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Dan Balz's Take

New Wine in Old Bottles


In this Jan. 30, 2007 file photo, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama greet on Capitol Hill in Washington. Since then both have emerged as unique leaders and conventional campaigners. (Associated Press)

By Dan Balz
A campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain once offered enormous possibilities for something new. Instead, the two presumptive nominees have opened their campaigns for the White House with what looks and sounds like a repeat of the kind of politics both have promised to leave behind.

Since Obama wrapped up the Democratic nomination a few weeks ago, he and McCain have served up a series of indignant exchanges over foreign policy, terrorism, the economy, energy policy and campaign money. Their aides have gone farther, with snarling conference call putdowns and taunting e-mails flowing constantly out of the Chicago and Crystal City headquarters.

McCain has given a series of policy speeches and Obama is beginning to do the same. Whatever substance they may contain has been buried in negative counterattacks from the opposing camp, designed to turn ideas into stereotypes and candidates into caricatures. In the hands of Obama's advisers, McCain is nothing more than the third coming of President Bush. To McCain's staff, Obama is merely a liberal, naive, arrogant extension of what Democrats have been offering for years.

Gone in the early stages of this campaign is any sense of the uniqueness of the two nominees. McCain is certainly no garden-variety Republican and the historic possibilities of Obama's candidacy cannot be overstated. But those realities have been submerged beneath a tactical shouting match that feeds the cable culture of contemporary politics.

Don't blame the media for this. The campaigns have deliberately adopted postures of hyper-aggressiveness to set the early tone. The testosterone levels appear extremely high. No charge however small or incidental can go unanswered. No proposal, no matter how innocuous or provocative, can be discussed calmly or intelligently.

That led a McCain surrogate to respond to Obama's comments on the rights of terrorist detainees, a topic on which reasonable people can differ, as "delusional." It led to an Obama surrogate to describe as "stupid" the positions McCain has taken on the Iraq war, though it is clearly arguable that the surge strategy has helped to reduce violence and U.S. casualties.

Both candidates have contributed to this. Obama tarnished his reputation as a new style politician by deciding not to take public funds for the fall campaign, despite a pledge to do so if his Republican opponent would do the same. He had promised to sit down with McCain to discuss the whole issue of money before making any decision.

Obama's decision may have made political sense, but it was a demonstration of old politics, not new politics, and his reasoning for refusing public funds was as tortured as anything he has had to say in his campaign.

McCain has hurt himself and his reputation as an independent thinker by reversing course on past positions, whether Bush tax cuts -- which he did long ago -- or opening up coastal areas to offshore drilling. His campaign, in the view of some of his own supporters, has allowed itself to show an angry and resentful face that they believe is contrary to McCain at his best.

It is difficult to believe that Americans are enjoying all this -- or even paying close attention to it. The attack-counterattack cycle is so quick that only the most devoted of political aficionados can keep up, and the tone is so relentlessly critical that only the most partisan will applaud it.

The long battle between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, for all its intensity and competitiveness, rarely reached the levels of negativity and petulance seen in the opening weeks of the general election. Whenever Obama and Clinton crossed a line, they seemed quickly to step back, mindful of the consequences of letting their contest get out of hand. So far there seems to be no such impulse governing either the Obama or McCain campaigns as they go after each other.

Of all the candidates who sought the presidency this year, McCain and Obama seemed the least likely to fall so quickly into old habits. The question is whether the opening weeks are a true reflection of their characters and the kind of campaigns they intended to run or a temporary departure.

It is still early. The two candidates have the capacity to elevate their contest. Perhaps there will be town hall meetings or other forums before the conventions that will set them on a different course, although the idea is languishing for now.

On a host of issues, the differences between the candidates are profound and should provoke a vigorous debate. Both candidates once promised that such a debate would be civil and respectful. But right now the presidential campaign appears to be more a rerun of the kind of polarized battles of the recent past than something that heralds something new.

Posted at 12:06 PM ET on Jun 25, 2008  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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NY. Times:
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June 26, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque
By ROGER COHEN

ISTANBUL

I'll admit it: I'm thin-skinned about the kinds of slurs and innuendo about Muslims that have accompanied Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Years of being subjected to them while I covered the Bosnian war did that.

We heard the whole gamut back then: how the European Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo were really "Turks" engaged in a "demographic genocide" (through high birth rates) against Christians, and how they were engaged in a plot to establish a "Muslim crescent" looping up from Turkey through the Balkans, and how they roasted enemy prisoners alive on spits.

All the while, of course, said Bosnian Muslims were being herded by Christian Serbs into concentration camps that were centers of torture and systematic killing of a cruelty Europe believed it had forever banished.

That was before 9/11, of course, and before the Egyptian-born writer who uses the pseudonym Bat Yeor popularized the term "Eurabia" to express her vision of a Muslim-infiltrated Europe capitulating Munich-like to Islamism, and before Pat Buchanan's apocalyptic "The Death of the West," and before Americans were encouraged in numberless ways to equate Islam with terrorists plotting Armageddon.

Give Americans the Rorschach test today and what they'll detect in the ink blots are bearded Muslim "suiciders."

I'll admit something else: my own feelings about Islam have veered back and forth in recent years. Most of us were ignorant when the planes-turned-missiles struck. We've been searching for bearings: even the word "jihad" is variously described as a holy war against the infidel and an inner struggle for higher spiritual attainment.

When, in 2005, I talked to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalian-born Dutch author, in a meeting in The Hague that had to be organized like an undercover operation because of threats to her life from Islamic radicals, I was struck by her words:

"Islam is not a religion of peace, or only of peace with other Muslims. We should acknowledge that it's a very violent religion, instead of pretending, like Bush, that this violence is not true Islam."

Certainly, the threat to her made in its name was violent. Certainly, the Koran is a long way from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Certainly, there are Koranic verses that Al Qaeda and other extremists have been able to use in attempts to sanctify their murderous acts. Certainly Islam, politically expressed, has often proved irreconcilable with modern notions of pluralism, democracy and women's rights.

But a "very violent religion?" No. From Beirut to Baghdad to Cairo to here in Istanbul, I have often felt the wonders of hospitality and generosity and wisdom that seem to well from Islam.

At Obama's old school in Jakarta earlier this year, an establishment scurrilously described as a madrassa" in all the innuendo, a gentle principal showed me the large mosque and small Christian prayer room. He then invoked the words emblazoned on the coat of arms of Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country: "Unity in diversity."

That's what I saw among the kids at the school, 85 percent of whom are Muslim, and the rest Christian. That's also what America's supposed to be about, not religious slurring and stereotyping.

Yet, because he's named Barack Hussein Obama, and because his Kenyan grandfather was a Muslim, and because his commitment to Israel has been questioned, and because the U.S. Rorschach test is Muslim-menace mired, he's had to tread carefully.

As Andrea Elliott chronicled in an important article in The Times, Obama has visited churches and synagogues, but no mosque. He had to apologize after two Muslim women wearing head scarves were barred from appearing behind him at a recent rally in Detroit.

Obama should visit a mosque. He has repeatedly shown his courage during this campaign; Americans have responded to his intellectual honesty. One of the important things about him is the knowledge his Kenyan and Indonesian experiences have given him of Islam as lived, rather than Islam as turned into monstrous specter.

This enables him to break the monolithic, alienating view of a great world religion that is as multifaceted as Judaism or Christianity.

I've no doubt that Obama is a strong supporter of Israel. But what I find as important is that he would come to Islam without prejudice. That's the precondition for dialogue, whether with Iran or between Israel and Palestine.

Here in Turkey, a Muslim country of myth-dispelling permissiveness, I met with Joost Lagendijk, the chairman of the Turkish delegation of the European Parliament. He's Dutch. What he hears at home is: "Fear of Islam and fear of Muslims and fear of immigrants."

Fear-mongering about Islam is a global industry. It thrives on ignorance. Obama has a unique power to break the cycle, not least by emboldening moderate Muslims to denounce terror. Nothing would do more in the long run for the security of the world.

Blog: www.iht.com/passages

Posted by: An Academic | June 26, 2008 11:38 AM

"Don't blame the media...." Dan, i'm disappointed in you. Time and time again, in the primaries and now the general, it's the media--including increasingly the MSM--that avoids the opportunity to (1) do substantive research on the candidates' positions, (2) focus on substantive issue differences, (3) report the FACTS, not rumor and their own opinions. The exception in MSM is NPR and the McNeil News Hour sadly--at least some of the time they actually try to analyze and report the facts on substantive policies, instead of the rumors and smears--unfortunately, their reporters are often not well enough informed to separate out the lies and distortions. The Wash Post occasionally does great substantive analysis as well. But those are exceptions. Dan, you have the professional journalism credentials to do a professional journalist approach--step back and do a really objective analysis of what most of the media covers most of the time. You won't be able continue saying "don't blame the media".

Posted by: Sad for the media | June 26, 2008 8:10 AM

Sen. Obama's campaign complained during the primary about the "Clinton machine." Hillary Clinton was demonized, her husband's 2 term democratic presidency of the 90's that was peaceful and prosperous was compared to Geo. W's, and her supporters were told they were not needed by the democratic party and that they along with the Clintons were "racists" and then the democratic nomination was given to Obama, disregarding the votes of 18,000,000 people who voted for Clinton.

Sorry no sympathy here for Obama. I believe in "karma" and it looks like that's what is happening. McCain and the republicans are doing what politicians do. Unfortunately, the "messiah" is also playing the same game and I guess that's a big "eye opener" for some folks in the MSM and devout followers of the "savior". He was an "ordinary politician" from "day one" of his presidential campaign but many chose to view him through "anti-Clinton tinted glasses" and now they are finding not only is he no "savior" but he's dangerously in-experienced and machiavellian as well.

Posted by: Cathy in Ks. | June 26, 2008 1:02 AM

The problem with this analysis is that Obama HAS to respond to McCain and Republican nonstop attacks on him. And he's got to show some spine along with "hope." Obama had to fight Hillary with one hand tied behind his back because she's a woman. But now he's fighting a macho man who's constantly throwing punches. Why shouldn't Obama counter punch? Obama never claimed that he would magically end polarized politics within the presidential race itself. That would have been a ludicrous thought. Obama's claim is that by uniting rich and poor, black and white, young and old people of good will, he can govern in a way which will break out the gridlock which has plagued our politics during the polarized Boomer presidencies of Clinton and Bush, whose followers are still fighting the worn out battles of the Sixties. If Obama chooses a fighting Appalachian "hard-working," WHITE, working class, Southern war hero like Webb as his VP, THAT will be as dramatic an indication as possible of how Obama will bring the races and the classes in America finally together in pursuit of justice for ALL.

Posted by: jeanrenoir | June 26, 2008 12:39 AM

Bring some life back into the race!!! Join the movement! Go to writehillaryin.com to see how your write in vote for Hillary will count in your state. Even if it counts only as a protest vote, it is better than not writing her in. Vote conscience, vote principle! Let your voice be heard at the ballot box!

Posted by: hillary4me | June 25, 2008 11:40 PM

I have never dreaded an election as much as this one.

How and WHY, did all the morons in this Country get a pair of Congressional Clowns, from a Congress with an abysmal 11% approval Rating, to be our Presidential Choices?

Were Mickey and Goofy just not available?

Ahmadinejad and Chavez too busy?

Yeah, Hitler and Saddam Hussein are already Dead!

Curse you ALL!

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 25, 2008 9:52 PM

Karl Rove is effeminate. I can see him trailing by Georges heels brushing dandruff and small threats from George Bushes coattails. Rove walks just like a duck. Quack quack quack.

Posted by: Brooke | June 25, 2008 9:32 PM

"...'YOUR THROW ALL THE REPUBLICANS OUT!

...."Then YOUR PUT THEM IN JAIL" for the "DISASTEROUS RECORD THAT HAS RUINED OUR IMAGE, and WRECKED OUR ECONOMY!"

Sounds like Barack Obama would be the man for this job. He can follow his cousin Odinga's lead in Kenya.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 9:04 PM

Barry Hussein smiles and all the happy white people swoon and grovel.

Posted by: Nadeem Zakaria | June 25, 2008 9:03 PM

"Yea, any idiot can be the head of Harvard Law Review.... You have to be kidding me if you are so blinded by ignorance and racism to try to argue that Obama isn't smart. At least come up with something better then that...."

The only thing you have proved is that he's gotten a free ride from affirmative action his whole life. He was picked to be head of the law review at a time Harvard was under attack for having too few blacks amongst its ranks. As president of the Hardward Law Review, Barack Obama wrote not a single opinion. Pretty much in line with him never have held a single meeting to hear NATO's role in Afghanistan as chair of the Senate foreign relations subcommittee. Apparantly Obama knows as an affirmative action candidate, he doesn't need to do any work to get promotions all the way to the White House.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 9:00 PM

I hope if you care about America...

