow to energy self-sufficiency.  How about we go down all those paths?

    The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are an issue.  I believe Greg Mortenson has a solution, why can’t the politicians see it?

    Abortion is NOT an issue.  It is a personal moral decision.  Why do politicians continue to batter this dead horse?

    Education in this country is pitiful.  More to the point, the willingness (or perhaps unwillingness) of parents to make this an issue and let the government solve it by throwing more money at it is sad.  How about a solution.

    Health care is a massive issue.  Again, asking politicians to solve a problem they know very little about is asking for trouble.  There is another simple solution; put a doctor on every street corner.  The AMA is the most effete group of finger pointers outside of Congress that exists.  Doctors are not gods, just highly overrated technicians.  And I don’t believe there are many congressmen or senators that hold a degree in medicine.  All I can say is the medical insurance companies are killing their golden calf.

    What about the political corruption that exists.  I used to think this country was honest and forthright.  Not any more.  It’s sad that I can’t trust the representatives my fellow americans put into office.

    Well, I could go on and on.  It doesn’t really matter, because all I hear is excuses and finger pointing from the candidates.  I can’t vote for any of them.  I do reserve my right to vote and will be casting my ballot on November.  I’ve just not been given a choice.  It makes me sad and frustrated.

    Thanks for listening to my rant.

    – DB

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:


    Obama has provided information on two levels. He uses slogans such as change as this is what attracts the average voter. He has also provided considerable specific information on the actual changes he plans.

    Among the changes Obama advocates is a change in our foreign policy to get out of Iraq and to utilize “soft power” (great concept but terrible name politically) to restore US influence. He advocates changes in health care policy to provide care to those who currently cannot afford health care. He supports change in the tax code to give breaks to the middle class and to small business instead of to the top one tenth of one percent as under the plans of Bush and McCain. By change Obama also means a change in politics, by working with both parties as opposed to the Republican tactic of pushing things through with 50% plus one, and ignoring the concerns of everyone else.

    We certainly are not safer against terrorism because of the flawed policies under Bush. That’s another reason we need change. We need to actually work on defense against terrorism as opposed to using terrorism as an excuse to push through the agenda of the far right.

    Abortion should be a personal issue, but it is a political issue as long as the Republicans seek to reverse Roe v. Wade and to make abortion illegal.

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