Campaign Spotlight Turns to McCain

>> Friday, August 15, 2008

Remember when every one was freaking out because the campaign was revolving around Obama to the extent everything McCain was doing was being ignored? Well the opposite seems to be going on now. As Obama has gone on vacation to Hawaii and the Georgia—Russia Conflict erupts McCain has been sucking up the oxygen with his “Pretend I’m President” week. I think the result of this has been that Obama can now sit back and hit McCain from the shadows on offense instead of reacting to McCain’s attacks.

There is little doubt that the McCain campaign thought that they could take this week and show what a McCain presidency would be like. McCain sent his advisers Joe Lieberman, of Connecticut for Lieberman, and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, to Georgia. McCain also said he was in daily conversations with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. McCain has made an extraordinary effort to give everyone a good look at what he would be like as President. Not a pretty picture as Josh Marshall explains

[W]atching John McCain speak about the Georgian crisis … should deeply worry anyone interested in a sane US foreign policy — or the safety of their children. One arch joke from the earlier part of this decade was that the one good thing about the neocons obsession with getting into a war with Iraq was that it distracted them from their much bigger obsessions — ratcheting up Cold Wars with China and/or Russia.

John McCain is a Cold Warrior. The Cold War dominated his life and he thought he had a good handle on who was good and who was bad. It was very black and white, the Russians were the bad guys. I suspect it is one of the reasons he has maintained a bellicose attitude towards Russia during the campaign. He has been looking for an excuse to confront them and Georgia has given him the opportunity. It puts this statement

“My friends, we have reached a crisis, the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War. This is an act of aggression.”

McCain sees this as the revival of the Cold War. The Cold War is a conflict that McCain considers to be above any of the others apparently. Given this, the revival of such a conflict could be considered the first crisis of this caliber. Although consider this,

Speaking to about 500 party faithful at the Outagamie County Lincoln Day Dinner, McCain said the war in Iraq was part of the fight against Islamic extremism, "the greatest evil, probably, that this nation has ever faced."

Sounds like a crisis to me. People have taken note of this and McCain is now firmly in the spotlight. He wants to play Churchill and he needs a Hitler, first it was the Islamic extremists but they were not enough. Now he has Russia. Maybe he will add China before the campaign is out?

In his quest to play as the President, he declared “We’re all Georgians now,” but exactly what does he plan to do for Georgia? We do not have military or economic capability to do anything to Russia. Our dependence on oil and natural gas out of Russia, as well as our need for their help on Iran mean we have little recourse but to stand idly by. McCain’s rhetoric viewed in this light makes him look bad as he is inflaming a very delicate situation where he has no business being. He is not the one making policy. Thank God.

McCain has highlighted and played right into one of his biggest targets. He is a warmonger. Here he is trying to get us into a war with Russia over Georgia. Wherever and whatever it is McCain believes that war and threatening war will be the best idea. He ruled out military action but in his talks over Iran he said military action should never be off the table, so which is it? McCain is also giving the Georgian people more rational for feeling abandoned by the U.S. as his rhetoric will come to naught. Georgians don’t realize that his words are all about the election in this country and not them.

What McCain has effectively done though is make the race about him again. He has drawn the focus to his policies and his actions. His ads during the Olympics have been very negative in contrast to the positive ones from every one else. Obama can now come back after his vacation with the media focus elsewhere. He has the chance to play offense and go after McCain on all of his mistakes during the vacation. He cannot simply stay on vacation…though his absence has not adversely affected the polls. Digby explains the problem with a prolonged absence

How nice for him. He gets to "act" presidential, appeal to his conservative base, distance himself from the hated Bush and make a pitch for perpetual war for perpetual peace. And knowing the Mayberry Machivallis' belief that there is no such thing as policy, only politics, they probably conspired with him to let him do it. After all, the Big Money Boyz goals have a big stake in keeping things all riled up in oil country.

While I believe that McCain has demonstrated how poorly he would handle the job as President there has not been much movement in the poles either way. Signaling that McCain has not made any gains with his playacting and has just added more ammo for contrast ads.

When he left for vacation in his birth state a week ago, ahead of the convention season, the Illinois senator had a three-point edge over McCain in the Gallup Daily tracking poll.

By Thursday, as Obama packed his bags to fly back to the US mainland, his Gallup lead was still three points -- 46 percent to 43.

Obama can come back no worse off than he left. He can now hammer John “The Usurper” McCain on everything he wants to. McCain wanted the media focus and now he has it and the election looks to be more about McCain than it did before Obama left.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

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