...'YOUR THROW ALL THE REPUBLICANS OUT!

...."Then YOUR PUT THEM IN JAIL" for the "DISASTEROUS RECORD THAT HAS RUINED OUR IMAGE, and WRECKED OUR ECONOMY!

Posted by: Tommy Birchfield | June 25, 2008 8:54 PM

Barry Hussein throws 1 billion Muslims under the bus. Hold on America, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 8:41 PM

Media not at fault? HA! Where do you get off? Just read your columns through the primary and see how the media 'stirred thigs up' just to keep the people reading. It is amazing how so many news sources have started this sensational FOX new type reporting to keep people entertained rather than informed. Some examples:
1. News media did NOT cover the story from Toronto about how NAFTA gate memo really came from the Clinton campaign rather than the Obama campaign.
2. Irish new stated that Clinton had little to do with the Northern Ireland peace process.
3. The media has failed to cover the many times that McCain has changed his policy since running for POTUS. Such as:
--Drilling off shore
--now supporting boding of nuclear reactors when he had voted against it while in Senate
--now supporting requirements to increase fuel efficiency in cars when he has previously voted against it
4. News media not covering ISSUES, they would rather cover:
--ranting preachers for Obama (and NOT the ones for McCain or Clinton)
--flag pins (which NONE of the candidates were wearing!)
--Sniper fire in Bosnia
--Obama is too black
--Obama not black enough
--Edwards hair cuts
--Time that it takes Clinton to get ready
--Hillary pant suits

NEED I SAY MORE?
The typical American knows that Obama does not wear a flag pin but does NOT know where he stands on health care.
The typical American knows that Clinton wears pant suits but did not know where she stood on the budget.
The typical American knows McCain has a good health record but does not know that his stance on women's issues is pretty s&*tty.
Give me a break, THE MEDIA IS TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE!

Posted by: phorse | June 25, 2008 8:06 PM

Obama = HOPE
McCain = FEAR

We decide.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 8:00 PM

The fact is Obama's camp ran a filthy racial smearing campaign against Hillary. The fairytale statement by Bill Clinton, the MLK, LBJ, the compliment to Obama and Jackson, the RFK statements all had no race-card implications whatsoever, but the Obama camp and their menions were screaming, "Race-card."

Heck, the Obama camp was screaming, "Race-card," so loud and often, I thought they were selling programs for NASCAR. . . . . . . I sure hope we don't hear "race-card" when Obama's in the White House the way Bush used "unpatriotic."

Posted by: Coldcomfort | June 25, 2008 7:56 PM

OBAMA'S ARTISTRY OF THE AMBIGUOUS - It is not his lack of experience that will work against him, it is his indecision.

Obama would be well served by his hired help if it could move him to specifics on numerous critical fronts.

Voters are looking for definitive action while they battle overwhelming increases in costs on all fronts.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/06/obamas-artistry-of-ambiguous.html

Posted by: PacificGatePost | June 25, 2008 7:56 PM

Yep. It is ugly. Neither side wants the other to get the early momentum edge, so the knives are out early. In McCain's case, he has outlined a series of challenges to Obama that were obviously planned in advance to trip him up. He knows he needs to tear Obama down to win in this Democratic year and he's trying hard to keep Obama off balance. In Obama's case, he is relieved to not have to pussyfoot around a less-inhibited Democratic opponent whose help he would later need. Months of frustrated bile are now being heaped upon McCain every time he raises his head.

Ugly stuff. But, kinda, sorta fun, if you like politics. For me, as a Democrat, it is a relief to be able to criticize the opponent in a full-throated way. Count me in as someone relieving myself of some excess bile. The stakes are high in this election and neither side is going to be nice about it, so we'd better get used to this. It will probably only get worse.

Posted by: Chuck | June 25, 2008 7:53 PM

Wrong Balz...the media is to blame. Take today for example...McCain talked about energy and Obama spoke of the Supreme Court decision. And what did EVERY cable and network news show cover??? The supposed tension between Bill Clinton and Obama. Sheeeesh.

Why don't you spend less time writing articles like this one...and more time convincing your media pals to cover important topics.

Posted by: kfc | June 25, 2008 7:50 PM

"Freedom Fighter:

You seem a little jealous of Obama. You say that he's not intelligent or articulate, and suggest that he's only in the position he's in because he's black."

Obama is clueless. He doesn't even know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. He doesn't know Canada doesn't have presidents. He thinks there are 57 states. He can't speak coherently if there isn't a teleprompter in front of him. He refuses to release his grades and test scores... and why is that?

My God man, he was President of Harvard Law Review.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/23/politics/politico/main4201639.shtml

I think that pretty much null your request for grades and test scores.

Do you get your talking points from Karl Rove or the RNC?

Tell us something that isn't a lie and hasn't be smeared all over MSM and blogs.

You've got nothing but lies an innuendos.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 7:34 PM

How incredibly naive. Yes, you can get rid of the gutter politics and baseless character attacks. You cannot get rid of casting your opponent's ideas in a bad light and using sarcasm, energy, and even a tone of indignation in making your arguments on policy. To decry what's gone on so far as betraying the idea of a new politics is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

Did you expect a tea party? There are still no tea parties in politics, not even in the new politics. Sorry.

Posted by: John | June 25, 2008 7:24 PM

Freedom Fighter wrote...
"The fact that Obama doesn't know how many states are in the nation shows he is low IQ."

Yea, any idiot can be the head of Harvard Law Review.... You have to be kidding me if you are so blinded by ignorance and racism to try to argue that Obama isn't smart. At least come up with something better then that....

Posted by: DT | June 25, 2008 7:13 PM

Obama has turned out to be just another politician. Flipping and flopping all over the place, pandering, and breaking promises. Not a pretty picture.

Posted by: John | June 25, 2008 6:49 PM

Show some objectivity? Why would I need to do that? That's not my job.

Of the four characteristics: experience, leadership, honesty, judgment, Barack Obama is 0 for 4.

Barack Obama, unqualified and unfit. No affirmative action for the presidency.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 6:34 PM

McCain Has Had At Least 134 Lobbyists Running His Campaign & Raising Money For Him

Progressive Media USA Research
PUBLISHED: May 19, 2008

The individuals in this chart are all current or former lobbyists who either serve as fundraisers for McCain's campaign or senior aides or advisers. There are currently 118 126 129 130 133 134 lobbyists working for or raising money for McCain's campaign.
Last Name First Name Firm / Employer Campaign Role Select List of Clients Source

Aiken

Robert

Pinnacle West Capital Corporation

Fundraiser

Pinnacle West Capital Corporation

Public Citizen

Aldonas

Grant

Split Rock International

Economic Adviser

Corning

Mittal Steel USA

JohnMcCain.com

Anderson

Philmore B.

DC Navigators LLC

Fundraiser

Aetna

American Council of Life Insurers

AT&T

Bell South

Hartford Life

PG&E Corp.

Visa

Public Citizen

Anderson

Rebecca "Becky"

Williams & Jensen

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals

Cigna

Cox Communications

Novartis

Sunoco

Time Warner

Wyeth

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Anderson

Stanton

McDermott Will & Emery

Fundraiser

Lawyers for McCain

Chiquita Brands Electronic Industries Assoc. of Japan

Northwest Airlines Union Telephone

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

JohnMcCain.com

JohnMcCain.com

Andres

Susan Auther

Union Pacific

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Union Pacific

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Asher

Robert

WMPI Pty

Fundraiser

WMPI Pty

Jefferson Health System

Public Citizen

Bailey

William J. III

XM Satellite Radio

Fundraiser

Padgett Business Services

XM Satellite Radio

Public Citizen

Ball

William III

Loeffler Group

National Security Adviser

American Beverage Association

EADS

Introgen Therapeutics

Qualcomm

Southwest Airlines

Washington Post

Beightol

David

Dutko Worldwide

Fundraiser

Amerigroup Corporation

Amgen

IDT Corporation

McCain Fundraiser

Bentz

Rhonda A.

Visa

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee


Visa

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Berman

Wayne

Ogilvy Government Relations

National Finance Co-Chair

Fundraiser

Chevron Texaco

AIG

American Petroleum Institute

AmeriChoice

AT&T

Motorola

NRA

Reliant Energy

Verizon

Visa

JohnMcCain.com

Betts

Steve

Gallagher & Kennedy

Fundraiser

William Lyon Homes

Public Citizen

Black

Charlie

BKSH

Senior Adviser

Fundraiser

Accenture

Fluor

General Electric Capital Services

General Motors

GTech

Johnson & Johnson

JP Morgan

NADA

Occidental Petroleum Corp.

Philip Morris

United Technologies

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco

Washington Mutual Bank

Yukos Oil

Public Citizen

Black

Judy

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee

AT&T

Clear Channel

Comcast

Genworth Financial

IBM

Merrill Lynch

National Cable & Telecom Association

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Blalock

Kirk

Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock

Fundraiser

American Insurance Association

America's Health Insurance Plans

Coalition for a Competitive Pharma Market

EADS North America

Coca Cola

MCI

Miller Brewing

Sprint Nextel

Time Warner

Yahoo!

Public Citizen

Bonilla

Carlos

Washington Group

Economic Adviser

Bell South

Bio Marin Pharmaceutical

BioPure Corp.

Cox Communications

E-Trade

Bangladesh

Panama

Exelon

Fleming & Co. Pharmaceuticals

Heyl Chem-Pharm Fabrik

Motorola

NADA

National Cable & Telecom Association

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals

Sanofi Pasteur

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Watson Pharmaceuticals

USA Today

Burgeson

Christine

CitiGroup Inc.

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee

CitiGroup

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Burgeson

Eric Robert

Barbour Griffith & Rogers

Fundraiser

Energy Adviser

Lockheed Martin

Government of Kurdistan

BP

NRA

Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association

Public Citizen

Cammack

Kerry

Kerry N. Cammack, P.C.

Fundraiser

Exxon Mobil

SAP America

Public Citizen

Chadwick

Kirsten Ardleigh

Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee

American Insurance Association

America's Health Insurance Plans

APRIA Healthcare

Coca Cola

EADS North America

Fannie Mae

Ford

Home Depot

MCI

Sprint Nextel

Time Warner

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Chamberlin

Rob

McBee Strategic Consulting

Fundraiser

American Airlines

Babcock & Wilcox

Boeing

Delta Airlines

Expedia

Fedex

General Dynamics

Northrop Grumman

United Technologies

Public Citizen

Charlton

Susan

Gallagher & Kennedy

Fundraiser

William Lyon Homes

Public Citizen

Clerici

John

McKenna Long

Fundraiser

Sanofi (pharma)

EMD (pharma)

DOR bio (pharma)

Acambis (pharma)

GMH (military housing)

Public Citizen

Cooper

Josephine "Jo"

Toyota

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Toyota

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Courter

James

Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson & Hand

National Finance Committee Co-Chairman

Lockheed Martin

PhRMA

NBC

SBC

Verizon

Public Citizen

Crane

David

Washington Group

Senior Policy Adviser

Bank of America

Chamber of Commerce

State Farm Insurance

Beacon Capital Partners

Bell South

Bio Marin Pharmaceutical

BioPure Corp.

Cox Communications

Delta

E-Trade

Exelon

Fleming & Co. Pharmaceuticals

Heyl Chem-Pharm Fabrik

Hyundai

Microsoft

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Theragenics Corp.

Watson Pharmaceuticals

Media Matters

Crippen

Dan

Washington Counsel

Senior Policy Adviser

Aetna

GE Capital Assurance

General Electric Co.

General Motors

Group Health

Hewlett Packard

Merrill Lynch

Mutual of Omaha

JohnMcCain.com

Culvahouse

Arthur

O'Melveny & Myers

Heading V.P. Search

Lawyers for McCain

Lockheed Martin

Civil Justice Reform Group

Fannie Mae

Time Warner

The Hill

JohnMcCain.com

Cunningham

Bryan

Barbour Griffith & Rogers

Fundraiser

Pfizer

Eli Lilly

Republic of India

AT&T Services

Verizon

Motorola

Public Citizen

D'Amato

Alfonse

Park Strategies

Fundraiser

Lockheed Martin

News Corp.

United Technologies

JohnMcCain.com

Davenport

Doug B.

