Respect, McCain-Style

"I've pledged to conduct a respectful campaign…We are trying to be a party that respects everyone."John McCain, April 23, 2008

Steve Benen, today:
The Politico's Jonathan Martin noted last night that the McCain campaign planned on "making news" this morning, but wouldn't say what it was. We learned this morning it was a new, detailed economic plan, explaining in depth how McCain believes the U.S. should respond to the ongoing financial crisis over the next 12 months.

No, no, I'm just kidding. The "news" is that the McCain campaign has released a 90-second web ad attacking Obama for knowing Bill Ayers. As Martin noted this morning, "The idea here is to keep Ayers in the mix without spending precious dollars to put real points behind it on TV. Republicans know that cable TV stations will play the spot for free, regardless of it being a web ad."

The web ad comes about 24 hours after top McCain campaign aides seemingly took the Ayers "issue" (I use the word loosely) off the table.
Last night, I sat watching CNN's Senior Political Analyst David Gergen compliment John McCain on not bringing up Ayers during Tuesday night's debate. He must have said it four times. It's positively gobsmacking. Why on earth is McCain getting credit from ostensibly intelligent pundits for what is essentially just not having the spine to do his own goddamnned dirty work? Either he's running his own campaign, and ergo he's approving these smear tactics, or he's totally out of the loop within his own campaign, and ergo he isn't fit to run the local 7/11, no less the country.

Regardless, his is quite possibly the dirtiest presidential campaign ever run in American history. And it looks nothing like the "respectful campaign" he promised to run.

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