mccain campaign

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McCain campaign - not Palin - came up with "palling around"; Schmidt regrets largely true ad - 07/10/09

Marc Ambinder has an advance copy (link) of a book about the 2008 elections from Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, and it might contain a good number of behind-the-scenes tidbits.

For instance, one of the mistakes that Sarah Palin made was to claim that Barack Obama was "palling around" with Bill Ayers.

Except, it was Nicolle Wallace of the McCain campaign - and not Palin - that came up with the "palling around" bit.

That allowed the mainstream media to mislead about the relationship between the two, dismissing that relationship by pointing out that they weren't close friends and using that distraction to cover up the series of past links between them. See the contemporaneous coverage of the article from Scott Shane of the New York Times. Despite the fact that that article tried to cover up the relationship, Wallace wrote the following:

"Governor and Team: rick [Davis], Steve [Schmidt] and I suggest the following attack from the new york times. If you are comfortable, please deliver the attack as written. Please do not make any changes to the below without approval from steve or myself because precision is crucial in our ability to introduce this."

Actual "precision" would have involved pointing out that they had a series of affiliations and that the NYT wasn't telling the whole truth about that. Wallace's idea of "precision" hurt Palin and the McCain campaign.

Further, Ambinder says:

At a post-campaign discussion I attended a few months ago, Schmidt said that he regrets two attacks: an ad linking Obama with an Illinois sex-ed program and the decision to go after Obama's friendship with Ayers.

The Illinois sex-ed ad - the one Schmidt regrets - was largely true.

Greg Mitchell misleads about MSM smears of Sarah Palin ("Why Obama Won") - 02/15/09

Greg Mitchell - editor of Editor and Publisher and author of the new book "Why Obama Won" - puts on his mainstream media apologist hat to offer the incredibly misleading "Hit or Myth: Did the Media 'Destroy' McCain's Chances By Mocking Sarah Palin?" (link):
In the months after the November election, and then gaining even more attention as Barack Obama became president, are charges that the media helped elect him by attacking, of mocking, Sarah Palin. Numerous pundits and conservative activists have alleged that she had given John McCain a big boost in the polls when first named and that she would have help drive him to victory if not for the later treatment by Katie and Tina and Charlie Gibson and all the rest.

But this is not true.
She did breathe new life into the McCain campaign, and as of September 12 (link) she did help him at least nationally. However, Mitchell intentionally misses the point: Palin could have helped McCain in the polls if the MSM had not almost immediately started lying and misleading about her. His is just a strawman argument intended to divert attention from the disgraceful MSM coverage she received and continues to receive. With impartial coverage, she no doubt would have helped McCain once most voters knew who she was, but the MSM stood in the way of that.

In fact, there's a couple examples of that bias in his article, one from Mitchell himself, the other from CNN. Mitchell quotes a CNN poll that showed 50% saying Palin wasn't qualified to be president. What he fails to note is this:
So far, according to the poll, four in 10 Americans are not familiar with Palin.
Obviously, there was a lot of room for her to introduce herself to voters and raise her qualification rating above 50%. However, she was introduced to those voters through a loosely orchestrated smear campaign by the MSM. And, asking whether she was qualified and not asking whether Obama was qualified was just a minor part of that campaign. See the Sarah Palin smear page for a partial list.

"Latino Voting in the 2008 Election: Part of a Broader Electoral Movement" - 01/28/09

The Center for Immigration Studies has released a new report on the so-called Hispanic vote in the 2008 elections (link). A few key points:

* The drop in support among Latinos for Republicans between 2004 and 2008 was part of a broad-based electoral movement away from the GOP, and was hardly specific to that demographic group. McCain received only 57 percent of the white male vote, compared with 62 percent for Bush in 2004, and McCain’s 55 percent of regular churchgoers was significantly lower than Bush's 61 percent.

* Credible surveys indicate that the major policy concerns of Latinos were no different than the concerns of non-Latinos: The economy and jobs topped the list.

* There is little evidence that immigration policy was an influential factor in Latinos' choice between the two candidates once basic party predispositions are taken into account.

* McCain's consistent history of advocating a legalization program for illegal immigrants made no impression on Latino voters.