DCI Group

Regional Campaign Manager

Fundraiser

AT&T

GM

Goldman Sachs

Intel

Lockheed Martin

Mortgage Insurance Companies of America

Verizon

Visa

Public Citizen

Davis

Ashley

Blank Rome

Women for McCain Steering Committee

BearingPoint

Boeing

Mylan Laboratories

Prudential Financial

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Davis

Kurt

Hamilton, Gullett, Davis & Roman

Fundraiser

Yavapai Ranch

Translational Genomics Research Institute

Public Citizen

Davis

Rick

Davis, Manafort

Campaign Manager

Bell South

GTech

SBC Telecommunications

Verizon

Dawson

Mimi

Wiley Rein

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Amazon.com Holdings

Colorado Gaming Association

General Motors

Motorola

Sirius Satellite Radio

Verizon Wireless

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Diamond

John

Washington Capitol Group

Economic Adviser

KSOLV

JohnMcCain.com

Donatelli

Frank

McGuire Woods

Deputy RNC Chairman

AT&T

Exxon Mobil

Knoll Pharmaceutical

PhRMA

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Dominion Resources

Verizon

The Hill

Edwards

Melissa "Missy"

Washington Group

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Amgen

Assoc. of Corporate Credit Unions

BellSouth

Cox Communications

Delta Airlines

E-Trade

Bangladesh

Panama

Microsoft

Motorola

National Automobile Dealers Assoc.

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Fay

Kevin

Alcalde & Fay

Fundraiser

3M Corporation

Public Citizen

Ferry

Christian

Davis Manafort

Deputy Campaign Manager

SBC Telecommunications

Verizon

USA Today

Fidler

Chris

Petrizzo Strategic Group

Fundraiser

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

Direct TV

NewsCorp

GlaxoSmithkline

Boehringer IngelHeim (pharma)

Stratus Pharmaceuticals

Public Citizen

Fiorentino

Thomas Jr.

Fiorentino & Hewett

Fundraiser

United Airlines

Public Citizen

Furman

Sally

Furman Group

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Geduldig

Samuel K.

Clark Lytle & Geduldig

Fundraiser

AT&T

Ernst & Young

Fidelity Investments

Prudential

Qwest

Verizon

Public Citizen

Ginsberg

Ben

Patton Boggs

Fundraiser

Lucent Technologies

Venetian Casino Resort

McCain Fundraiser

Girard-di Carlo

David

Blank Rome

Fundraiser

Mylan Laboratories

American Financial Group

FastShip

Public Citizen

Glassner

Michael

IDT Corp.

Fundraiser

IDT Corp.

Public Citizen

Glover Weiss

Juleanna R.

Ashcroft Group

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Novartis

PhRMA

Eli Lilly

Aventis Pharmaceuticals

AT&T

Adelphia

Coors Brewing Company

Freddie Mac

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Gorton

Slade

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates

Honorary Chairman, Washington State

All State Insurance

American Nuclear Insurers

Delta Airlines

Microsoft

Safeco

Starbucks

T-Mobile USA

Babcock & Wilcox

JohnMcCain.com

Gramm

Phil

UBS

Fundraiser

Economic Adviser

UBS Americas

Public Citizen

JohnMcCain.com

Green

John

Ogilvy Government Relations

Congressional Liaison

Fundraiser

Philip Morris

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company

Amerada-Hess

Chevron Texaco

AT&T

Bell South

Motorola

Time Warner

U.S. Telecom Association

Verizon

AmeriChoice

AHIP

EADS

Hoffman-La Roche

Pfizer

Blackstone Group

CitiGroup

NRA

Public Citizen

Grissom

Janet M.

Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Ford

Accenture

Alliance of Auto Manufacturers

Amgen

NYSE Group

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Gullett

Wes

Hamilton, Gullett, Davis & Roman

Fundraiser

Arizona Campaign Co-Leader

Yavapai Ranch

Translational Genomics Research Institute

Public Citizen

JohnMcCain.com

Gullott

Kristen

Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels

Women for McCain Steering Committee

American Gas Association

Toyota

Yamaha Motor Corporation

AT&T

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Introgen Therapeutics

PhRMA

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Hance

Kent

Hance Scarborough Wright Woodward & Weisbart

Fundraiser

Stanford Financial Group


Public Citizen

Harding

Robert

Greenberg Traurig

Fundraiser

Home Source Inc.

Stellar Management

Washington Post

Hart

Vicki

Hart Health Strategies

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Johnson & Johnson

PhRMA

Vaxgen

Amgen

Vitas Healthcare Corporation

CitiGroup

Eli Lilly

Lehman Brothers

Lockheed Martin

Merrill Lynch

New York Stock Exchange

United Health Group

Verizon

Visa

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Hartwell

Robert van Laer

Hartwell Capitol Consulting / Hartick LLC

Fundraiser

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

BLR Aerospace

Public Citizen

Hawley

Buzz

Van Scoyoc Associates

Virginia Steering Committee

ELSAG North America

JohnMcCain.com

Heubusch

John D.

Waitt Family Foundation

Fundraiser

Gateway

Public Citizen

Hilleary

William "Van"

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal

State Co-Chairman, Tennessee

AMSURG

MILITEC

SMS Holdings Corporation

JohnMcCain.com

Hohlt

Deborah

Self-Employed

Women for McCain Steering Committee

State of Indiana

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Hohlt

Richard

Hohlt and Associates

Fundraiser

Chevron

Nuclear Energy Institute

Time Warner

Bristol Myers Squibb

JP Morgan Chase

SBC Communications

Public Citizen

Hughey

Gaylord T. Jr.

Self-Employed

Fundraiser

Heartland Security Insurance Group

Public Citizen

Huntsman

Peter

Huntsman International LLC

Fundraiser

Huntsman International LLC

Public Citizen

Hyland

James "Jim"

Pennsylvania Avenue Group

Fundraiser

Virginia Steering Committee

American Insurance Association

BP America

Ebay

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

General Motors

Indep. Fuel Terminal Operators Assoc.

Merrill Lynch

New York Stock Exchange

Raytheon

Mortgage Investors Corporation

Viacom

Citigroup

Occidental Petroleum Corp.

Visa

JohnMcCain.com

JohnMcCain.com

Jarvis

Aleix

Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock


Fundraiser

EADS

MCI

Sprint Nextel

Time Warner

Viacom

National Cable & Telecom Association

Public Citizen

Jenner

Greg

American Council of Life Insurers

Economic Adviser

American Council of Life Insurers

Edison Electric Institute

JG Wentworth

JohnMcCain.com

Johnson

Mary Kate

Cassidy & Associates

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Boeing

Blue Cross / Blue Shield of S.C.


Women for McCain Steering Committee

Johnson

Nancy

Berman, Caldwell & Berkowitz

Fundraiser

Verizon

Host Committee, Coffee Break with Cindy McCain Fundraiser (5/8/08)

Johnson

Edwin "Ned"

McNair Law Firm

Fundraiser

Fuji

Porter Technologies

Public Citizen

Jones

Christine

Go Daddy Group Inc.

Fundraiser

Go Daddy

Public Citizen

Kahn

Charles N. III

Federation of American Hospitals

Fundraiser

Federation of American Hospitals

Public Citizen

Kilberg

William

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Fundraiser

Investment Co. Insurance

Public Citizen

Kuykendall

Steve

Strategic Marketing Innovations

Fundraiser

SMI

Techfinity

Cercom

Public Citizen

Lesher

William "Bill"

Lesher, Russell & Barron

Fundraiser

Phillip Morris

Kraft Foods

Pepsico

McCain Fundraiser

Lichtenstein

Jack

Asis Intl.

Fundraiser

Asis Intl.

Public Citizen

Loeffler

Thomas

Loeffler Group

National Campaign Co-Chair

Fundraiser

AT&T

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Capital One Financial

Edison Electric Institute

Motorola

PhRMA

Saudi Arabia

Toyota

JohnMcCain.com

MacKinnon

Gail

Tim Warner

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Time Warner

Viacom

National Cable & Telecom Association

CBS

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Madigan

Peter

Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart

Fundraiser

Accenture

Alliance of Auto Manufacturers

Philip Morris

Amgen

Arthur Andersen

Bank of New York

Bell South

Charles Schwab

Goldman Sachs

Merrill Lynch

Microsoft

Peruvian Asparagus Institute

Shell Oil

U.S. Telecom Association

United Technologies

Verizon

Public Citizen

Manaigo

Aaron

Fenner, Gray & Associates

National Coalitions Director

Center for Financial Literacy

Quixotic Solutions Inc.

U.S. Fast Food Coalition

U.S. Hydrogen Energy Coalition

George Washington University

Mann

Mary

International Paper

Women for McCain Steering Committee

International Paper

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Martino

Paul

Alston & Bird

Fundraiser

AT&T

Charles Schwab

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

McCain Fundraiser

McAuliffe

Mary

Union Pacific

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Union Pacific

Women for McCain Steering Committee

McGovern

John

McGovern & Smith

Fundraiser

Neuren Pharmacueticals

IntelSat Global service

10 Tanker Air Carrier LLC

Public Citizen

McKay

Mike

Federal Strategy Group

Fundraiser

American Airlines

Verizon

Public Citizen

McKeag

Jana

Lowry Strategies

Fundraiser

Venture Catalyst

Prairie Island Indian Community

Central California Leadership Alliance

Sodak Gaming

Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

JohnMcCain.com

McKone

Timothy

AT&T

Fundraiser

AT&T

ComSat Corp.

Fruit of the Loom

SBC Telecommunications

Public Citizen

McSlarrow

Alison H.

McSlarrow Consulting

Fundraiser

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Microsoft

American Trucking Association

Fannie Mae

Hartford

Nextel

Northwest Airlines

Women for McCain Steering Committee

McSlarrow

Kyle E.

National Cable & Telecom Association

Fundraiser

National Cable & Telecom Association

Public Citizen

Meece

Michael E.

Meece Group

Fundraiser

Coca Cola

Comcast

Dubai Mercantile Exchange

Public Citizen

Metzner

David A

American Continental Group

Fundraiser

Association of American Railroads

Cisco Systems

Edison Electric Institute

Earnst & Young

Exelon

Intel

PepsiCo

Prudential Insurance

Public Citizen

Molinari

Susan

Washington Group

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Exelon

SBC Communications

Verizon

AAI Pharma

Amgen

Bell South

Bio Marin Pharmaceutical

BioPure Corp.

Cox Communications

E-Trade

Panama

Bangladesh

Heyl Chem-Pharm Fabrik

Hyundai Motor America

Microsoft

Motorola

NADA

National Cable & Telecom Association

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals

Sanofi Pasteur

Teva Pharmaceutica

Watson Pharmaceuticals

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Munger

John

Munger Chadwick PLC

Fundraiser

Clean Channel Outdoor Inc

Public Citizen

Nahigian

Ken

Nahigian Strategies

Fundraiser

Discover America Partnership

McCain Fundraiser

Nelson

Susan

Loeffler Group

National Finance Director

American Health Insurance Plans

AmeriChoice

AT&T

Toyota

Verizon

USA Today

Oliver

Jack

Bryan Cave Strategies

Fundraiser

Ameren

Earnst & Young

Northwest Airlines

Shell Oil

Union Pacific

Verizon

Anheuser Busch

Financial Services Forum

JohnMcCain.com

Perry

Steve

Dutko Worldwide

Fundraiser

Amazon.com

AT&T / AT&T Wireless

Charles Schwab

Go Daddy

IDT Corporation

Tivo

McCain Fundraiser

Pfautch

Roy

Civic Service

National Finance Committee Co-Chairman

Assoc. of Clinical Endocrinologists

International Fuel Technology

Japan Fed. of Construction Contractors

MetCor

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.

NTT Docomo USA Inc.

Sanwa Bank

Shandwick International

JohnMcCain.com

Pfotenhauer

Nancy Mitchell

Koch Industries

Economic Adviser

Koch Industries

JohnMcCain.com

Phillips

Steve

DLA Piper

Fundraiser

Amazon.com

BellSouth

BP America

Ebay

General Motors

Lockheed Martin

Merrill Lynch

Staples

Time Warner

McCain Fundraiser

Pickering

Elise

Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti

Women for McCain Steering Committee

American Clinical Laboratory Assn.

American Health Insurance Plans

Amgen

Amylin

Ascension Healthcare

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Ebay

Edison Electric Institute

IBM

Intel

Pepsi

PhRMA

Procter & Gamble

Sprint Nextel

Wal-Mart

Yahoo!

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Pitts

James L.

DC Navigators

Fundraiser

Aetna

American Council of Life Insurers

AT&T

B ell South

Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers

PG&E Corp.

Public Citizen

Powers

Timothy

Artemis Strategies

Fundraiser

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Pakistan Human Development Fund

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Motorola

Caspian Energy Alliance

Cricket Communications

Public Citizen

Principi

Anthony

Pfizer

Fundraiser

Pfizer

Public Citizen

Racy

Michael

Munger Chadwick

Fundraiser

Clear Channel

Public Citizen

Rappoport

Sloan W.

