Thursday, June 12, 2008



The John W. McCain campaign opposes smears

Republican strategist Mark McKinnon vowed to leave the McCain campaign soon after he read the plans for the most colossal smear campaign in the history of modern American politics. He wanted nothing to do with it. And he left.

Today at Time Magazine Karen Tumulty disclosed the plans the Obama campaign has to fight off the Rove-era smears.

As long as there have been rumors in politics, there has been one widely accepted way for a candidate to deal with them. Basically, it's not to. Otherwise, according to prevailing wisdom, all a candidate achieves is to elevate the rumors to a legitimate story for the media to feast on. That don't-go-there approach was Barack Obama's plan for months until, on the candidate's first full day of campaigning as his party's presumed presidential nominee, a reporter from McClatchy Newspapers who was traveling aboard his plane asked him about a particularly toxic bit of hearsay that was zooming around the Internet about his wife Michelle. Obama lost his cool. "We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails, and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it," Obama said, bristling. "That gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it."

That night, in a conference call, Obama told his top aides it was time for a more aggressive solution to the rumors that have been popping up on the Internet about him and his family for months. And so the Obama campaign has built what might best be described as a Web-based rumor clearinghouse, located at,
in which it hopes all the shady stories about Obama's faith, his family and his rumored connections with controversial figures can go to die.

And, of course, Rove and his little minions, plus all kinds of racist and Republican and Republican racist smear-mongers get paid a great deal of money to create these distractions. So there are enough rumors out there to fill a cemetery. Much of this new website "is designed to be a guided tour of other sensational rumors circulating on the Web about Obama and his family. Click on the claim that Obama attended a 'radical madrasah,' for instance, and it takes you to a CNN feature on the very ordinary-looking elementary school he actually went to as a child in Indonesia. The rumor that Obama was sworn in to the U.S. Senate with the Koran yields a photo of him with his hand on a family Bible. Also featured are videos of Obama saying the Pledge of Allegiance, to combat claims that he refuses to. And, yes, there is a pdf of his birth certificate. Near each rumor will be a fight-back button, offering suggestions as to where and how Obama supporters can call or e-mail to counter the rumors. The site will also have a spot where Obama supporters can alert the campaign to any new rumors they may be seeing on the Web or in their mailboxes or hearing on the telephone."

But it will take even more energy from Obama's supporters to expose the smears and lies than Rove and McCain's "unofficial" campaign are putting into creating them. And there is unlikely to be many that are more typical of either McCain or Rove than the Larry Sinclair filth you can expect to see ginned up by Fox and other McCain supporters next Wednesday. Some right-wing propagandists have gotten the National Press Club to actually host the vilest of all the smear merchants. Larry Sinclair is a very sick man who has accused Senator Obama of everything from having sex with him, using cocaine with him to murdering his pastor. He also failed a lie detector test when he was offered $100,000 if he could pass it. Sinclair, who has been in and out of jail for much of the last 30 years, having been charged or convicted of several crimes including fraud and forgery, was in Colorado on one of the days he claims to have been with Obama in Illinois (November 8, 1999). This is a typical GOP slander agent and not worthy of a national audience. And yet the National Press Club is hosting this kook? Firedoglake is asking everyone to sign a petition to the National Press Club to withdraw its invitation to Sinclair. They can move it to a porn theater where people like Rove will feel more at home anyway.

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At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good think Obama is using the grassroots to root out these smears via the web and email itself. Will it work? It won't hurt, that's for sure.

Raise your hand if you think John McCain stands up for women.


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