UPDATE: From the other side, the Immigration Policy Center has responded with some polling data linked from here:
lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2009/01/fact-sheets-by.html
The surveys they point to were performed by Frank Sharry's America's Voice, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and others and may have been designed to show what those groups wanted them to show. The IPC fact sheet also doesn't address general election trends.

UPDATE 2: The CIS author responds to his critics here.

Juan Hernandez to lobby Obama for immigration amnesty (still with Reform Institute) - 01/25/09

Juan Hernandez - former Mexican cabinet-level official who later worked with the John McCain campaign doing outreach to (U.S.) Hispanics - was interviewed by the Al Dia (owned by the Dallas Morning News) and said he'll be staying in Washington DC to lobby the Barack Obama campaign to pass comprehensive immigration reform, aka an amnesty. Hernandez is still a Senior Fellow of the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Initiative" at the McCain-linked Reform Institute (reforminstitute.org/about/AboutHernandez.aspx), but it's not clear whether he'll be doing his lobbying through them or another group.

From the translation here (original here):

Hernandez... will reside in Washington during the next months trying to lobby for immigration reform during the administration of Barack Obama... "Obama has been very quiet regarding reform. When he is asked which are his priorities, he forgets to say immigration reform. And we are not going to let him forget", he said.

While I'm sure Obama would offer a very sympathetic ear, the question is what specifically Hernandez would bring to the table for Obama; the only thing would be more rightward leaning Hispanics and perhaps that might be enough. Note, of course, that there are dozens of leftwingers who believe in the same thing as Hernandez, such as administration member Cecilia Munoz.

The rest of the interview is just a longer version of his previous remarks; he adds in a bit more this time about the reason that McCain didn't push Hernandez' agenda harder having to do with mid-level staffers:

"McCain wanted [more pandering, more support for CIR]. Rick Davis wanted it. But when you arrived at the medium level of the campaign, the ones that operated the campaign, froze (the message)",

Nicolle Wallace tries rounding up other Republicans for Leader Obama - 01/22/09

Over at the Daily Beast, former senior advisor to the McCain campaign and George W Bush employee Nicolle Wallace offers "Republicans Get on Board/Even some former Bush aides are smitten with the new president. Now, will lefties let the GOP inside the tent?" (link). I am fighting very, very hard to avoid screaming out the first appellation that comes to mind. So, I'll just say that she and her friends are simply political opportunists, and the Republican Party could do much worse than to purge their ranks of those who like her have absolutely no principles.

She also says,

"President Obama has the support of roughly 80 percent of Americans. Those numbers include all Democrats and a whole lot of Republicans."

I'd like to know where Nicole Wallace is getting her numbers, because even a CNN poll doesn't support anything like that (link). However, he does have an 81% approval rating in Canada (link), so maybe she just took a wrong turn.

Mark McKinnon says people like him are the problem with the GOP, and he's right - 12/23/08

Mark McKinnon - former chief advertising strategist for the John McCain campaign who quit in May rather than run against Barack Obama (link) - takes to the Daily Beast to offer "The Problem With the GOP Is... Me" (link).

New smear: Palin didn't know Africa was a continent or the three countries in NAFTA - 11/05/08

[IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW]

An unnamed John McCain aide supposedly told Carl Cameron of Fox News - a tool if there ever was one - that Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent instead of a country. The aide also told him that she didn't know which countries were in NAFTA. Needless to say, this comes on the heels of a long line of smears against Palin, and it's almost assuredly a smear as well. She obviously knows about Canada, and she also obviously knows about Mexico. There's the slight possibility that she thought that some of the countries that are in Central America were in North America, but that probably isn't likely either. So, this doesn't even pass very basic scrutiny.

For those just dropping by, there's probably almost no chance that the allegations are true and someone is playing a game.

Unfortunately, it might be an effective smear because of the foundation that the mainstream media laid in order to help Obama become president; many of the things you "know" about Palin are actually lies planted by the Obama campaign and/or the mainstream media (as if they were that separate).

See this for the transcript of the interview, this or this for some thoughts on the palace intrigue aspects (noting that the second is just speculation), and this for the video.