Downey McGrath Group

Fundraiser

Manufacturers Association of Haiti Thorium Power

Preferred Care Partners

Pharmed Group

Public Citizen

Rill

James

Collier Shannon Scott

Economic Adviser

Intel

JohnMcCain.com

Roman

Steve

Hamilton, Gullett, Davis & Roman

Fundraiser

Translational Genomics Research Institute

Public Citizen

Rudman

Warren

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Co-Chairman, National Exploratory Committee

Intelsat

JohnMcCain.com

Salmon

Matt

Greenberg Traurig

Fundraiser

American Capital Holdings

ArmorWorks El Paso Pipeline Group

Dillion Aero (gun-maker)

Nien Made Enterprises (Asian appliance maker)

Public Citizen

Samora

Joseph

Case New Holland

Fundraiser

Case New Holland

McCain Fundraiser

Scheunemann

Randy

Scheunemann and Associates

Defense and Foreign Policy Coordinator

BP Amoco

Lockheed Martin

NRA

Washington Post

Seaton

Jon

Associated Builders & Contractors

Regional Campaign Manager (OH & PA)

Associated Builders & Contractors

Politico

Shanahan

Kathleen M.

Public Strategies

2008 McCain Victory Florida Finance Committee

New York Stock Exchange

RNC

Stahl

Katie

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Fundraiser

Life Medical Technologies

Medical Device Manuf. Assoc.

Sanofi-Aventis

Host Committee, Coffee Break with Cindy McCain Fundraiser (5/8/08)

Stanges

Milly

TIAA-CREF

Women for McCain Steering Committee

TIAA-CREF

Bell Atlantic Mobile

Women for McCain Steering Committee

Suarez

Aquiles

National Association of Industrial & Office Properties

Economic Adviser

Fannie Mae

Natl. Assoc. of Industial & Office Prop.

JohnMcCain.com

Sundquist

Don

Sundquist & Anthony

State Co-Chair, Tennessee

Hartford

Scotts Company

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco

JohnMcCain.com

Symington

Fife

Symington Group LLC

Fundraiser

Diversified Energy Corporation

Public Citizen

Thompson

Jeri

Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson & Hand

Fundraiser

American Insurance Association

Host Committee, Coffee Break with Cindy McCain Fundraiser (5/8/08)

Timmons

John

Cormac Group

Fundraiser & Adviser

America West Airlines

AT&T

Time Warner Telecom

U.S. Airways

USA Today

Van Dongen

Dirk W.

National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors

Fundraiser

National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors

Public Citizen

Vennett

David

Toyota

Fundraiser

Toyota

McCain Fundraiser

Villamil

J. Antonio

Washington Economics Group

Florida Advisory Committee

PSEG Global

JohnMcCain.com

Wagner

Raymond T. Jr.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Fundraiser

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Public Citizen

Weiss

Jeffrey

BKSH

Fundraiser

Alcoa Inc.

JP Morgan

NFIB

U.S. Airway Group

Yukos Oil Company

McCain Fundraiser

Wiley

Richard "Dick"

Wiley Rein

Fundraiser

Co-Chairman, Lawyers for McCain

CBS

Gannett Co.

General Motors

McCain Fundraiser

JohnMcCain.com

Williams

Tony

Washington2 Advocates

Fundraiser

National Mining Association

Public Citizen

Woolsey

James

Shea & Gardner

Energy and National security Adviser

North American Industrial Hemp Council

Washington Post

Wright

Joseph

Panamsat Corp.

Economic Adviser

Panamsat Corp.

JohnMcCain.com

Zeidman

Fred

Greenberg Traurig

Fundraiser

Sprenger & Lang

Public Citizen

Zimmer

Richard "Dick"

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Honorary Vice Chairman, New Jersey

Business Roundtable

T-Mobile USA

JohnMcCain.com

[Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records]

Yellow Highlight = Lobbyist Fired or Resigned From Campaign

Posted by: Why would a "war hero" hide his Military Records, Old Songbird McBush? | June 25, 2008 6:33 PM

Lobbyists at the Helm: Bush & McCain Tap Lobbyists to Run the Show

Progressive Media USA Research
PUBLISHED: June 03, 2008
Planning McCain-Bush 2008: I'll have My Lobbyists Talk With Your Lobbyists...

March 2006: Bush And McCain Had Lobbyist Aides Meet To Map Out Political Strategy. As Senator McCain and President Bush met at the White House shortly after McCain wrapped up the GOP nomination, the Washington Post reported, "Top aides to Bush and McCain met separately for lunch in the office of White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolton to map out their political efforts. Among those present were counselor Ed Gillespie, Bolten and [Barry] Jackson, along with McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and aides Mark Salter, Charles R. Black Jr., Steve Schmidt and Mark McKinnon." [Washington Post, 3/6/08]
Team McCain

McCain Senior Political Adviser Charlie Black Is An "Uber-Lobbyist." Dubbed an "uber-lobbyist" by the Washington Post, Charlie Black has represented special interests including AT&T, GM, JP Morgan and Blackwater, but Black and his firm specialize in lobbying for corrupt foreign dictators. Over the years, he and his firm have pushed the agendas of numerous foreign dictators among the American government officials he has helped elect, including Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. According to the Department of Justice, Black and his firm's foreign clients have included Philippine Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Somali Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, Zaire's dictator Mobuto Sese Seko, Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, Equatorial Guinea's dictator Brig. Gen. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida. Black has also pushed the interests of the Iraqi National Congress and its leader Ahmed Chalabi as he provided the U.S. false information on WMD in Iraq leading up to the current Iraq war. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 6/2/08; FARA Database, accessed 2/08; Washington Post, 5/22/08]

Rick Davis Is John Mccain's Campaign Manager And A Lobbyist. According to Politico, McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis, a lobbyist who has been close to McCain for years, founded the lobbying firm Davis Manafort, a firm that made at least $2.8 million lobbying Congress from 1998 to mid-2007. Davis has represented domestic special interests, such as Verizon, in addition to being linked to foreign clients like "Ukranian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, who has several business links to Iran," as TPM Muckraker reported. [Politico, 7/11/07; TPM Muckraker, 5/30/08]
Team Bush
Bush Counselor Ed Gillespie Had Lucrative Lobbying Practice Prior To White House Work. Ed Gillespie, one of President Bush's top advisors, founded the lobbying firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates (QGA), a lobbying firm that still bears his name and indirectly uses his influence to win favor with Bush Administration officials. Before coming to work for Bush, Gillespie lobbied for: the American Petroleum Institute, Amgen Pharmaceuticals, AT&T, Bank of America, Sony, Bristol Myers Squibb, Coca Cola, Daimler Chrysler, Delta Airlines, EADS Corporation, Entergy, GE Consumer Finance, Genworth Financial, Hewlett Packard, Metlife, Microsoft, Verizon, National Association of Realtors, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, NBC Universal, Verizon Wireless, Tyson Foods, State Farm Insurance and the U.S. Telecom Association. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 6/2/08]
John McCain: Just Like Bush When It Comes To Lobbyist Advisors
McCain
McCain Has Enlisted At Least 127 Lobbyists To Run And Raise Money For His Campaign. Senator McCain has recruited at least 127 federal lobbyists to run his presidential campaign and as top campaign fundraisers. The lobbyists in his inner circle include his campaign manager, senior political adviser, national finance director, deputy campaign manager, several of his national finance co-chairmen and a number of his top policy advisers. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08; McCain Source, accessed 5/30/08]

* Washington Post: McCain Campaign "Guided By Lobbyists." According to the Washington Post, "McCain's campaign has also been guided by lobbyists." [Washington Post, 12/31/07]

McCain Forced To Fire Four Top Aides Because Of Lobbying Ties. On May 19, 2008, the Washington Post reported that Thomas Loeffler, McCain's national campaign co-chairman and national finance co-chairman, resigned from the campaign because he lobbies for Saudi Arabia, making him "the fifth person to sever ties with the campaign amid a growing concern over whether lobbyists have too great an influence over the Republican nominee." Of those five top aides to leave the campaign, four were forced to leave because of lobbying ties, and the fifth because of ties to an outside political group: "Regional campaign manager Doug Davenport and Republican convention chief Doug Goodyear departed after acknowledging having represented Burma. Eric Burgeson, who lobbies the federal government on energy issues, left Thursday. GOP consultant Craig Shirley parted ways with the campaign because of ties to http://www.stophernow.com, a site created to target Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) that is now aimed at Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). [Washington Post, 5/19/08]

* Even After Lobbyists Caused Problems For McCain, He Reached Out To "K" Street. On May 30, 2008, Politico reported, "John McCain's campaign manager and other senior officials met with about 70 top Republican lobbyists yesterday, making the case" for McCain's presidency. The aides dispatched to "K" Street included three lobbyists - Campaign Manager Rick Davis, Deputy Campaign Manager Christian Ferry, and Deputy RNC Chairman Frank Donatelli. [Politico, 5/30/08]

McCain Recruited Lobbyist And Former Top Bush Aide As Top Fundraiser. According to Public Citizen, lobbyist Kirk Blalock is a top McCain fundraiser. He is also a former top aide to Bush and Washington insider. According to the Center for Public Integrity, "Not many companies change their names to accommodate a recent hire, but not every new employee has the standing of Kirk Blalock. In a town where influence is predicated on who you know, Blalock's connections are a conspicuously valuable commodity. As special assistant to the president, he often counseled George W. Bush and crafted political strategies with now-Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove. And as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, he coordinated the Bush administration's outreach to the business community - a role that gave him unique stature along Washington, D.C.'s K Street corridor. Perhaps that's why in October 2003, just 11 months after Blalock left public service for Fierce & Isakowitz, the 25-year-old lobbying shop made him a name partner. It proved to be a profitable decision: Since Blalock's arrival, the firm has nearly doubled its annual revenue to more than $6 million," with records showing he personally lobbied the White House for 20 clients. [CPI, accessed 6/2/08]

Two Top McCain Aides Lobbied For Ameriquest, One Of The Nation's Largest Subprime Lenders. Senate Lobbying Disclosure records show that from 2005 to 2006, McCain Congressional Liaison John Green, McCain national Finance Co-Chairman Wayne Berman, and their lobbying firm were paid $640,000 to lobby for Ameriquest, "the nation's largest sub-prime lender." Green and Berman lobbied for the interests of the sub-prime lender on legislation meant to protect American homeowners from the sub-prime mortgage crisis. In 2006, while Green lobbied for the company, Ameriquest "agreed to pay $325 million to settle a 49-state investigation," an agreement that ranked "as the second-largest predatory lending settlement in history." [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 3/2008; Consumer Affairs, 1/23/06]

Madigan Hired To Fight Child Enslavement Claims Against The UAE. Peter Madigan, a top McCain fundraiser, lobbied for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to ABC News, the UAE, "facing a class-action lawsuit over alleged enslavement of boys as jockeys in camel races, has hired several top Washington lobbyists and PR firms to present their case to Congress and the public." The lawsuit alleged "that senior ministers from Dubai conspired to force thousands of underage boys to race camels." According to The Hill, "The year-long contract with Johnson Madigan could cost the sheikhs' more than $800,000. Jeffrey Peck, Sen. Joseph Biden's (D-Del.) former counsel, and Peter Madigan, once a State Department official under the first President Bush, signed the subcontract." [ABC News, 2/1/08; The Hill, 4/4/07]

Seven Top McCain Aides And Fundraisers Helped Air Bus Secure Multi-Billion Air Force Contract Over Boeing. At least seven top McCain advisers and fundraisers - Thomas Loeffler, Susan Nelson, John Green, Kirsten Chadwick, Kirk Blalock, Aleix Jarvis and William Ball III - have all lobbied for EADS, the parent company of European airplane manufacturer Air Bus. McCain's EADS lobbyists were influential in steering a multi-billion Air Force contract to Air Bus instead of Boeing. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08]

At Least 22 Of McCain's Top Aides And Fundraisers Have Lobbied For 8 Of The Top 10 Defense Contractors. At least 22 of McCain's top aides and fundraisers have lobbied for the top ten Defense contractors, including 8 lobbyists for Lockheed Martin, 3 lobbyists for Boeing, 1 lobbyist for Northrop Grumman, 3 lobbyists for Raytheon, 2 lobbyists for General Dynamics, 7 lobbyists for EADS, 1 lobbyist for L-3 Communications, and 5 lobbyists for United Technologies. In total, the top 10 defense contractors have also given at least $216,259 in campaign contributions to McCain. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/22/08; CQ Moneyline, accessed 5/22/08; DefenseNews, accessed 5/22/08]

McCain Has At Least 13 Big Oil Lobbyists Advising Him Or Raising Money For His Campaign. At least 13 of the lobbyists advising McCain or raising money for his campaign have lobbied for big oil. His lobbyists have lobbied for Exxon Mobil, Shell, Sunoco, Amerada Hess, Chevron Texaco, the American Petroleum Institute, Occidental Petroleum, Yukos Oil, the Chinese National Off-Shore Oil Corporation, BP, Chevron, and BP Amoco. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08]

