May 10, 2008

Obama insinuated that McCain is senile, and the wily McCain took advantage.

Look at this, which I think CNN obtusely misheadlined:
McCain's campaign reacted with outrage Thursday to Obama's remark that the senator was “losing his bearings” over the course of the campaign — a phrase they said was a dig at the Arizona senator's age. But McCain himself said Friday the language didn't bother him.

“I ignore it,” McCain said. “I don’t take offense to it.”

Asked if the Obama comment was in fact a reference to his age — and whether that topic was a fair issue in the campaign — McCain said voters are welcome to discuss it.

“Any discussion in my view of any issue that the American people think is legitimate is up to them,” McCain said, adding that the topic of Obama’s former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright is also fair game.

“Every issue that the American people want to be an issue, if it's part of their discussions, it's fine with me, it's fine with me,” he said. “Just as the Rev. Wright’s remarks. I don’t believe that Sen. Obama shares his views in any way, but he has said it’s a legitimate topic of discussion. If that’s what the American people want to discuss, that’s fine.”
1. When McCain says it didn't bother him, he's demonstrating that he's not the hothead he's reputed to be.

2. He showed that he's sharp and therefore it's wrong to insinuate that he's getting senile.

3. There really is nothing McCain can do about his age, which is plainly visible and which people — including me — are going to think about a lot whether Obama pushes us to think about it or not.

4. McCain highlights that Obama has stepped down from that lofty, inspiration plane where some people think he dwells.

5. (And this is where he really, humorously took advantage.) McCain turned the occasion into an opportunity to restate some of the most worrisome things about Obama as if he wasn't even the one bringing them up.

Well played!

15 comments:

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

"I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. "

George said...

The hard and stiff will be broken.

The soft and supple will prevail.

Tao Te Ching

Simon said...

Yep - he nailed it. I've said in a few previous comments that Team Obama only has two strategies for dealing with criticism: cry racism or complain that the question isn't what the American people want to talk about. McCain just slaughtered the use of the second strategy by laying it on the line: you don't get to tell the American people what's important to them, you elitist prig.

Saul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saul said...

Well played? Take a generic statement and claim it is age-related when it isn't, forget that the statement was made in response to a completely inappropriate comment using Hamas as a means to influence an election, and then re-raise the non-sense Rev. Wright controversy.

No wonder this country borrows money from the Chinese like it is buying furniture on a weekly credit plan.

McCain is the Republican Hillary.

The Political Jerk said...

Well played? It was stock political response. It was a typical tit-for-tat response. It was average at best.

Has Bush's (as well as Kerry's) complete lack of rhetorical ability lowered our standards this far?

downtownlad said...

Why are we even having an election. Obama is a scary black man - and he can never win the election because America is racist.

Bender said...

Well played. . . . McCain is the Republican Hillary.

That's the problem. More and more and more, McCain and the Republicans have resorted to using the Clinton playbook of spin and distort. Throw in a cackle and a plastic smile, and you have Hillary giving these insincere responses.

If there is any problem to the statement, it is that McCain does not have any bearings to lose. He does not have any particular philosophical/ideological path to follow. He has never really objectively stood for anything -- he only stands for things subjectively according to what he thinks at the given moment.

vbspurs said...

What do you mean, well-played?!

I would've gotten in a shot about the 57 states. He didn't.

How statesmanlike of him, boo.

Cheers,
Victoria

Rich B said...

"The definition of an attack on a Democrat is to tell the truth about him."

- El Rushbo 5/9/2008

John Stodder said...

“Any discussion in my view of any issue that the American people think is legitimate is up to them.”

Losing sight of this plain fact is the reason liberals have been out of power since 1968. When they say a certain subject is "out of bounds," or "a distraction" or "mudslinging," they think they're coming off as high-minded and noble. But most voters hear it as a rationale for fear of the truth.

The Constitution and the collection of state and federal laws do not regulate what is an appropriate campaign issue. Not even McCain-Feingold, which regulates time, place and manner but not content. A winning candidate has never been deprived of his or her victory because they campaigned on the wrong issues. Thank God, in this one area, the voters are truly in charge and there is no higher authority to which an offended party can appeal -- except the next election. May this never change.

Revenant said...

a completely inappropriate comment using Hamas as a means to influence an election

One of Obama's advisers just got caught holding regular meetings with Hamas. Ooops!

So let's see. Hamas has praised Obama. Obama's advisers are buddy-buddy with Hamas. But we mustn't use Hamas to "influence the election", because that would be mean or something. Just because they like him and his advisers like them doesn't give any cause for concern at all.

Right.

vbspurs said...

First, thanks for the link, Rev. How I missed this, I don't know.

Randy Scheunemann, Mr McCain’s foreign policy chief, suggested that Mr Malley was part of an emerging pattern in which other advisers had been repudiated after throwing confusion over policies on trade and Iraq. “Perhaps because of his inexperience Senator Obama surrounds himself with advisers that contradict his stated policies,” he said.

People always say that Bush was inexperienced, but due to his father's position, he had much better, and seasoned advisers.

This above is scary.

Cheers,
Victoria

MTfromCC said...

One major problem that McCain has with this response is that Obama was very clearly NOT talking about McCain's age, he was talking about how McCain, who self-describes as the "Straight-talk Express," and who asks us to accept him as a truthteller who will not go negative or take cheap shots, has repeatedly gone off the tracks and has sold its soul to the right wing of the GOP, and has taken several inaccurate cheap shots -- it is in that sense that he has losts his bearings (i.e., on truth-telling and negative campaigning --when he says that Hamas endorses Obama, he is utterly negative and trying to make peoploe think that it reflects on Obama. As an attack against Obama, it is the definition of a cheap shot.

That his campaign reacts in the way it did shows they are very nervous about the age issue, as they should be -- it's the first negative on everybody's mind about McCain -- but it also suggests that they are nervouus about the ties to Bush and right wing GOP policy, and are seeing ghosts in the woods on the age issue.

AlphaLiberal said...

Do non-senile people lose their bearings? Yes.

Has Obama been criticizing McCain for flip-flopping, pandering and losing his way over recent weeks ? Yes.

Is the conclusion this was an insinuation of senility rational and fair? NO!