What's especially worrisome about this from the standpoint of an informed electorate is that, at the same time that this smear is spreading, Obama supports a Bush trade scheme known as "NAFTA Plus" (the Security and Prosperity Partnership, spp.gov) that might be a precursor to joining the three countries of North America.

When coming out in support of that Bush trade scheme, Obama spoke in code. And, I have yet to see someone besides me and Obama himself discussing the fact that he supports that scheme. His editorial supporting Bush's scheme appeared in the Dallas Morning News, but no one else wants to discuss what he supports.

The visitor should decide which is more important: a smear, or a secretive Bush trade scheme. Then, take those pushing the smear to task. And, note that those calling Palin dumb are actually the dumb ones: they can't figure out that this is clearly a planted smear and they're just being useful idiots.

~~ Who's helping spread the smear? ~~

* The Huffington Post (of course) has it at huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/05/palin-didnt-know-africa-i_n_141653.html, and that has over 2200 Diggs (of course)

* Andrew Sullivan has completely bought it without any reservations whatsoever: andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/the-odd-truths.html
Can you trust anyone who'd be so gullible?

* Faiz Shakir of ThinkProgress also completely buys it:
thinkprogress.org/2008/11/05/palin-africa-continent/

* However, in a report oddly similar to the one from HotAir linked above, ksh01 of DailyKos implicitly throws some cold water on this by discussing the palace intrigue aspects:
dailykos.com/story/2008/11/5/194551/287/976/651932

10/20/09 UPDATE: The full story is still not known, but it appears that a real McCain staffer said the things listed above to Carl Cameron. Then, a prankster tried to glom onto the story, pretending that he was that staffer. However, at this point in time it appears that the prankster wasn't the one who told Cameron the things listed above.

This quotes him as saying it was "senior McCain staff" who "put this out", and from this:

The pranksters behind [Martin Eisenstadt] acknowledge that he was not, through them, the anonymous source of the Palin leak. He just claimed falsely that he was the leaker--and they say they have no reason to cast doubt on the original story. For its part, Fox News Channel continues to stand behind its story.

Barack Obama lied about ACORN involvement (he was a trainer) - 10/10/08

[UPDATE 2: the BHO campaign changed their website, possibly to admit that he was indeed an ACORN trainer.]

Barack Obama has been caught in yet another of his lies. Here's what his "Fight the Smears" website says about his involvement with ACORN (fightthesmears.com/articles/20/acornrumor):
Discredited Republican voter-suppression guru Ken Blackwell is attacking Barack Obama with naked lies about his supposed connection to ACORN.

* Fact: Barack was never an ACORN community organizer.
* Fact: Barack was never an ACORN trainer and never worked for ACORN in any other capacity.
* Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.
Now, turn to a 2004 article from Social Policy, which was apparently scrubbed from their site [1]. That article was uncovered by this site, which has more:
"Obama took the case, known as ACORN vs. Edgar (the name of the Republican governor at the time) and we won. Obama then went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992 that made it possible for Carol Moseley Braun to win the Senate that year. Project VOTE delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign (ACORN delivered about 5,000 of them).

Since then, we have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and, as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office. Thus it was natural for many of us to be active volunteers in his first campaign for STate Senate and then his failed bid for U.S. Congress in 1996. By the time he ran for U.S. Senate, we were old friends."
[1] It was previously at socialpolicy.org/index.php?id=838. That page now returns a listing of other articles, but an 10/4/08 cache is here. That page requires a login, but if they've removed the original page it probably wouldn't work even if you signed up.

UPDATE 3: See also ACORN Ohio worked *with* Obama campaign on GOTV; ACORN/Project Vote did GOTV in battleground states

UPDATE 2: There's much more on ACORN and Obama here, here, here, and here.

UPDATE: Here's a McCain campaign video about BHO's involvement with ACORN:

John McCain ad was right and Barack Obama, MSM misled about BHO's kindergartener sex education bill - 09/16/08

Earlier this month the John McCain campaign released an ad (link, video link) saying in part:
"Obama's one accomplishment?

Legislation to teach "comprehensive sex education" to kindergartners.

Learning about sex before learning to read?

Barack Obama.
This has led to a wide variety of BHO supporters - specifically those in the MSM - calling McCain a liar. To a certain extent, they have somewhat of a point: the bill might not be an "accomplishment" for BHO since he was just a supporter and not a co-sponsor and since it never passed. And, the McCain campaign might not have correctly contextualized some of the other quotes they provide in the ad relating to BHO's educational plans.