McCain Has At Least 37 Big Pharma Lobbyists Advising Him Or Raising Money For His Campaign. At least 37 of the lobbyists advising McCain or raising money for his campaign have lobbied for big pharma. His lobbyists' clients have included PhRMA, Pfizer, Novartis, Astrazeneca, Wyeth, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi Pasteur, Eli Lilly, Hoffman La-Roche, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. [Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records, accessed 5/30/08]
Bush

At Least 150 Senior Bush Administration Officials Went To K Street Through November 2007. Politico reported, "From the beginning, the Bush White House created controversy by tapping scores of industry lobbyists to staff official positions. Now approaching its final days, the administration might have produced even more lobbyists than it took in. At least 150 senior Bush administration officials have traded their government service badges for K Street's pinstripes. In its early years, the administration was estimated to have hired about 100 lobbyists." [Politico, 11/13/07]

Bush Hired 92 Lobbyists To Handle Transition To White House, 12 Lobbyists To Work For The Administration. According to a report from the Center for Public Integrity, President Bush has utilized over 100 registered lobbyists to deal with official business for the White House. "The Center (For Public Integrity) identified 12 former registered lobbyists who have been hired to work in the various offices of the White House-sometimes formulating public policy about the various issues on which they once lobbied. Similarly, the Center found that the Bush administration appointed 92 lobbyists to its transition advisory teams between 2000 and 2001." [CPI.org, accessed 3/6/08]

Bush White House Officials Had 500 Meetings With Lobbyist Jack Abramoff And His Team. The House Government Reform Committee found that Jack Abramoff's team met with officials from the Bush White House 500 times, spending more than $25,000 on meals. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Lobbying Team Spent $25,000 on meals for White House officials, report says. House Government Reform Committee finds 500 contacts between members of since-disgraced lobbyist Abramoff's team and Bush aides over three years. An email shows one offering White House strategist Ken Mehlman, now national Republican chairman, two tickets to a sold-out U2 concert. The administration has distanced Bush from Abramoff. But the report documents instances in which White House officials may have helped him. In another email, lobbying partner Tony Rudy tells Abramoff that 'Mehlman said he would 'take care of'' a funding request. An RNC spokeswoman called it 'not unusual' for Mehlman to talk to supporters interested in policy while working at the White House." [Wall Street Journal, 9/29/06]

"Hundreds" Of Lobbyists Worked To Fundraise For Bush, 52 Raised $50,000 Or More. The Center for Public Integrity conducted a detailed analysis of registered lobbyists and their financial contributions to President Bush's campaigns, finding the Bush campaigns relied heavily on Washington insiders. "The Center (For Public Integrity) found 52 registered lobbyists who were major fundraisers for the Bush campaigns. These 'bundlers' include so-called Mavericks (who raised $50,000), Pioneers (who raised $100,000) and Rangers (who raised $200,000). The donations gathered by each fundraiser were tabulated with 'Solicitor Tracking Numbers' assigned by the campaigns-a way to insure that each fundraiser received due credit for the donations he or she collected. Such tracking numbers appear on disclosure forms signed by lobbyists Wayne Berman of Federalist Group, Thomas Loeffler of The Loeffler Group and David Metzner of American Continental Group Inc., all of whom pledged to raise $250,000 for Bush. ... There are also hundreds of Bush Mavericks, Pioneers and Rangers working for companies that lobbied the federal government since Bush was inaugurated in 2001. Their ranks include Blalock, who already had close connections to Bush after leaving the White House. As a Pioneer, Blalock raised $100,000 for the president's re-election." [CPI.org, accessed 3/6/08]

Bush Chief Of Staff Andrew Card Was Lobbyist. According to the Center for Public Integrity, "Andrew Card, the president's chief of staff, previously lobbied on issues like product liability for the American Automobile Manufacturers Association." Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records show that Card also lobbied for General Motors immediately before taking the job as White House chief of staff. [CPI, accessed 6/2/08]

Posted by: Why would a "war hero" hide his Military Records, Old Songbird McBush? | June 25, 2008 6:30 PM

C'mon now, race is an issue in every election because that is the one issue black voters care about, and that is the easiest way for Democrats to get out the black vote. Play the race card, win the black vote.

Why do you think black folks were leaning Hillary early on? That's right, Obama wasn't black enough. They knew they could count on Hillary to play the race card come gneral election time, but they weren't so sure of Obama, that is until he showed them he can play the race card by turning it on the Clintons. Isn't it funny how the beloved first black couple are now the redneck HillBilly racists?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 6:28 PM

Freedom Fighter

Get some objectivity idiot. You obviously spend your time targeting Obama. You trying to hard. Seems as if you can only find fault in one candidate? Seems as if you are showing your racism quite vividly. Stop allowing your racist hate to drive you. Your going to have a heart attack worrying about a black person becoming president. Don't worry, whites will still run congress and be at the top of the food chain regardless. So sleep well my obsessed racist blogger. Your people are still in control. Now go burn a cross or something.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 6:24 PM

I like how the 3rd parties are starting to pick up votes.

Shows we voters are fed up with the real broken system in US Government........

Having only 2 parties to choose from.

Posted by: Comment | June 25, 2008 6:19 PM

Freedom Fighter

If blacks are racist where do you think they got their racist attitudes from? Martin Luther King? No they got their racist attitudes from the people who taught it to them, WHITES!! So I know its the chic thing in white society these days to mislable everyone else but please know this. WHITES ARE STILL THE MOST RACIST PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRY TO TELL YOURSELVES OTHERWISE!! Why do you think race is even an issue in this presidential contest. Because whites have done more to make it an issue than any black person could. When a white candidate runs for office is race an issue with whites or blacks? HECK NO!! So why is race such an issue this time around? When did whites ever give a damm before about the racial attitudes of blacks? Blacks have been complaining about racial treatment for 300 years and it seems the only time whites wish to acknowledge race as a problem is when they can put the blame on Obama's paster. Where were you when Trent Lott made his famous Strom Thurmond speech, or Fuzzy Zeller made his fried chicken jokes at the masters? We wont even talk about our good old friend Don Imus's nappy headed ho's reference to Ruckers womans basketball team. The NBA is the thug league to whites while the NHL is what? Please stop being delusional with yourself. You sound silly.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 6:17 PM

"It is difficult to believe that Americans are enjoying all this -- or even paying close attention to it."

The most lucid comment in the entire article. Only political junkies are paying attention at this early juncture.

Posted by: mark | June 25, 2008 6:06 PM

Dan, I'll take issue with one observation you made. You wrote, "Of all the candidates who sought the presidency this year, McCain and Obama seemed the least likely to fall so quickly into old habits." I'd say Huckabee seemed least likely to fall so quickly into the sort of habits you describe.

Posted by: dcsuburb | June 25, 2008 5:54 PM

"Don't blame the media for this..." Gotta love it. Did you realize without the media nothing is aired nothing happened. You can have a 100,000 people march in protest against the war--if the media doesn't report it no one knows about it. So please explain how it is "Don't blame the media for this."

"He had promised to sit down with McCain to discuss the whole issue of money before making any decision." Dan, maybe you should read the paper sometime you might be better able to write accurately. The Obama camp lawyers attempted to work out a meeting with McSame but they were not willing to negotiate--why? (Something the media decided it didn't want to give publicity to, Who creates the news?) Because it would not be in McSame's interest to agree to a fair political campaign, when he's going to need more than just the RNC swiftboat team helping him--the reality is McSame hasn't a chance to win the November election in a fair race. He also doesn't show the fundraising ability Obama has, though once the Publicans figure out he's their only chance, the corporate greed machine will step in line to support him with plenty of money.

Try on another pair of rose colored glasses, I think you can find a great deal that isn't the same about these two candidates in the campaign that is ongoing. To label them more of the same, is a lie.

Posted by: yakmon | June 25, 2008 5:44 PM

The media is supposed to "interpret" all those back & forth between Obama and McCain - Balz, you are to give it your best shot. The problem now, of course, is that Obama & the Dems are fighting back; giving back as much as they get whereas before Bush & Rove had the superiority in the sliming and smearing department. For every stupid comment of McCain, Obama has an answer. The media is not yet used to this. Obama is bright, articulate, street-savvy, academically prepared for any argument and he intimidates the media which is used to dumb, inarticulate pols like Bush. It is a new kind of politics, unrecognizable to the pundits like Balz.

Posted by: M. Stratas | June 25, 2008 5:31 PM

"But when they speak out "some" so called "fair and balanced" people of this country, who somehow how now have gained the morale authority to yell foul?

Black churches and rethorical sermons are not racist but perhaps inarticulate expression of the current state of America--but perhaps not as it could be..."

So black people should be above criticism because they are black? Of all the ethnic groups in this country, blacks are by far the most racist, because people like you give them a free pass for bad behaviour.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 5:30 PM

The problem is partly the media. Just because the campaigns have these stupid conference calls doesn't mean you need to report them as if they were somehow news. They aren't news.

The TV media in the US is a joke - virtually no actual news at all. If anyone is interested in what is actually going on in the world they should try BBC World or some other foreign news channel

Posted by: ee | June 25, 2008 5:23 PM

"Freedom Fighter:

You seem a little jealous of Obama. You say that he's not intelligent or articulate, and suggest that he's only in the position he's in because he's black."

Obama is clueless. He doesn't even know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. He doesn't know Canada doesn't have presidents. He thinks there are 57 states. He can't speak coherently if there isn't a teleprompter in front of him. He refuses to release his grades and test scores... and why is that?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 5:23 PM

I'll take Democrap to Republicrap any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Go Barack!

Posted by: mikie44 | June 25, 2008 5:17 PM

"You sir, the fighter of freedom, obviously are the person with the low IQ. If you have ever listened to the eliquance of one of Barack's speeches you would probably understand one out of five words. What freedom are you fighting? The freedom to send children to war so that the rich people's stocks in oil go up? The freedom to say and do whatever you want as the president without remorse? The freedom to push economical ideas without thought?"

Are you kidding me? Reading words prepared by someone else isn't eloquence, they are "just words". The least he could have done was to have Axelrod write some new material instead stealing speeches from Deval Patrick, John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich.

The fact that Obama doesn't know how many states are in the nation shows he is low IQ.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 5:14 PM

Actually,

the fact that both the Obama and McCain camps seem to be upset with the article suggests that there may be a kernel of truth to it.

Rather than blather on about Obama's middle name or his charm and eloquence (which in general are positive traits) or his former pastor why can't we focus on his positions regarding immigration or Iraq?

Rather than scream at how McCain (or McSame or however you choose to slander his name) will be the same as Bush or how the Republicans "swift boated" Kerry why can't we discuss how he's going to fix health care or improve public education?

I've grown disgusted by both the Dems and the GOP lately and have concluded that our government is no longer serving the needs of the people. However, if all I had to go on was the content of the comments section from an article like this then I would have to conclude that we Americans have the government we deserve.

Please, grow up, forget about the sins of the other side, forgive past transgressions and get on with issues that really matter.

Posted by: genomer | June 25, 2008 5:09 PM

"Blame Axelrod, Gibbs and Plouffe for preventing the type of elevated discourse you, and the rest of the country, are seeking."

Obama can't speak coherently without a teleprompter. After that disaster of a debate with Hillary, he banned all forms of debates. He only does prepared speeches and videos.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 5:08 PM

Yea, this is McCain's rationale for having town halls. To cut through the campaign rubbish that both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of spewing. To hear both candidates speak on the issues without a filter. Blame Axelrod, Gibbs and Plouffe for preventing the type of elevated discourse you, and the rest of the country, are seeking.

Posted by: Tim | June 25, 2008 5:03 PM

I agree somewhat with the assessments. It is not just the negativity, but the rat a tat nature of the discussion. Every day the candidates say something new to the point of information overload.I think both candidates would do much better if they focused on three issues and just hammered them. Let me demonstrate.

McCain:
Contain Iran
Energy Independence through nuclear, oil exploration and conservation
Lower the cost of life for families: Education, healthcare etc.

Obama:
Contain Iran!!!
Saving social security and medicare
Subsidize healthcare

Keep it to those topics and throw out the rest. We already know Obama and McCain's views on the courts and values. Campain reform is officially a joke, and almost everything else is trivial to the American people.


Posted by: Craig | June 25, 2008 5:03 PM

Hehe... I'll blame the media plenty. But yes, it does take two to tango. The solution is they need to be on the same stage, each can give their solutions. The fundraising gap is going to be huge now that Obama changed his mind on public financing, but even though the spending is going to be ridiculously slanted I would like to hear both sides make their case in a fair and equal manner. This sniping is not helpful. Both sides need to refrain from the easy shots and practice their real debating skills.

