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September 28, 2008

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Josh Marshall's http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/220379.php>follow-up href> to the post to which you tip your hat ends with an excellent passage:

Davis has born pouring tons of McCain campaign money back into Davis Manafort -- either by having his campaign salary paid to the firm or by having huge consulting accounts set up for paper companies owned by Davis and Manafort. In either case, the question seems no longer to be whether Davis still draws a salary from Davis Manafort but whether McCain-Palin 2008 and Davis Manafort are even distinct organizations.

Wholly, blushing, other-side-of-the-world OT but this seems to me to be sufficiently striking to lob it; bhtv, James Dobbins, former ambassador who oversaw the US end of things at the Bonn Conference about post-
Taliban Afghan government taking note of Iran’s exceptional contribution.
Spin-B-Gone.

with thanks for yr forbearance.

hilzoy: I'm wondering if, at this point, the McCain campaign's window of opportunity for even being able to "fire" Rick Davis -without utterly tanking the campaign- isn't closing fast.

They keep Davis: tons of McCain rhetoric about "lobbyist influence" (plus the candidate's credibility on financial issues) go out the window. They axe him: and the mismanagement and fumblings of the campaign organization become the "story". Lose-Lose. NOT what a Presidential candidate touting his own "judgment" and "experience" really needs to have become the main focus in an election race. Especially as, IMO, the McCain campaign has already used up a boatload of media goodwill with their recent stunts and gimmicks ("suspensions", "cancel debate" Sarah Palin, etc.) - one more PR fiasco is likely to sink the whole thing.

Oh, and to add to Warren's comment above: the level of desperation from the McCain/Palin camp must be climbing exponentially: Josh Marshall's leadoff post was about a report of how "fantastic" they think it would be to televise Bristol Palin's [shotgun] wedding before the election in order to distract viewers' (and presumably voters') attention.

Yeah. Fantastic.

Jay C: Josh Marshall's leadoff post was about a report of how "fantastic" they think it would be to televise Bristol Palin's [shotgun] wedding before the election in order to distract viewers' (and presumably voters') attention.

*speechless*

I’m with Jay C here; actually I’ve been thinking something like that since almost the beginning of the Davis scandals, as I think of them.
Davis is the heart and brains, so to speak entirely ironically, of the whole operation. There doesn’t seem to be a single person, actually, on the team who isn’t corrupt at least in their personal areas of ‘expertise’.

Josh Marshal references this Times article, which I include in case Jes or anyone else hasn't seen it. I agree with him that this is something you take with a grain of salt, but I wouldn't be surprised in US political reporters just can't believe that the McCain campaign would be this stupid, so they are passing on pointing this out. It's really hard to tell what is a parody and what is real these days.

FANTASTIC

Positive: fantastic

Comparative: more fantastic

Superlative: most fantastic

1. Existing in or constructed from fantasy; of or related to fantasy; fanciful.

He told fantastic stories of dragons and goblins.
His fantastic post-college plans had all collapsed within a year of graduation.
She had a fantastic view of her own importance that none of her colleagues shared.

2. Not believable; implausible; seemingly only possible in fantasy.

The events were so fantastic that only the tabloids were willing to print it.
She entered the lab and stood gaping for a good ten minutes at the fantastic machinery at work all around her.

3. Wonderful; marvelous; excellent; extraordinarily good (used especially as an intensifier).

"I had a simply fantastic vacation, and I can't wait to tell you all about it!"


I realize that the catchphrase "I do not think that word means what you think it means" has become something of an Internet chestnut: but it was the first thing that came to mind when I read TPM's "Palin wedding" blurb. Someone in the McCain campaign needs to read their dictionary....


Josh Marshal references this Times article, which I include in case Jes or anyone else hasn't seen it.

It didn't take very much google-fu to find the article, actually. My original responses included a link to the article, but none seemed adequate, which was why my eventual response was just... *speechless*

It's a good thing that mavericky McCain is heroically defending these kids from having their lives politicized, isn't it?

I hope Bristol Palin and boyfriend get themselves a reality show leading up to the election.

All of us could attend the wedding via satellite and, later, follow them to the doors of the honeymoon suite, only to be turned away by the blushing bride for privacy's sake.

We would be told by McCain spokesmen that Bristol renewed her vow of chastity three weeks before the wedding and was now a born-again virgin for her wedding night.

James Dobson would be seen carrying a small, silk-lined reliquary case, inside of which would be rumored to be the newly refreshed hymen of the only-human Bristol Palin.

The day after a McCain win in the election, the couple would announce they have mysteriously lost the baby in an unexpected miscarriage --- they would be spotted a week later clubbing in Juneau, separately.

McCain would mournfully, but with that sickly, spooky smile, announce that the baby had been first choice for the Secretary of State position and the search for new candidate would begin apace.

