Ta-Nehisi Coates has this video up at his site:
You know what else “we know” about “candor?” Lenore Annenberg, wife of Amb. William Annenberg, who founded the Annenberg Foundation on whose board Barack Obama and William Ayers sat, gave money to and endorsed Sen. McCain for President. Does that mean that John McCain supports domestic terrorism since Annenberg chose Ayers for his board? Of course not. I agree with Rachel Maddow and Michael Scherer on this one: all of this Ayers stuff is pure nonsense.
So I just heard McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer on MSNBC. The host asked her to respond to Joe Biden’s assertion on the Today show this morning that Sarah Palin, or any candidate for VP, should stop what they’re doing and call out any audience member who is yelling out obscenities about another candidate. Instead of addressing that issue, Pfotenhauer repeated the false accusations Palin made about a “close” relationship Obama allegedly has with Bill Ayers and then went on a bizarre rant about Ayers radical education agenda. This was a new one, as far as I could tell.
As we discussed yesterday, it is highly irresponsible for the McCain camp to be carrying on a campaign of dangerous rhetoric which appears to be on the verge of inciting violence. One of the commentors on this blog yesterday described a Palin rally as a “lynch mob,” not using the term lightly. The New York Times calls their campaign one of “race-baiting” and “xenophobia” and Radar is reporting that the Secret Service is investing a threat on Sen. Obama issued at one of Palin’s rallies. Still, in despite of all of this, Pfotenhauer ducks the question and continues the attacks. McCain couldn’t bring himself to confront Obama with this misinformation in person at the debates last night. What does that tell you?
**Update: I heard Ron Christie on public radio around lunchtime doing the same stick-to-the-Ayers thing. The discussion was on whether or not the candidate speaking has the obligation to put a stop to racist or vicious (i.e. violence inducing) language coming from the audience he or she is addressing. Christie didn’t have the backbone to stand up for what is right, instead holding the party line in perpetuating the Ayers myth.
There are some clouds gathering once again into a bit of storm for the Obama campaign over a loose and past association Obama had with Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the Weathermen, a radical anti-Vietnam-war organization in the ’60’s and ’70’s. The McCain campaign, declaring that they will run an even more negative and personal attack campaign in the 30 days left before the election, is sure to use this association. 527 groups, like the American Issues Project, are running negative ads against the Senator using the association.
Here’s where I think the McCain campaign should be careful. The chief complaint against Ayers is that his organization used bombs in carrying out their missions. Get ready now ’cause I’m gonna make some folks mad: McCain is strongly associated with Bush, who took this country into a war based on fake intelligence, by many accounts ginned up by the White House itself. The bombs that the Bush White House used have killed thousands upon thousands.
McCain also needs to be careful in beginning a harsh personal attack campaign against Obama. Party faithful are locked into their candidates by now. The folks both campaigns are looking to convince at this point are swing voters and they are increasingly turned off by personal politics in this election. In this election, particularly, they are looking for answers: how will they keep their homes, how will they pay for gas, how will the find or keep a job? These “kitchen table” issues really are driving this election.
Of course, this is exactly why the McCain campaign is trying this new strategy. They are losing big while the campaign is focused on the economy. This new tactic is one of desperation.