Oh, how I miss the days of Buckley vs Chomsky - civil and educational.

Posted by: Grimmix | June 25, 2008 5:02 PM

It's too bad we have 2 men running for president and 50 women going out for miss america. It should be reversed so we can really pick and choose the better candidate,man or woman

Posted by: BERNIE | June 25, 2008 4:54 PM

Dear Mr. Balz:

Without the attack and counter attack whether about policy or, more likely, personal issues, what would do for a living?


Posted by: Peter | June 25, 2008 4:52 PM

It is the rapidity and cohesive content of the counter-attacks coming from the Obama camp that are a departure from Kerry's unfortunate adoption of his opponent's framing of ideas in 2004. As a supposedly perceptive political pundit, Balz should have noticed this by now. It is the key to why Obama has done well and Romney, who also has charm and youth, hasn't.

Posted by: Richard Ray Harris | June 25, 2008 4:36 PM

What will the flock think when they see their man BO gettin' down with the rest of the politicians? Will they still extol all of his "virutes"?
I suspect so because this candidate was never subjected to the trials of his opponents. The MSM was too busy feeling "tingles" in their legs, or rhapsodizing over his "crowd pleasing" techniques to properly vette him and thus give us an unbiased view.
Now it is too late and we've got these two choices that are as bad as I've ever seen in the last thirty years!!

Posted by: MrRex | June 25, 2008 4:35 PM

Sorry the media is just as responsible for the negativity!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 4:34 PM

The media are indeed a large part of the problem. I've spent the last ~5 years overseas, and I no longer recognize "news" in the USA. When I left in 2003, CNN headline news was brilliant - 30 minutes of repeating summaries of the major stories of the day. Now? We get a bunch of disembodied heads SHOUTING the same s#$#@ (stuff) over and over and never really covering any major news. The same goes for financial reporting, but this is even worse. That all looks like a Hulk Hogan match. Try the BBC for a bit of real news.

Posted by: lp | June 25, 2008 4:34 PM

"But those realities have been submerged beneath a tactical shouting match that feeds the cable culture of contemporary politics."

Not to mention that it feeds the ego and needs of Beltway journalists like Dan Balz.

Posted by: JLE | June 25, 2008 4:24 PM

Your comments are fabulous, Dan. You have excellent insight as to this campaign. Hope the candidates and their staffers read your comments.

Posted by: David in Phoenix | June 25, 2008 4:23 PM

The problem is since Karl Rove, our politics reached a new historical low. The newly coined democrats are creating their own version of Karl Rove. If they succeed, what then?

Dan, I am truly surprised at your naivete.

No one in America who wins an election deserves to. The simple fact is that no one with real integrity and character would do what is necessary to win an election. They are all souless, amoral, self-righteous and egomanical posturers who will justify anything they say or do in the name of the only thing that matters to them - winning. Thus it has ever been.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 4:22 PM

This is going to be the nastiest campaign in history. What kills me is the nomination process is over and now that the advisers don't have to restrain themselves from suggesting smears on their own party it's like watching Mystery Science Theater where every point by an opposing candidate gets a snide remark.

It would be great if any and all responses had to come from the candidates directly. If it weren't for attack dogs on each side neither candidate would be so bold to be an a-hole of this magnitude. The American people would dismiss both candidates outright.

Posted by: Mike | June 25, 2008 4:17 PM

As someone who listened to Obama's speeches written by his speech writer several times and actually took the trouble to take notes, I found his half hour speech can seldom be written down to more than 10 sentences. Most of the speeches are filled rhetorical repetitions and slogan shouting. Not the intelligent type of speech I would say. He is terrible at debates, which happens to be the real place to show his verbal skill, and he failed miserably.

On the other hand, politicians should not be judged on their IQs either way (Bush was elected because he has a low IQ, but his failure has nothing to do with his IQ), but on character and integrity. Obama does not show he has either. That's why he is should not be elected.

====

Obama's IQ is too low, and too inarticulate to charm anyone. It's the media that has been acting as his campaign's PR mouth piece.

Freedom Fighter,

You sir, the fighter of freedom, obviously are the person with the low IQ. If you have ever listened to the eliquance of one of Barack's speeches you would probably understand one out of five words. What freedom are you fighting? The freedom to send children to war so that the rich people's stocks in oil go up? The freedom to say and do whatever you want as the president without remorse? The freedom to push economical ideas without thought?

Posted by: Tim | June 25, 2008 3:58 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 4:13 PM

Obama is a racist. McCain is a war hero. We don't need a racist in the white house. We need a war hero so we can burn and bomb everyone else in the world till they like us better.

When I am in recess at school and I meet a kid I don't like, I simply pummel him till he is my friend. If it works for me in the 6th grade, it should work for America too.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 4:12 PM

Freedom Fighter:

You seem a little jealous of Obama. You say that he's not intelligent or articulate, and suggest that he's only in the position he's in because he's black.

So are you suggesting that you are smarter, more articulate, and would be in his position if you weren't inhibited by some affirmative action program?

Posted by: Curious | June 25, 2008 4:12 PM

Bill P,

You are spot on right. But...

I HOPE that this will CHANGE.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 4:09 PM

Dan, I am truly surprised at your naivete.

No one in America who wins an election deserves to. The simple fact is that no one with real integrity and character would do what is necessary to win an election. They are all souless, amoral, self-righteous and egomanical posturers who will justify anything they say or do in the name of the only thing that matters to them - winning. Thus it has ever been.

Posted by: BillP | June 25, 2008 4:06 PM

"Do you ever include facts? Or do you just spit venom?"

"Obama is going to raise taxes and reduce our energy supply. What do you think the outcome would be?"

Freedom Fighter,

Again no facts, just opinion. Obama will actually LOWER taxes of 97% of americans. That is a fact as stated in his budget plan.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 4:03 PM

So you produce your own Karl Rove?

===

Democrats tried civility, and they got Karl Rove.

Not this time. This time we fight!

Posted by: oddball | June 25, 2008 3:52 PM


Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 4:01 PM

Obama's IQ is too low, and too inarticulate to charm anyone. It's the media that has been acting as his campaign's PR mouth piece.

Freedom Fighter,

You sir, the fighter of freedom, obviously are the person with the low IQ. If you have ever listened to the eliquance of one of Barack's speeches you would probably understand one out of five words. What freedom are you fighting? The freedom to send children to war so that the rich people's stocks in oil go up? The freedom to say and do whatever you want as the president without remorse? The freedom to push economical ideas without thought?

Posted by: Tim | June 25, 2008 3:58 PM

"Obama's IQ is too low, and too inarticulate to charm anyone."

Quote of the day.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 3:53 PM

For Republicans to ask Democrats to be more "civil" now, is like muggers asking law-abiding citizens to give up their concealed carry permits.

Democrats tried civility, and they got Karl Rove.

Not this time. This time we fight!

Posted by: oddball | June 25, 2008 3:52 PM

Racial profile raids violate our Constitutional Rights and must be stopped immediately. American industries rely heavily upon Latin workers and must protect them and American industries from these violations. These workers are productive and vital members of our society and must be protected.

If someone commits a crime and is picked up by the authority, then by all means check his/her status. Destructive people should be checked and separated from society.

Pulling a racial profile raid (telling workers to get off the roof and stand in line, because they have brown skin) is a violation of our Constitutional Rights.

Raiding a Latin birthday party and telling everyone to line up is a violation of our Constitutional Rights.

Raiding an Indian wedding and telling everyone to line up is a violation of our Constitutional Rights.

Going after law breakers and checking their status are correct actions.
Patrolling the borders to maintain America's safety from smugglers is the right thing to do.
Prosecuting Wall Street bankers for drug money laundry is the right thing to do.
Prosecuting owners and executives of container ships bringing illegal drugs by the tons is the right thing to do.
Prosecuting Wall Street price fixers, market manipulators and destructive speculators are the right things to do.

Going after innocent productive members of society, because they have brown skin is a violation of our Constitutional Rights.

Americans have grown so fat, lazy and addicted that if you asked them to cook their own food; watch their own kids; clean their own homes; wash their own clothes; build their own homes; landscape their own yards; pick their own food; or repair their own cars; then they would faint.

Posted by: Constitutional Rights | June 25, 2008 3:52 PM

If everything voters like you did was just to replace one evil with another, what is the point of doing it?

====

This whole post is such BS. Look, Bu$hCo & McSame have turned every Democrat (RIGHTFULLY SO) and a whole lot of Independnets into hyperpartisans. We will not logner take any of their BS. We will no longer stand by as the Constitution is shredded. We will no longer stand by. Period. We are taking our country back. With or without Dan Balz patting us on the back for being good "new politics" style Democrats.

Posted by: smh3477 | June 25, 2008 3:40 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 3:46 PM

This whole post is such BS. Look, Bu$hCo & McSame have turned every Democrat (RIGHTFULLY SO) and a whole lot of Independnets into hyperpartisans. We will not logner take any of their BS. We will no longer stand by as the Constitution is shredded. We will no longer stand by. Period. We are taking our country back. With or without Dan Balz patting us on the back for being good "new politics" style Democrats.

Posted by: smh3477 | June 25, 2008 3:40 PM

Things just go the way I expected. McCain's stock up, and Obama's down. The Gallup poll today is 45:45. Dems need to be at least 5% ahead in Gallup to win GE. So they are loosing now and they will loose more in Nov. This proves again, no matter how much money you have, you can't fool people always.

Posted by: God Father | June 25, 2008 3:39 PM

I think the majority of the people on this blog are missing the point of the article....

Posted by: calm down | June 25, 2008 3:35 PM

It figures the media hacks are going to come out to try to extinguish all of the enthusiasm that the Obama campaign has generated.

Ain't gonna work.

Posted by: JR, Boston | June 25, 2008 3:26 PM

Obama's former church is no more racist then the rabbit that runs away from the wolf can be accused of running away from a fight, or something like that...

Come on, how can a group of people who have endured the type of oppression that the people of African decent have in this country be called racist. Be all accounts, it should be expected! But when they speak out "some" so called "fair and balanced" people of this country, who somehow how now have gained the morale authority to yell foul?

Black churches and rethorical sermons are not racist but perhaps inarticulate expression of the current state of America--but perhaps not as it could be...

Posted by: Phil | June 25, 2008 3:18 PM

"Reformed Liar > Liar"

If you put it that way. I suppose Kerry is more honest than "I sat in a racist church for 20 years and didn't inhale" Obama.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 3:07 PM

on several fronts, Obama, in particular is morphing into a same ol/same ol pol; latest gambit is to use ten million of his supporters money to buy off Hillary's debt and, supposed, loyalty. Sounds like good ol Chicago machine politics and a bribe to Hillary all rolled into one. So much for a bright new day and any real change.

I am afraid if Obama wins we will see the same cast of characters practicing the same old politics of divide and conquer and avoidance of any tough decisions on the critical issues we all know beset the country.

Once again the process chews up a bright shining star and extinguished any hope of having a President who is more interested in leading the nation than his polls and re-election odds.

Posted by: robert bell | June 25, 2008 3:06 PM

Liberal arts this, Elitism that, terrorism, blah, blah, blah. I don't feel sorry for republicans at all. You spend 12 years not listening and this is what you get. A royal spanking at the hands of the DNC led by an arrogant, elitist, naive, inexperienced, hypnotist. Too bad for you, next time pick a better candidate, try not to start a war, which you don't want to pay for, and by all means if you are going to elect a business person, at least let them be a good one.

Posted by: mim | June 25, 2008 2:17 PM


Best and the most sarcastic posting and hit the nail on its head that I have seen in a long long while.. Thanks Mim..

Posted by: PR | June 25, 2008 3:05 PM

"Do you ever include facts? Or do you just spit venom?"

Obama is going to raise taxes and reduce our energy supply. What do you think the outcome would be?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 3:04 PM

"Admitting mistakes is not a sign of character weakness. See our current president for reference."

You mean after he got caught lying about a fake memory seared, seared in his mind is a sign of strength?

You can attack people who exposed Kerry all you want, but it was Kerry who lied, and admitted it."
======================================

Reformed Liar > Liar

Posted by: Tim | June 25, 2008 3:04 PM

"Us Dems couldn't have a re-do could we?"

Sure, only if you agree to vote the way the DNC wants.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 3:02 PM

Obama also put out a TV ad claiming he passed a bill for American troops even though he didn't sponsor or co-sponsor it, in fact he didn't even vote on it. Does Obama think he is still back in Chicago where he can take other legislators' accomplishments and pass off as his own. Maybe affirmative action is so entrained in Obama's character that he expects to get credit for other people's work.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 3:00 PM

"Fred, you are the dumb@ss. Obama's polices will make the situation much worse. Maybe that's the "change" you are looking for."