And if any of the Palin women are currently pregnant, the Christian Right could use them as test cases for their goal of giving the unborn the vote.


IMO, the McCain campaign has already used up a boatload of media goodwill with their recent stunts and gimmicks ("suspensions", "cancel debate" Sarah Palin, etc.) - one more PR fiasco is likely to sink the whole thing.

We aren't to the finish line yet, but if a premature observation about Obama's success can be made, here's mine:

One of the things that Obama does well is to concentrate on his message and game plan and when an opponent starts to self destruct he just stands back and stays out of the way and lets them unwind.

The sequence that has brought McCain to this pinch is rather remarkable:

- McCain can't get away with PR stunts like his campaign suspension because the media doesn't believe him any more. See the Frank Rich column in the NYT for an example of how bad it has gotten.

- The media doesn't believe McCain anymore because he spent the entire summer running a campaign of Rovian smears and slime against Obama, using up all his credibility.

- He can a campaign of Rovian smears all summer because Obama wouldn't run according to rules that he (McCain) tried to dictate, with regard to both Obama's overseas trip to the Middle East and Europe, and McCain's joint town hall challenge.

Every time McCain has tried to dictate terms to Obama in some way, Obama has ignored the challenge and just gone on doing what his campaign was going to do anyway, and the result has been the McCain camp making an unforced error. We saw the same thing with the Oxford debate - McCain tries to get the debate cancelled, Obama won't go along with it, and McCain has to back down. McCain gets nasty and accusatory during the debate, Obama doesn't let it get under his skin and the result is that McCain tanks with undecided voters in the post-debate polling.


John Thullen: I hope Bristol Palin and boyfriend get themselves a reality show leading up to the election.

It's not funny when it's actually happening, John. Use the satire reset button.

LeftTurn: "McCain can't get away with PR stunts like his campaign suspension because the media doesn't believe him any more."

That was certainly hammered home last night on "Saturday Night Live."

If you didn't see their skit on the debate, definitely YouTube it.

Tina Fey's dead-on, delirious Sarah Ralin in the opening "Live From" skid was frighteningly funny.

I believe -- more than all the blogging outrage, more than all the cable news back-and-forth, more than anything that is in Time or Newsweek -- this "Saturday Night Live" stuff truly resonates with the public.

It made Palin look inept, over her head, offensive.

It made McCain look nuts.

It's one thing to be told this or read that. But laughing at it has a way of underscoring the point because, as they say, satire only works if it's grounded in the truth.

But if Davis did tell McCain, then when McCain approved his ad slamming Obama for supposedly having an advisor who had been the chairman of Fannie Mae -- though both he and the Obama campaign deny that he advised them, and his connection to Obama would have been tenuous in any case -- McCain knew that his own campaign manager had been retained by Freddie Mac until it was taken over by the government. That would be dishonorable, though not, unfortunately, surprising.

C'mon. The GOP double standard is so firmly entrenched, they don't even "blink" when the do it anymore.

Spitzer? Resigned. Vitter? God and his wife forgave him.

Clinton didn't go to Vietnam? Draft dodger! Bush didn't go to Vietnam? He "served" ... well, kinda'.

Obama knows somebody at Fannie and Freddie? Scandal! McCain employs a campaign manager who has a Sopranos style no-show job with Freddie? He's a good man!

This s*** has been going on for more than a decade. You could create an entire blog just on Republican hypocrisy.

It’s raining Davis and dogs, or frogs, or some suitable signifier. It’s raining Davis and disaster.

Buncha Davis stories lined up waiting at TPM this AM.
There is truth here for the miner with a strong-enough light; the ways influence is wielded in Capitol corridors and Washington restaurants are wholly disjunct from the ways influence is wielded among the citizenry.

It says something not at all nice about the quality of our congresspersons that the people who hand them their cue cards are so dreadful, at least as they are revealed to us to be; and yet take the cards and read from them they do. For free, of course.

Mr. Davis has seen no income from Davis Manafort since 2006. Zero. Mr. Davis has received no salary or compensation since 2006. Mr. Davis has received no profit or partner distributions from that firm on any basis -- weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual -- since 2006. Again, zero.

The McCain campaign's statement seems to leave the drive-a-truck-through-sized loophole that he will be picking up his money after the election, either directly (ie they're holding the money for him) or indirectly (ie it's on the books as profit in a company he owns half of).
I can't think of why else they'd be emphasizing this in the way that they're doing. Rather than claiming that he has no ties with the company and doesn't expect to ever see the money, they just go through an exhaustive list of ways in which he isn't getting paid *now*.

"If you didn't see their skit on the debate, definitely YouTube it."

NBC tries to keep it off there, but it's here.

They're also on the NBC website proper...

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