When your campaign needs a plumber

They’ve got to be pretty desperate to put these people out there.

Joe Wurzelbacher twice agreed with a questioner who said that “a vote for Obama is a vote for the death to Israel.” Afterwards McCain’s campaign backed him up: “Joe has offered some penetrating and clear analysis that cuts to the core of many of the concerns that people have with Barack Obama’s statements and policies.” Fox News’ Shepard Smith was almost disgusted when Joe refused to rescind or explain the lie. Joe told him people should “go out and get informed”. After the interview (5 minutes into the video) Smith clears the record on Obama and states, almost shakenly, “the rest of it…man…it just gets frightening sometimes.”

Meanwhile, in her first policy speech Palin mocked fruit fly research as a “pet project” having “nothing to do with the public good”. The public and science, of course, might disagree due to breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s, birth defects, Huntington’s, autism, et.al. The irony: This was a speech promoting progress for autism. OK, maybe she read what they handed her; that’s leadership!

10/30 More on campaigning: The Economist’s endorsement of Obama is cautious, but expresses views which seem increasingly common:

… the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated … Mr McCain made his most important appointment having met [Palin] just twice … this cannot be another election where the choice is based merely on fear.

I think he’s been reckless (putting Wurzelbacher on the road), fear mongering (just when the public is more aware what fear got us into), and really a danger to the nation (promising the possibility of a Palin presidency). I have my own doubts that Obama’s plans can turn around our economy (only we can really do that), but McCain gives me even less vision. I expected at some point that he would really attempt to educate people on the theory of trickle-down economics or why it would make more sense than Obama’s alternatives, but McCain seems content to dumb everything down to what would fit on Palin’s cue cards, or just draw naive comparisons to communism and happily let her run wild with these ideas. Basically, he’s giving a lot of reasons to doubt him if his campaign is any indication of how he would run the country. And the Economist on Obama:

There is no getting around the fact that Mr Obama’s résumé is thin for the world’s biggest job. But the exceptionally assured way in which he has run his campaign is a considerable comfort. It is not just that he has more than held his own against Mr McCain in the debates. A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and out-fought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right.

Political fire, far from rattling Mr Obama, seems to bring out the best in him: the furore about his (admittedly ghastly) preacher prompted one of the most thoughtful speeches of the campaign. On the financial crisis his performance has been as assured as Mr McCain’s has been febrile. He seems a quick learner and has built up an impressive team of advisers, drawing in seasoned hands like Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well.

… In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent.

One thought on “When your campaign needs a plumber

  1. Excellent writeup. I had always truly admired McCain up until his run for the Whitehouse. He has been reckless and careless and I really feel that his ambition has clouded his judgment. He wants to be president too badly. Whenever I see the slogan “America First” I feel pangs of disgust. What exactly does that mean anyway? Does it mean that you choose a running mate who is clearly the least qualified for the job (dangerously under-qualified)? Is that really putting your country first, or is it promoting your own agenda?

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