Freedom Fighter,

Do you ever include facts? Or do you just spit venom?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 3:00 PM

Damn, Hillary lied about Bosnia, but she hasn't changed positions like these two. Even on the war, which would have helped her. I can respect that much more than these two flip-floppers. Us Dems couldn't have a re-do could we?

Posted by: Chief | June 25, 2008 2:56 PM

"Barack Obama had a little chat with Al Gore and John Kerry and vowed he would not let another Democratic candidate get demonized, another election stolen."

Is this the same John Kerry that could only come up with one qualification for Obama, and that was because he is black?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 2:51 PM

obama has tremendous grass roots support, and his decision to forego public funding isn't on the same footing as decisions by other politicians who receive a lot of their funding from big business and lobbyists.

Posted by: funding |
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You are kidding right. Surely you're not that stupid.

Do you do math? Obama had 1,400,000 donors.
80% gave less than $100. 1,120,000 gave,at $100 per donor, gave less than $112,000,000. The other 20% of the donors, 280,000 raised the rest. Obama raised $284,000,000 for his campaign. Those 280,000 donors raised over $172,000,000. That is if those small doners gave $100.
They like to brag about small donors, so I can assume big donors, 280,000 raised over $200,000,000. Hmmm. Saying most of his money came from small doners is pure lying.
Most of his donors were small donors, so were Hillary"s and so were McCain's, but they did not try to mislead us because they knew most of their money came from big donors like Obama.

Math doesn't lie but Obama does. Wonder who those big donors were. I know and you know.
I hope you were kidding..

Posted by: Chief | June 25, 2008 2:48 PM

So, seriously, how about if you (Dan Balz) take an hour or so, contact your buddies, and do a serious analysis, given all your experience, and comment on why both candidates are snarling like days of old. Your article, without an effort to give your perspective and opinion of why this is happening is, to me, pretty much the media version of new wine in old bottles. Come on, give it up for the people.

Posted by: 2incorrigible | June 25, 2008 2:46 PM

"When all of you anti-Obama people who get angry at being called racists actually get decry the ugliness quoted above, I shall acquit you of it!"

Obama's IQ is too low, and too inarticulate to charm anyone. It's the media that has been acting as his campaign's PR mouth piece.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 2:45 PM

The answer is simple, Dan. McCain says he eschews the old politics and has lobbyists like Charlie Black running his operation. Barack Obama had a little chat with Al Gore and John Kerry and vowed he would not let another Democratic candidate get demonized, another election stolen. I salute him. And, please, stop comparing Obama's decision not to follow a sort of agreement to negotiate on public financing with John McCain's flip flopping on every issue from torture to offshore drilling -- especially when you don't even deign to mention that the author of McCain-Feingold himself actually APPLIED for public financing of his primary campaign, used that application as collateral for a much needed loan, then reneged. He'll be paying FEC sanctions into the 22d century (unless the DNC lawsuit stops him soon). So don't blame the media? Maybe if you all did your jobs and stopped simply doing ping pong "he said, he said" stenography and calling it reporting the candidates might not be so quick to put each others' feet to the fire.

Posted by: straight talk my a** | June 25, 2008 2:41 PM

The story should be that McCain to this point has run the most inept campaign in recent memory. One day day he hates war, the next he rants about Iran. One day he reverses his position on off shore drilling,the next he promises a greening of America, ad nausium.

Posted by: Toldyouso | June 25, 2008 2:40 PM

Lets see McCain is known for Amnesty attempt for the invading criminals & the Keating 5. Obama for throwing his Grandmother, his Friend mentor and Rev, alone with his black church under the bus.

Yeah we sure have a couple of bottom dwelling scum to chose between in this election about par Bad and Worse. Now if I just tell the bad from the worse!

Posted by: brad | June 25, 2008 2:37 PM

I don't blame "the media" except to observe that some writers for a medium such as the Washington Post seem not to be very actively cognizant of recent Democratic presidential losses due significantly to Lee Atwater, Karl Rove and swift-boating phenomena. Democrats generally and Obama's campaign particularly are determined that this will not be allowed to happen again. Such goes far to explain the intensity and rapidity of their responses and of their content. Maybe it doesn't excuse this, but it does go far to explain it, and "the media" seem to have no active short-term memory of the dynamic, to the impoverishment of their "coverage."

Posted by: FirstMouse | June 25, 2008 2:29 PM

I wonder when McCain is going to bring out the SwiftBoat liars?

What new anti-american tactics will the Republicans employ this year?

Will the Republicans start a war with Iran before Bush leaves office? How many other wars will they start before the end of this year?

What crimes are the Republicans rushing to complete before the end of this criminal's term? What are the Republicans doing with all the information they have illegally gathered on the Democrats and their recorded phone calls?

Will the Republicans use the Republican stacked Supreme Court to again steal the election?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 2:28 PM

In defense of Mr. Balz, when he says "Don't blame the media for this" I think he is referring to the "war rooms" or "response centers" that both campaigns have set up.
Just as a recent example, a McCain aide makes an "unfortunate" comment (using Obama's favorite description of these mishaps) . . . and the Obama campaign has a 10:00 am conference call set up to "discuss" it and keep it alive in the media.
Should the media ignore what is being said on the conference call? or should they report it? If they ignore it, they are accused of filtering.
I do wish cable channels would acknowledge they are receiving these 'talking points' from these conference calls (as the Post does) instead of reporting it as true news.

Posted by: Echo21 | June 25, 2008 2:27 PM

"Never before have we had a candidate so unqualified, so inexperienced, so unaccomplished, so dishonest, so lacking in judgment, so lacking in leadership, so anti-American, so inarticulate, and so unintelligent."

I think it is really unfair for you to classify John McCain this way, although I concur about the dishonesty and lack of judgement part..

Posted by: Bob | June 25, 2008 2:25 PM

As Gomer , on Maberry would say. Surprise. Surprise.

Posted by: Chief | June 25, 2008 2:25 PM

obama has tremendous grass roots support, and his decision to forego public funding isn't on the same footing as decisions by other politicians who receive a lot of their funding from big business and lobbyists.

Posted by: funding | June 25, 2008 2:22 PM

I'd like to report this entire Obama hit piece as offensive. Can we have it stricken from the website? Dan Balz is offensive. Can we have him stricken from the paper itself?

Posted by: Bob | June 25, 2008 2:22 PM

Those who live in glass bottles should not throw grapes?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 2:21 PM

This article was not very good. I really get tired of some of these peoples opinions.

The real deal though is that McCain has a better chance of living to be 200 than he does winning this election. As much trash as people want to talk about Obama, by using generalizations not only about him, but people that support him, it shows how little confidence people have in McCain as a candidate.

Comment after comment of negative statements about Obama but not one single positive statement about McCain. It doesn't bode well for John.

Liberal arts this, Elitism that, terrorism, blah, blah, blah. I don't feel sorry for republicans at all. You spend 12 years not listening and this is what you get. A royal spanking at the hands of the DNC led by an arrogant, elitist, naive, inexperienced, hypnotist. Too bad for you, next time pick a better candidate, try not to start a war, which you don't want to pay for, and by all means if you are going to elect a business person, at least let them be a good one.

Posted by: mim | June 25, 2008 2:17 PM

my favorite is the part of the article that says, "dont blame the media for this."

oh really? even though the entire media has been obviously biased against the Dems for years? I guess its good to get that out and off your chest. Dont blame the media, well maybe we should.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 2:16 PM

This is also a McCain campaign talking-point. 'Voting for a black guy is a leap in the dark that's never been taken before.'

Posted by: kenonwenu

-- Inaccurate and offensive to the level of libel. You should be ashamed for your race-baiting, liberal.

Posted by: Fuji | June 25, 2008 2:12 PM

I disagree with statements that imply that this campaign is like all others. Both of the candidates say good things about their opponents and then state their criticism. That is an improvement.

To say that there has been no change is to encourage a complete return to opponent-slashing. If things haven't changed, there is no reason for restraint, right?

Posted by: Gene Venable | June 25, 2008 2:10 PM

"Excuse me, but there is a reason that the term "swift-boating" has now become synonomous with political slander, your GOP talking points notwithstanding."

So you're telling me that due diligence and fact finding about a potential leader of the free world is a bad thing?

Posted by: Patriots Against Obama | June 25, 2008 2:03 PM

Anyone that actually beleives the fairy tale that Washington politics are going to change, based on a politicians promises....is a fool.

Posted by: CR | June 25, 2008 2:02 PM

BHO is definitely not old wine. Never before have we had a candidate so unqualified, so inexperienced, so unaccomplished, so dishonest, so lacking in judgment, so lacking in leadership, so anti-American, so inarticulate, and so unintelligent. The media narrative of the Obama candidacy is pure fantasy and a fairy tale.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 2:02 PM

Mc Cain did win despite the media in most ways, but Barack Obama won because of the media and now we're stuck with him! How people were stupid enough to vote and rally for a guy they barely knew is beyond me. Oh! They practically did it with Bush. Actually he was a front runner most of the way in 2000, but not by much and when the West saw he might actually won, they high tailed it out to vote for Gore, too late alas!

Posted by: Lynn E | June 25, 2008 2:00 PM

Most of these comments are ridiculous. Who could so arrogantly and smugly assert that Republican or Democrats have no constructive ideas or that either candidate will be evil incarnate if they aquire the presidency

Posted by: ethan | June 25, 2008 1:59 PM

"Excuse me, but there is a reason that the term "swift-boating" has now become synonomous with political slander, your GOP talking points notwithstanding."

Doesn't change the fact Kerry got caught lying and had to retract.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 1:58 PM

It's funny how Obama put out a propaganda video on his website instead of having enough cojones to answer questions from reporters. But then again, we can't blame him for not wanting to open his mouth without a teleprompter.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 1:56 PM

Can the fake outrage, Balz. We CAN blame the media! Watch or read the news. All you guys cover is the petty taunts...you love it!!! Really, just turn on the news. It's all about the "stupid" "despicable" name calling. You love these cat fights that you pretend to destain.

Why don't you guys do a story about the near-term and long-term value of offshore drilling...or the true impact of troop withdrawl from Iraq...or something that will actually help voters decide.

Or are you too busy pretending to be disappointed in the very thing you foster and love??

Posted by: kirk | June 25, 2008 1:55 PM

great article

it is no surprise to me that we have the typical political election c... going on

after all, these are two typical politicians

no surpise at all

I watch comedy now instead of the news until John Stewart comes on

Posted by: lucci8 | June 25, 2008 1:55 PM

"Admitting mistakes is not a sign of character weakness. See our current president for reference."

You mean after he got caught lying about a fake memory seared, seared in his mind is a sign of strength?

You can attack people who exposed Kerry all you want, but it was Kerry who lied, and admitted it.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 1:54 PM

Of course it is the media's fault - we now have 5 days of top of the news that Obama opted out of public funding, calling him a hypocrite, without any real look at the facts. Obama agreed to public funding "if and only if McCain also agreed to public funding and agreed to 'limit' outside money. Of course, McCain did no such thing. In fact, he flipped-flopped about public financing, but that was only a two day story.

The MSM's focus is inane and superficial, and the MSM never asks the important questions, but the ones that have good "sound-bites".

I fully believe that both Obama and McCain would have agreed to a forum that allow each to fully address their respective positions, but both the MSM and the special interest groups have jumped in, and the discourse has gone south. Unfortunately, the candidates must respond to the sophmophic media, and they must respond to the vicious and deceitful special interest groups, basically because the MSM presents the special interest groups' positions as somehow valid.

Shame on the media - and don't blame the candidates for the media's appalling showing.

Posted by: fedup | June 25, 2008 1:52 PM

and commenters you are part of the problem

Posted by: right on the money | June 25, 2008 1:46 PM

"If the MSM wants to actually stop buying into right-wing frames and narratives about Obama specifically and Democrats generally--his "white" problem, his "blue-collar" problem, his "women" problem, none of which have ANY empirical evidence--then perhaps the campaign would move forward differently."

Well, if you look at the polls - and primary results for that matter - the evidence is quite EMPERICAL - these groups do not support Obama.

Again though, another example of Obama supporters dismissing the truth as racism and "old politics".

Posted by: Patriots Against Obama | June 25, 2008 1:45 PM

I concur with the other posters who are puzzled by why Dan Balz even bothered to write such dribble. This does nothing to improve the level of reporting in this campaign and does everything to justify blaming the media. If the media spent more time investigating for truth and facts they could greatly add to the intelligence surrounding the campaign. Unfortunately, 98% of news is the poorest excuse of arguing what colors the jockeys are wearing in order to look like one horse if ahead of the other. Stop speculating on the race and begin to educate readers to the facts!

Posted by: Tim J K | June 25, 2008 1:44 PM

Look, Obama is nothing but a typical politican. He is no different than any of the others, although he continues to portray himself as being for "change". Change of what? It is the same old with him. He has just got the people fooled. Remember, fool me once....well, you know...