However, their complaints don't usually involve those points but instead revolve around the middle sentences quoted above; they try to pretend that kindergarteners were just covered by the bill in order to prevent abuse when in fact the bill was much more far-reaching than BHO and his helpers would have you believe. For an example of what Obama would have you believe, see this or this quote from campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki (link):
"Barack Obama supports sensible, community-driven education for children because, among other things, he believes it could help protect them from pedophiles. A child's knowledge of the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching is crucial to keeping them safe from predators."
Now, for the truth about the bill, read this:
Within moments of the ad's appearance, the Obama campaign called it "shameful and downright perverse." The legislation in question, a bill [Senate Bill 99] in the Illinois State Senate that was supported but not sponsored by Obama, was, according to Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton, "written to protect young children from sexual predators" and had nothing to do with comprehensive sex education for kindergartners...

Newspaper, magazine, and television commentators quickly piled on. "The kindergarten ad flat-out lies," wrote the New York Times, arguing that "at most, kindergarteners were to be taught the dangers of sexual predators." The Washington Post wrote that "McCain's 'Education' Spot is Dishonest, Deceptive." And in a column in The Hill, the influential blogger Josh Marshall called the sex-education spot "a rancid, race-baiting ad based on [a] lie. Willie Horton looks mild by comparison."
Read the rest, which includes a discussion of how what was originally meant for those in the sixth grade and up was changed to everyone in K-12 because urban areas might require different topics to be covered than more rural areas. The article also includes Byron York trying to get in touch with three of the four original sponsors and for some unknown reason or other not getting his calls returned. Only one of the four spoke with him about the bill:
After we discussed other aspects of the bill, I told [original co-sponsor state senator Iris Martinez] that reading the bill, I just didn't see it as being exclusively, or even mostly, about inappropriate touching. "I didn't see it that way, either," Martinez said. "It's just more information about a whole variety of things that have to go into a sex education class, the things that are outdated that you want to amend with things that are much more current."

So, I asked, you didn't see it specifically as being about inappropriate touching?

"Absolutely not."
That doesn't mean that the parts involving kindergarteners wouldn't be restricted to just inappropriate touching. However, the age range was lowered specifically to allow different school districts to offer teaching appropriate to their areas, and thus those in lower grades could be taught much more than BHO is letting on. For a discussion of that, see this or this.

A list of just some of those who've helped Barack Obama hide the truth about the bill is in the extended entry:



* Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times say the ad "misleadingly accused Obama of endorsing sex education for kindergarten students" (link)

* A New York Times editorial falsely states "At most, kindergarteners were to be taught the dangers of sexual predators." (link) What they could have been taught was left up to the localities.

* Following the party line boilerplate, Paul Krugman says 'In reality, he supported legislation calling for "age and developmentally appropriate education"; in the case of young children, that would have meant guidance to help them avoid sexual predators.'

* Larry Rohter of the New York Times pretends the ad was implying that "comprehensive" meant that kindergarteners would receive the information as high school students; he's probably the only person coming to that conclusion. He also takes Obama's word for his understanding of the bill rather than discussing what the bill actually says and what others intended by it (link).

* Emi Kolawole of FactCheck correctly points out some of the minor errors in the ad, but says 'It's true that the phrase "comprehensive sex education" appeared in the bill, but little else in McCain's claim is accurate.' (link)

* Michael Scherer of Time says "[t]he sex-education bill in question had called only for age-appropriate instruction..."

* Brave New Films promotes a Planned Parenthood ad (alternet.org/blogs/video/98697/ planned_parenthood_rips_into_mccain_for_sex-ed_smear_campaign): 'In an ad, they say that Obama was helping children protect themselves from sex offenders, while McCain seemingly doesn't care.'

* Nedra Pickler and Charles Babbington of the Associated Press claim that the ad "misrepresent[ed] [BHO's] position on sex education for kindergartners." (link). That's not completely inaccurate, but it fails to note that BHO either hasn't read, hasn't understood, or is misrepresenting the bill.