Posted by: JaneAnne | June 25, 2008 1:40 PM

Freedom Fighter wrote:
"If i remember correctly, it was John Effin Kerry who had to retract his lies, not the Swiftboaters."
----------------------
Excuse me, but there is a reason that the term "swift-boating" has now become synonomous with political slander, your GOP talking points notwithstanding.

Posted by: scootmandubious | June 25, 2008 1:40 PM

Here here to Mr. Vito.

If the MSM wants to actually stop buying into right-wing frames and narratives about Obama specifically and Democrats generally--his "white" problem, his "blue-collar" problem, his "women" problem, none of which have ANY empirical evidence--then perhaps the campaign would move forward differently.

But as long as McCain is not held accountable for his weak pandering, his gross misunderstanding of how the world works, his corporate campaign, etc., and as long as he is called a Maverick Reformer Straighttalker, Obama's camp will attack him vigorously, and I applaud it.

We played nice in 2004, and we got screwed. This time, when we carry 300+ Electoral Votes (which all polls show us on the fast-track to doing), we'll get there with attention to detail and fierce attacks on McCain. Obama (and his press shop) is no DUKAKISKERRYGORE, sorry conservatives. You guys are DONE. Expect a strong Democratic majority under Obama in 2009, and massive progressive legislation being enacted.

The guy--McCain--called his wife a c*nt. He deserves it.

Posted by: Matt | June 25, 2008 1:36 PM

Dan, get over yourself. You are overreacting. Obama and McCain have been engaging in an intensely competitive political fight. Although the tone of the exchanges may be negative (can't blame them for trying to discredit the other) neither campaign has been excessively personal in their attacks.

This article is a waste of time.

Posted by: sk | June 25, 2008 1:35 PM

"Freedom Fighter", I only want to see the Iraq war criminals in prison.

As for the rest of Republicans, there's no law against being stupid.

We didn't prosecute the whole Nazi party at Nuremberg, either.

Posted by: Bkaufmann | June 25, 2008 1:35 PM

To FreedomFighter:

The Swiftboaters never retracted their mistatements because that was not the purpose of their character assassination. Their message was a clever mix of lies and truths... the lies about Kerry's war heroism, the truths about the anger of his comrades when he turned against the war and implicated them in atrocities.

Admitting mistakes is not a sign of character weakness. See our current president for reference.

Posted by: irishjazz | June 25, 2008 1:34 PM

"Don't blame the media for this..."

Who are we to blame when the substance and facts appear to be left behind by the media, including the Washington Post, in favor of appearances and impressions.

Take the matter of campaign financing:

I read here and in other pieces that Obama has sold out, tarnished his reputation, what have you. But where in your piece (and that other one today by Ruth Marcus) is the actual *fact* that McCain almost certainly *broke the law* by agreeing to use public financing in order to secure a loan, then not doing so? If you are in doubt head over the the FEC and read what they have to say.

Doesn't it occur to you that there's a large part of this story missing in your account?

But I suppose we should all take your sanctimonious word for it and "Don't blame the media for this".

Hogwash, hogwash, hogwash!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 1:33 PM

"McCain is certainly no garden-variety Republican..."

This is a McCain campaign talking point. 'I'm not Bush3, even if my policies are identical.'

"...and the historic possibilities of Obama's candidacy cannot be overstated."

This is also a McCain campaign talking-point. 'Voting for a black guy is a leap in the dark that's never been taken before.'

I don't actually believe that Balz is in the tank for McCain. But McCain's campaign is in such deep trouble already (he's now trailing the last two polls in INDIANA) and Balz would hate to see one horse pull too far ahead now, when he could be covering a close race all summer.

Posted by: kenonwenu | June 25, 2008 1:30 PM

Candidates can't conduct a new kind of campaign using staff accustomed to the old kind of campaign. Both candidates do. Their campaign staff are the people who talk to the press and appear on television (especially for Sen. Obama, who is less open to the media than Sen. McCain), and they are the ones who get quoted.

Don't blame the media? Well, I think we ought to blame them a little bit. How many times do we see, say, a David Axelrod go on television programs delivering Obama talking points? How many times does he get asked something like, "you know, you work on campaigns for a living. What the hell do you know about Iran, the environment or high energy prices? Are you going to have the same role in an Obama administration that Karl Rove had in George Bush's?"?

Neither print or electronic media reporters have this kind of an adversarial relationship with their sources. Too often, they aren't after the story; they're after getting quotes for the piece they have to file on deadline, or a talking head who can help them fill air time. If they do that, they think they've done their job -- and if the campaigns turn into the usual exchange of talking points, they can always say it wasn't their fault, because all they did was quote someone else.

Posted by: Zathras | June 25, 2008 1:29 PM

B Kaufmann, maybe after Obama is elected he can send all Republicans to prison.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 1:27 PM

I love how the media is OH SO TIRED of the attacks going back and forth and how no attack goes unanswered this election. Well, suck it up. We Democrats tried the "take the high road, be positive, and let the media sort out the lies from the truth" approach and we got swift boated. We got no credit for running a generally positive convention in 2004, and then we are followed by Zell Miller and his "spitballs", flip-flop waving, purple heart bandaids, 9-11 demagogy, and other childish negative attacks that were applauded and amplified by the media. Being "above the fray" doesn't work in today's political world. Not with this media. So buckle up, "my friends".

Posted by: Vito | June 25, 2008 1:27 PM

If i remember correctly, it was John Effin Kerry who had to retract his lies, not the Swiftboaters.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 1:22 PM

Fred, you are the dumb@ss. Obama's polices will make the situation much worse. Maybe that's the "change" you are looking for.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 1:21 PM

Why are you parading the fallacy that McCain, as you write, "is no garden-variety politician?" Didn't he vote with Bush 95% of the time last year? Didn't McCain's mother recently allege that he has been Bush's most loyal friend over the past 8 years? What agenda would cause you to misrepresent stats like that.

And I haven't even gotten to the new record Mr. McCain has set for pandering, now that he is running for president.

Not garden-variety? Really?

As for Senator Obama, after watching the last 2 campaigns, I don't trust the GOP, or the press, to play fair.

The swift boaters had very little money, but they didn't need it. Their enablers in the press made sure that the lies about Kerry resonated.

I will proudly be one of the Obama campaign donors this go round.

Posted by: scootmandubious | June 25, 2008 1:20 PM

I dopn't want to see a new level of civility in electoral discourse.

I want to see Republican blood on the floor ... and most voters agree with me.

Posted by: B.Kaufmann | June 25, 2008 1:15 PM

Freedom Fighter, like the economy is in such tip top shape right now? We're already in a recession, you dumb @ss.

Posted by: Fred | June 25, 2008 1:15 PM

A- Barak Obama expressed contempt for lobbying groups repeatedly during his campaign for the primary, yet he went to address AIPAC, the influential Israeli lobby.

Is it the recipe for "change" or "more of the same"?

B- He announced recently his support for the FISA legislation. This legislation affects the civil liberties of American citizens.

Is Obama running for the third term for George Bush?

C-His campaign removed two Muslim women wearing head scarf from the background of his addressing a group.

How did those Muslim women feel about this treatment--the untouchables? How do American Muslims feel about this? Is this in contradiction to his professed claim for equality for all Americans?

HOW WILL YOU BRING ABOUT CHANGE AFTER BECOMING PRESIDENT? YOU DID NOT SET GOOD EXAMPLES ON THESE COUNTS.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 1:13 PM

BHO will be a disater for America, but I am actually looking forward to seeing him show his core supporters first hand what his policies will mean if he becomes president. When the country goes into a deep recession due to his economic and energy policies, all those young "college educated" voters who are currently swooning for the fraud will know just how worthless their liberal arts degree is in a recession.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter | June 25, 2008 1:12 PM

Balz, like all American journalists, believes the truth always lies in the middle.

No. The most advertising revenue lies in the middle.

Democrats attack Republicans because Republicans have been a disaster, they are wrong about everything, and in many cases are personally profiting from it.

Republicans attack Democrats because they always attack, and because they have nothing else left to say.

If McCain proposed drafting 11-year-olds to invade Belgium, and Obama criticised his proposal, Balz and Co would find a way to suggest that this was something reasonable people could honestly disagree on.

Posted by: OD | June 25, 2008 1:12 PM

Yeah! Remember when Kerry was going to clean Ws clock back in 2004?

Posted by: Stick | June 25, 2008 1:10 PM

Dan,

You got your answer..now, how are you & the washpost going to step up your game? Come on Dan-be the change. We've got your back..talk about real issues, tell your employer that you will go on strike-better yet, quit if they don't start talking about real issues & leave the drama to Fox & TMZ.
DAn! Dan! Dan!

Posted by: scott | June 25, 2008 1:10 PM

bottom line: don't rely on the media, research how they vote on the issues when they're NOT campaigning!

Posted by: me | June 25, 2008 1:07 PM

So many pundits talk of Obama's not going with public financing as a breach of a commitment he made, but never publish the actual document he signed. He never promised to accept public financing, only to pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee if he or she was willing to accept it.

As you readers and pundits may recall, McCain opted out of public financing months ago, and is currently being sued for doing so as he had already used it to collateralize a 5 million dollar loan. He doesn't even yet know if the FEC will allow him to opt-out because they lack the members to make a quorum. What politician in his right mind would want to plant both of his feet firmly in midair when he already has a reliable source for campaign financing?

The attacks on his decision in view of all the circumstances heretofore named really baffle me.

Posted by: aBigSAM | June 25, 2008 1:07 PM

Interestingly enough, they both seem to be spot-on in their criticisms of each other.

Posted by: JohnGalt1 | June 25, 2008 1:07 PM

Perhaps if the media would elevate their coverage of the campaign to something other than a horse race, the candidates would realize that we voters want to hear about real issues like affordable health care and quality education.

Posted by: Chlind | June 25, 2008 1:03 PM

don't blame the media!!! THis guy can't be serious! the media always goes to the lowest common denominator. They focus on misstatements, rumor & never challenge false statements made by candidates or their reps. Please. It this guy also going to tell us the media wasn't complicit in aiding Bush's war? The media is slanted & about as "fair & balanced" as Fox. Oh i blame the media for not doing its job & being strictly entertainment..so much that i get my news from other sources & check the wash.post/nytimes to see how slanted their view is..

Posted by: buk | June 25, 2008 1:03 PM

These immediate and sharply worded comments in response to the other side's attack is all the fallout from "swift boating" in 2004, where the lies about Kerry gained traction by not being immediately countered. This is the fault of the media broadly considered, which spreads uncritically such claims simply by reporting them "objectively." Don't be self-righteous about O and Mc for doing this: they are afraid not to since negative attacks, whether true or not, are taken as true unless pounded down (and even then....)

Posted by: gjallan | June 25, 2008 1:00 PM

Dan Balz is in the business of obnoxious campaigns. That is what he lusts for. That is what he markets himself as an expert of. He cannot be expected but to ape the old "expert commentator" line.

Posted by: Gary H | June 25, 2008 1:00 PM

New Whine. Old Battles.

Posted by: Old Timer | June 25, 2008 12:58 PM

The media so wants this to be a real contest. Close, with breathless announcers calling each round. They will try to convince the public that there is some sort of equivalence between the candidates, reasonable positions that have equal validity, that one candidates gaff is balance by the others clumsy wording. The media is wrong. This is going to be a blow out. The country is in the cr*pper and the Republicans are primarily responsible. The voters know it, the voters are angry, especially moderate Republicans who didn't sign up for lying, spying, or torture. They don't believe in the extreme right's anti-environment, anti-science, and anti-women policies. They will hold Republicans responsible for the mess and punish them at the polls.

Go ahead Dan, try to 'balance' out each candidates actions. Try to convince people that they are both 'just another politician' and that it's going to be close so stay tuned. You're watching the Republican Party collapse.

Posted by: thebob.bob | June 25, 2008 12:56 PM

The Republican Party has no constructive record to offer the American voters. With Rove as an adviser to the McCain campaign what else can be expected from this side other than verbal attacks. Also, with a campaign team consisting of lobbyists lacking political campaign savvy, what else can be expected. On the other hand, the Obama campaign, looking back over the past two elections, has fashioned a "rapid response" team modeling the Bill Clinton campaign. The strategy has put the McCain side back on their heels. I look for more intensity on both sides as McCain's side feels the squeeze and "desperate people do desperate things."

Posted by: Lou R | June 25, 2008 12:52 PM

Presidential campaigns always end up playing for safety and to the most moderate of voters. And it's worth saying that Americans always end up finding the change they so desperately "want" in the polls a bit distasteful once they find out what a candidate promising such wants to do.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | June 25, 2008 12:37 PM

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