* Joe Garofali of the San Francisco Chronicle falsely states 'Obama doesn't support explicit sex education for kindergarteners. The bill -- which never was passed out of the Illinois legislature --included teaching "age-appropriate sex education" -- you know, what is inappropriate touching, that sort of stuff'. (link)

* Richard Cohen offered "The Ugly New McCain" (link) and called the ad a "lie". That referenced a McCain appearance on The View (!) where Joy Behar called it a lie as well.

* "Hilzoy" of the Washington Monthly pretends it was just about inappropriate touching (link).

* Joe Sudbay tries to pretend it was just about preventing abuse (americablog.com/2008/09/mccain-got-nasty-defending-his-negative.html)

* Democratic consultant Mark Mellman says "There is not an iota of reality in McCain's attack on Obama's supporting comprehensive sex education for kindergartners. As we all know, he voted to help children avoid sexual predators."

* A Tampa Bay Tribune editorial says 'The facts: Obama, while a state lawmaker in Illinois, supported a measure to provide older students with age and developmentally appropriate sex education. Younger children, such as those kindergarten-age, would be taught "age-appropriate" things such as how to protect themselves from sexual predators.'

* A Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorial says "There is no evidence that Obama supported explicit sex education in kindergarten, as a McCain ad implied."

* Not even understanding BHO talking points, Cox Newspapers columnist Tom Teepen says 'No, as an Illinois state legislator Obama did not push for "comprehensive sex education" for kindergarteners. He supported a proposal for age appropriate sex education -- which, for kindergarteners, would have meant only making them aware of the possibility of sex abuse and teaching them means to counter it.'

UPDATE:
* Darrell West from the Brookings Institution falsely states "The McCain campaign ran another spot erroneously claiming Obama favored comprehensive sex education for kindergarteners." (link)

* It's an Anderson Cooper from CNN and "FactCheck" two-fer. CNN aired a "Fact Checking" episode that hewed to the party line (link):
[RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT]: Did Obama want to teach sex education to kindergartners? Not really. The programming question was intended to teach kids how to avoid sexual predators, says the nonpartisan group FactCheck.org.

VIVECA NOVAK, FACTCHECK.ORG: What he wanted to do was increase the range of some -- some sort of sex education, K-12. But the kind of thing he was interested in having kids at a young age learn about was inappropriate sexual advances that might be made against them.
What BHO says he wants and what was in the bill he voted for are, of course, two entirely different things.

Ethnocentric Lionel Sosa working for John McCain (money from Mexican government?) - 07/16/08

Lionel Sosa is an extremely ethnocentric GOP advertising consultant who worked on George W Bush's presidential campaigns. Last year, he crossed over and supported Bill Richardson because, as he said at the time, "Blood runs thicker than politics".

Elderly librarian ejected from John McCain event! (Don't worry about the details; ProgressNow) - 07/07/08

Denver, Colorado's ProgressNow - a group linked to both the Democratic Party and multi-millionaire illegal immigration supporter Jared Polis - is pushing the story of a poor, helpless, 61-year-old part time librarian who was arrested before a John McCain event just because she was holding a sign saying "McCain = Bush" (progressnowaction.org/page/community/post/al/Cqyh).

Except, of course, there's more to it.

The "librarian" (Carol Kreck) works part-time for an "education think tank" (link). I haven't been able to determine which group that is, but it screams "Polis or affiliated" group to me. She's also a former Denver Post reporter (apparently under the name Carol Bell), so she's not a civilian either. There's also the question of whether she was on public or private property and whether they had a right to complain about the sign since no one else was allowed to have one. See the comment from someone who claims to be from Progress Now disputing the Denver Post's take, but for now I suggest putting this in the "Agitprop" category rather than the "Violation of First Amendment" category.

UPDATE: Per this:

It was Sen. John McCain's staff who asked security at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to remove people holding protest signs at the venue — not U.S. Secret Service agents, who were not involved in Carol Kreck's ouster from the galleria... A previous federal appeals court decision determined that the galleria area where Kreck was standing is not necessarily a public spot and that protests can be curtailed there...

The "victim" herself weighs in here. She implies without offering any evidence that the Secret Service is lying. She also says - surprise - the ACLU is on the case.

Video of the arrest: