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McCain Continues to Win Over Bush Insiders

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) continues to recruit top GOP political operatives in expectation of a presidential run. According to a source close to the McCain operation, the candidate has lined up Terry Nelson to serve as campaign manager (if a formal bid is announced), and Republican National Committee Communications Director Brian Jones has committed to lead the press effort for a national bid.

Nelson, who served as national political director for President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, joined McCain's Straight Talk America political action committee in March.

"I'm honored to have Terry's leadership and management expertise as we move forward through this process," said McCain of Nelson. "I know, if we decide to take the next step, the day-to-day management of the campaign will be in capable hands."

Jones, too, spent time with the Bush reelection campaign before taking over as communications director at the RNC. Steve Schmidt, campaign manager for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) just-concluded reelection race, described Jones as "among the most effective communication strategists working in GOP politics."

Make note that both Nelson and Jones have experience in the upper echelons of the Bush campaign. McCain has made a concerted effort over the past few years to heal wounds from the 2000 presidential primaries when he and Bush squared off in a bitter fight. As he prepares for a run for president in 2008, McCain is working overtime to court the Republican establishment -- from fundraisers to activists to operatives -- and has met with considerable success, the latest of which is the signing of Jones.

"Terry and Brian add great strength to our existing team," said John Weaver, McCain's lead political strategist. "They are both committed to running the type of campaign the American people expect from someone like John."

Nelson's elevated role in the campaign also reflects the importance of winning the Iowa caucuses to McCain's winning calculus. In 2000 McCain chose to skip Iowa, focusing his attention on New Hampshire where he and his political team believed they had the best chance to stop the Bush juggernaut. They were right -- sort of. McCain beat Bush handily in New Hampshire but was unable to convince enough Republicans that he was one of them to win in the crucial South Carolina primary.

As the nominal frontrunner for the 2008 nomination, McCain does not enjoy the luxury of taking a pass on any of the early states. While McCain allies insist that he does not need to win Iowa in order to win the nomination, it is clearly a priority.

Led by Nelson and state Sen. Chuck Larson, a major Bush fundraiser in 2004 and former chairman of the Iowa GOP, McCain has the beginnings of a strong grassroots effort in the state. In addition, the recent decision by Maryls Popma, a social conservative Iowa activist, to join the Arizona senator's exploratory committee shows the kinds of strides he is making in the state, McCain insiders say.

While McCain does appear to be making inroads in Iowa, he is far from the only likely Republican presidential candidate doing early work in the state. Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) is also very active in the state state, while Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) and Govs. (Ark.) and George Pataki (N.Y.), among others, have also lavished time on Iowa GOP insiders.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 7, 2006; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: Viagra | December 10, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Michael Caine - Glad to see that you returned to defend yourself.

Thanks for your service.

Mc Cain's eventual support of the President was a big factor in me having second thoughts about him.

In the middle of October he told Chris Matthews: ""We had quite a period of strong, spirited discussion with the administration about that. We passed, as you know, some months ago a thing called the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits any cruel, inhumane treatment, and in this legislation we made it very clear that that still pertained. I won't go through all the details of it, but it does not allow torture, and it will not allow torture.

"And at the same time, I think you do understand that there are some people who are very, very bad people, and I think that to continue a program for some of them, without torture, is something that we can't deprive the President of the United States of. But I think we struck the right balance, and I can assure you I would never agree to anything that I believe could allow torture. I promise you that."

This is an Administration that tries to find a way around the law and every convention of civilization that we lead ourselves to believe that we follow. When that doesn't work, they just ignore whatever is in their way, and do it anyway.

Is Mc Cain so naive that he beieves this Administration will adhere to the Detainee treatment Act?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 8, 2006 10:44 AM | Report abuse

KOZ - I think you have it wrong when you say "you can continue to work toward the defeat of our country and we will see who comes out on top at the end." It is Bush who is working for the defeat of our country with his failed policies in Iraq and his drastic reduction of our effort in Afghanistan. His administration invaded a country that was not a threat and was not harboring active terrrorist groups who posed a threat. His administration then refused to commit adequate troops to restore order despite professional advice from the Army Chief of Staff on down that far more troops would be needed to properly occupy Iraq. The Occupation Authority disbanded the Iraqi army leaving thousands of armed men with no income. The occupation authority was staffed with ideologues who had little or no professional experience in the jobs they were assigned. Some applicants for Occupation Authority jobs were asked about their opinions on Roe v. Wade. That is certainly critical qualification for someone to rebuild utilities in Baghdad. Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent. Why? Because the real central front against Al Qaeda (remember them?) was stripped of troops in order to invade Iraq. I well know that the armed forces are more tail than tooth and we are straining the reserves and national guard to the breaking point as well as dangerously overextending the active forces. Oh, by the way, Rumsfeld consistently rebuffed efforts by Congress to expand the size of the Army. Meanwhile, the main action in Iraq is the Shia versus Sunni civil war. I do not think that we should precipitously withdraw from Iraq - I am concerned about it becoming even more of a failed state and, as a result, attract even more outside terrorist groups to set up shop there. I am also concerned about the conflict spilling over to neighboring countries. But, the solution to the problem will be more political than military at this point. Some sort of settlement between the Shia and Sunnis is the only path to anything resembling stability in Iraq.

Posted by: JimD in FL | December 8, 2006 8:34 AM | Report abuse

JD, I did serve and was injured while serving so you can just STFU yourself and while you are at it don't forget to give yourself a reach around. BTW, Michael Caine is my real name, the actor changed his to my name when he started his stage career in London.

Posted by: Michael Caine | December 8, 2006 3:26 AM | Report abuse

McCain might just possibly be the Manchurian Candidate of 2008. Think about it. If he can get elected, he just might complete the fifnacial destruction of the United States.
The North Vietamese had years to brainwash McCain.

Posted by: tanaS | December 8, 2006 12:51 AM | Report abuse

take a deep breath...clear your mind...now...listen carefully. if mccain were a private who had spent years in hanoi hilton instead a commissioned officer and the son of important people....would anyone think of him as anything but a shell-shocked mentally disabled former prisoner of war..who needed to be kept on medications for the rest of his life? is this sick pitiful two-faced creature really the man we want to have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear trigger?now breathe out slowly.think of all the other vietnam veterans in VA mental wards and ask yourself..which one will you trust to be in charge of the nuclear football?and oh yes...remember senator eagleton.

Posted by: drow1stboy | December 8, 2006 12:13 AM | Report abuse

If I were McCain I would get all of the Bush guys that screwed me in 2000. They are effective people.
I hope McCain learned that the dirty tricks used against him in the primary are nothing compared to what the Dems will do.

Posted by: curioustorquemada | December 7, 2006 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I dislike McCain more and more every day. He isn't the independent maverick that he was once perceived to be. He is now a sellout, that will do ANYTHING to get elected POTUS.

Posted by: FLTaxman | December 7, 2006 11:25 PM | Report abuse

John, I have always said you were dense, but this proves it.

Nov 7th should have told you that the American people are thru with sleeze, mud slinging republican dirty election tricks.

We the people are now looking at the person, and listening to them.

Its a shame you have changed so much in the last 4 years.

It really just shows who you really are. You would do anything to gain the power.

My advice to you is change back to like you were, or SAVE YOUR MONEY.

Posted by: e z rider | December 7, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

zouk in military intelligence...

yeah. right.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the Iowa primary will play a huge role in the Republican primary moreso than in the past. The media is shaping this election up to be the most important ever and with the 24 hour news cycle, it will be impossible to bypass Iowa like McCain, Clark, Lieberman did in the past. McCain is against ethanol subsidies though he is beginning support ethanol. If McCain doesn't at least come in 2nd in Iowa, he may be in trouble.

Posted by: gomer | December 7, 2006 6:44 PM | Report abuse

KOZ -- You are fascinating. You post that you aren't conservative on social issues, and then you repeatedly bring up abortion and call anyone who's against government intervention (you know, like that liberal Goldwager)"pro-abortion." Clearly my friend, you either misrepresented your views on that issue previously and/or are more concerned with razzing people than actually discussing any issues.

As far as the first amendment (and fourth, which is actually what's implicated with wire tapping) goes, do you really want to argue that the FOUNDERS would have been more concerned with limits on the amount of MONEY one can spend than on whether the government can listen in on phone conversations of US CITIZENS without ANY PROOF or the need to get a warrant AFTER THE FACT? I've read the Constitution pretty thoroughly along with the Federalist papers and would respectfully suggest that's insane.

Posted by: Colin | December 7, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Many of us are already working toward the goal of the sensible part of this country - to win the war and we actually do work on various DoD avenues. If you know anything about the military you would realize that almost all of it is the tail and not the teeth. you see, we can work from home.

you can continue to work toward the defeat of our country and we will see who comes out on top at the end. I for one, hope you surrender monkeys lose and are humiliated.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 7, 2006 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Not a word in this article about the fact that this is the guy responsible for the racist ad against Ford in Tennessee OR the fact that Wal-Mart let him go because of this racist ad. Cilizza, you're just another Washington hack.

Posted by: Emma Keller | December 7, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

McCain picks someone who used the "race card" in the Harold Ford/Corker race and we're supposed to feel good about that? John McCain promised hard, tough resistance against torture and warrantless wiretaps., and all of that. He, along with the other "moderate" Republicans caved and showed they have no courage.
McCain's not really a moderate. He's a conservative, and I hope that the press asks him questions which will allow him to lock himself into more than one corner. He'll sell out more and more as he gets closer and closer to 2008. I hope and pray that moderates continue to see and hear McCain for what he is. And, what he is is a conservative Republican.
He's not ever going to get my vote. I'll work hard to highlight his true views. I don't believe he should be President. I don't really want Hillary but if it were down to him and her, I'd vote for her. McCain and his racist pr team? No way.

Posted by: ramparts | December 7, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I have a great idea -- how about congress passes a bill called the Warbloggers Mandatory Service Act, and military intelligence is allowed access to the UrLs and personal information [which they probably have on everyone anyway] of all chickenhawks of military fitness [and the bar is really low right now] who cheerlead the war online --and induct them. They are designated non-enemy combatants and lose all their rights.

Voila, there's the extra troops you need to 'win the war'.

Posted by: conservativesuk | December 7, 2006 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I got a great idea. Let's just use a different word for retreat, surrender and lose. that way, no one will know what we are up to. Kind of like the term pro-choice, which actually means pro-abortion. Or even affirmative action which actually means racism and quotas. See how well that works when you have a complicit and willing press and public. I bet that poof-da david gregory could come up with some interesting terminology, since he doesn't seem to have many other skills or activities to weigh him down. Redeploy is not doing it for me. while we're at it we should switch liberal and conservative back since Libs want to do nothing and conservs want to try new things. but who would want to be called Liberal, what an insult. How did the word awesome get a good connotation, it stems from aweful. I'm just sayin'???

I think that laughing at your own jokes until you wet yourself is a sign of something you should have looked at by an MD. Maybe drindl could share her meds with you, she seems to have stopped using them again. that or her tin-foil hat is off frequency again. this website is just too ridiculous today.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 7, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

the point is that I believe Truman was the correct choice for VP. There is no one who can look at the 1944 photos of FDR who was a skeleton in the wheelchair and is a major reason he was NOT at the 1994 convention. The public would have seen for themselves his health was failing.
Watching the History channel and its footage of FDR meeting world leaders during 1944 gave me shivers. The poor man literally gave his life for our nation as he served for over 13 years in office.
Was Henry Wallace related to George Wallace, or is the name just similiar.
Anyway, thanks for the info on FDR

Posted by: Cheryl Collins | December 7, 2006 5:59 PM | Report abuse

after nine months of deliberation and an unprecedented build-up of expectations that these sages would produce some brilliant, original answer to the Iraq conundrum, the study group's recommendations turn out to be a pallid and muddled reiteration of what most Democrats, many Republicans, and even Donald Rumsfeld and senior military officials have been saying for almost two years. Thus, according to at least six separate commission sources sent out to pre-spin the press, the Baker-Hamilton report will call for a gradual and partial withdrawal of American forces in Iraq, to begin at a time unspecified and to be completed by a time unspecified.

Posted by: liberalsuk | December 7, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

after nine months of deliberation and an unprecedented build-up of expectations that these sages would produce some brilliant, original answer to the Iraq conundrum, the study group's recommendations turn out to be a pallid and muddled reiteration of what most Democrats, many Republicans, and even Donald Rumsfeld and senior military officials have been saying for almost two years. Thus, according to at least six separate commission sources sent out to pre-spin the press, the Baker-Hamilton report will call for a gradual and partial withdrawal of American forces in Iraq, to begin at a time unspecified and to be completed by a time unspecified.

Posted by: liberalsuk | December 7, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

'Anyway, where does McCain get the additional troops we would need for proper military action?'

All he has to do is convince thousands of bloggin chickenhawks like ole zouk here to do his honorable duty to his country and help win the war he so devotly supports.

LOL *tears streaming down cheeks* rolling on floor...

best laugh i've had all day...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris! Nice work reporting on this without mentioning that Terry Nelson was responsible for the racist ads used against Harold Ford and was also forced to resign from his post at Walmart over those ads. It's good to know you're on the case and using all the investigative powers at your disposal... like google.

Posted by: ebogjonson | December 7, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Terry [[McCain hired the guy responsible for the racist Harold Ford "Call me" ad? And we're supposed to still think of this guy as a "maverick"?]]

Isn't it interesting that this Post article doesn't mention that McCain has hired the man responsible for an ad that is widely regarded as blatant race baiting? Apparently, the Post has decided to go along with the same theme that rest of the media herd is adopting: "McCain is independent minded and straight talking blah blah blah".

If a Democrat hired a character like this Nelson guy for a campaign advisor, there'd be no end to the editorial condemnations. Why, it would be even worse a scandal than John Kerry botching a joke.

Posted by: Houston | December 7, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

How is it you Libs get so incensed at the possibility that the NSA may be listening to terrorists phone calls, citing 1st amendment concerns, which it is not. the first amend was to protect political speech, as in criticism of the government.

But, on the other hand, McCain and his lefty friend Feingold limit your ability to actually talk about the government around an election time (what better time to talk about this kind of thing) and you praise it as an accomplishment. this was nothing short of a radical change in the first amendment right to voice opinions about the powerful. why should something I say or write be legal 60 days out and illegal 30 days out. who says I can't offer my views on TV about a politician? The incumbant. Get it? but still no objections from the lefty "rights for terrorists but not citizens" lobby. for this McCain shall perish.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 7, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"His platform was basically trust the Soviet Union and a mild form of socialism."
that sounds a lot like the Dems these days except switch Soviets for Iran. Very amused that this vaunted Iraq report claims that the Iranians and syrians are working against their own interests - like the voters in KS used to do??? they want to kill us but at the same time see us succeed. I guess an idea where 20 political hacks agree on everything is worth nothing. how about the guys who were elected deal with this?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 7, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

JD - I don't particularly like my analysis either but that is how I think things will play out.

Cheryl - there is a lot of evidence that FDR did not know how sick he was. His doctors did not tell him how bad it was, they did not want to upset him during the war. He was only 63 when he died and Truman was only 2 years younger. The people around Roosevelt did have an idea that he was unlikely to survive his fourth term and they did not like the idea of VP Henry Wallace succeeding to the presidency. Wallace was an extreme and somewhat naive liberal. He eventually ran as a fourth party candidate for president against Truman in 1948. His platform was basically trust the Soviet Union and a mild form of socialism.

Posted by: JimD in FL | December 7, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Every time I read a post by Chris Cillizza about politics in Iowa, it becomes even more clear that he knows nothing about how this state works.

John McCain may have some heavy hitters at the top, but these are paid supporters. Winning the Iowa caucuses means you have to excite the thousands of Iowans who give their time and energy because they believe in you. And trust me, John McCain simply does not do that.

Many a regular, hard working Iowa Republican will tell you they don't know who they are going to support in 2008. One thing they do know is that they will not support John McCain.

Iowans, belonging to either party, expect presidential candidates to come here and get to know them, explain why you are running - and MOST IMPORTANTLY - earn their trust and their support. I do not see McCain being willing to do what it takes to get that support.

Winning the Washington media caucus may get you nice articles in the Washington Post, but it's not worth a warm bucket of spit to the people who get to make the choice.

Posted by: Undecided Iowa Republican | December 7, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Several years ago, when the entire "mainstream" media had anointed McCain "the most trusted politician in America," I suspected he must have sold his soul to the devil. Now I know I was right. Anything he ever knew about honesty, integrity and honor has long since been sacrificed on the altar of ambition. He is now merely a superannuated sleazebag -- but thanks to that Satanic pact, the media continues to worship at his feet of clay.

Posted by: somenyguy | December 7, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that McCain is still looking at Iraq as a military matter. I think we slipped (hurtled?) past that point quite a while back. The solution will be political, not military.

Anyway, where does McCain get the additional troops we would need for proper military action?

I think that the Armed Forces have been significantly damaged by the continuous additional tours, the extensions of tours and the extensions of terms of service. Not irreparably damaged; but it will take some time to fix.

The next President, and maybe the one after that, have their work cut out for them getting the Armed Forces back into a configuration and attitude which will allow them to be used as they should, protecting the U. S.'s interests for "legitimate" purposes.

If you still think that Iraq is winnable militarily with the Amred Forces which we currently have, then McCain is fine.

I don't, and it bothers me that McCain doesn't see that.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 7, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

McCain might face a big problem with his call for 40,000 more troops for Iraq now that Baker and Co. have said "out!".

http://polibuzz.blogspot.com/2006/12/iraq-study-group-report-political.html

He's actually trashing the ISG. Is this a mistake from McCain? Folks might think that he's too much like Bush: stubborn and foolhardy.

Posted by: matthew | December 7, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

...and we're supposed to be happy that John McCane tossed his self respect aside and is grovelling before the Bush nut jobs? Please excuse me, but I'm a moderate, one of those voters that will not vote for Hillary Clinton, doesn't particularly like Snatore Kennedy or the left, but flat out loathes George Bush. I will NEVER support nor vote for John McCaine ater watching him chase the Bush criminals (and I supported McCaine in the 2000 primaries). I do not know if I am representative of the gneral public or not, but think I am, and McCaine has tossed any chance he ever had of winning the Presidency with his craven act of courting the Bush insiders. Forget McCaine, he's toast.

Posted by: MikeB | December 7, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

JD, McCain served so Michael Caine, and you, and I, can have whatever opinion we want.

If you "served," it's too bad you didn't realize that freedom of expression was part of why you served.

BTW, having "served," or not, is not relevant in a philosophical discussion. It may be relevant when it comes to military strategy and tactics (cook vs. infantry). If you did serve, were you a REMF?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

'Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is trying to convince the American people that he is the person with the soundest advice about how to proceed in Iraq. On November 12, 2006 he told NBC's Tim Russert "I believe that a lot of Americans trust my judgment on issues such as [Iraq]."

Here's what McCain said almost exactly a year ago:

"I think the situation on the ground is going to improve. I do think that progress is being made in a lot of Iraq. Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course. If I thought we weren't making progress, I'd be despondent." [The Hill, 12/8/05]

Now McCain wants you to believe that sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq would improve "the situation on the ground." McCain's recommendations were explicitly rejected by the military and the bi-partisan Baker-Hamilton commission.'

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

and according to the Swift Boaters, we MUST doubt McCains military record and even his capture. And not just Mccains but every veterns record is suspect. What a disservice they did to every vet.

Posted by: BD | December 7, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

'new ideas? from the Dems? forget about it....just look at what we got from the Almighty ISG'

umm, anon? while it's true the isg has a couple Dems on it --it's headed by James Baker, heard of him? You know, Bush family fixer for like 40 years?

And sure McCain would've handled Iraq better - but who wouldn't have? Could anyone have handled it worse?

'He's for a strong defense, he believes that if we turn tail in Iraq immediately it will be disasterous for our country (does anyone disagree with that?)' No, and nobody has suggested that, eithr. But he, like bush, is willing to keep our troops there forever to secure the oil, rather than looking for a way to bring our troops home as soon as practicable.

'after being captured and tortured by the N Vietnamese subhumans' so, you think anyone who tortures is subhuman? you mean like Rumsfeld?

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I may be saying this a little late, but I always wondered why people consider McCain a "maverick". Is it because of one piece of campaign finance reform with Feingold several years ago? (Perhaps someone could refresh my memory of when that bill passed.)

I think that McCain is like every other politician - he always says what is politically expedient at the time he is saying it. Like the publicity stunt about the torture bill. He was going on saying how we have to preserve detainees rights, and that it was a matter of principle. Then what does he do? He votes for the bill which strips them of habeus corpus! People need to pay attention to him, because his reputation as a "straight shooter" isn't well deserved.

Posted by: JK | December 7, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"from the Dems? forget about it....just look at what we got from the Almighty ISG..." Howard Baker is a Dem? Wow. In that alternate universe black is white and day is night.

Stepping away from the reality-challenged: "if we turn tail in Iraq immediately it will be disasterous for our country (does anyone disagree with that?)." Pretend it's 1972, remember (or read up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domino_Theory) on) the Domino Theory (which a lot of very smart people believed completely) and this becomes "if we turn tail in Vietnam immediately it will be disasterous for our country (does anyone disagree with that?)."

And for the reality-challenged no, the Domino Theory was not a Dem invention (I Like Ike!).

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | December 7, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

DRINDL...new ideas? from the Dems? forget about it....just look at what we got from the Almighty ISG...*after nine months of deliberation and an unprecedented build-up of expectations that these sages would produce some brilliant, original answer to the Iraq conundrum, the study group's recommendations turn out to be a pallid and muddled reiteration of what most Democrats, many Republicans, and even Donald Rumsfeld and senior military officials have been saying for almost two years.
To say that this is not a new idea is an understatement. Donald Rumsfeld and top military officials have from the beginning of the occupation three years ago aimed to do precisely what the Baker-Hamilton group now recommends.*A Perfect Failure
The Iraq Study Group has reached a consensus.
by Robert Kagan & William Kristol

John McCain may be older than you, but he's gained a lot of wisdom in those years and I defy anybody to say that he would not have handled this whole Iraq situation one helluva lot better that GWB.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Grrrr

half of this board hates McCain because he takes positions that are at odds with the left, and the other half hates him because he flip flops in the wind. make up your minds.

The truth is, he's conservative on many issues and liberal on some. He's for a strong defense, he believes that if we turn tail in Iraq immediately it will be disasterous for our country (does anyone disagree with that?) He is for a moderate stance on immigration, more in line with Pelosi's (and Bush's) vision than most Republicans (with the McCain Kennedy bill....that's Ted Kennedy dudes), and he's pro-life.

Oh, and he's Mr Campaign Finance Reform, which was anathema to the GOP. Yet he's a Repub hack, somehow. This mix of positions seems to me to validate his middle-of-the-road, take the best position for the country, status.

As for you Michael Caine (and btw, thanks for taking time out from making movies to comment), after being captured and tortured by the N Vietnamese subhumans, in my mind he's earned the right to take whatever position he wants on that subject. If you didn't serve, you can STFU.

Posted by: JD | December 7, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

McCain voted for the Military Commissions Act. The act that continued to allow President Bush to define what is and isn't torture and continue to define practices that have been considered torture since this nation was formed to no longer be considered as such by Our Government. In effect, that act was a condoning of everything that President Bush has been doing including the authorization of the contractors at Abu Graib. Be they Democrat or Republican, I will NEVER support or vote for anyone that voted for the Military Commissions Act.

Posted by: Michael Caine | December 7, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I used to think McCain was a hero. Over the last few years he's convinced me that he's a flip-flopper. Kerry was not, he was a limp weenie. But Senator McCain changes his opinion every time the wind changes it's direction, and then tries to make it sound like it was shades of emphasis.

Posted by: Nostradamnthem | December 7, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Out of all the politicians I have seen pandering to different groups-McCain saddens me most. I always thought that he would do the right thing. Supporting this war at this point is not reality based and he cannot believe we are winning. How he can still be a Republican after they smeared him in South Carolina is beyond me.

Posted by: thanxbutnothanx | December 7, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a Neo Conservative. A more polite, smiley one.

In other words, he's dreadful.

Posted by: Joe in Los Feliz | December 7, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, McCain will be 72, which is old old old. When Reagan ran at that age, he has already served 4 years as president, and sadly, his mind started to fail into that latter years of his term. So now McCain will have to bear the repeated questioning of his age. In fact, it came up when he did some grandstanding at the Republican conference in Florida and McCain seems to make a joke about his age.
Next, if the voters want McCain, it becomes more imporant to make sure he has a younger and more vibrant VP in case he died as president.
This was a main reason why FDR dumped his 2nd VP and selected Truman in 1944; he knew he was dying and FDR's advice team tried to stop him. Today, FDR is more of a political genius in knowing the only person who can carry forward after the death of any president and be successful is a younger and experienced leader.
But McCain has a long long road to walk before he is a shoo in for president.

Posted by: Cheryl Collins | December 7, 2006 12:39 PM | Report abuse

when an emotionally challenged individual has to warp the rest of America in order to succeed?


Dumbing America down in order to get their vote is not good for the country, nor is it good for you as political animals to consent to it....

Stay with me a moment, I know you hate analogies but this is important..


effectiveness is the key word here, less moving parts as an engineering principle, simple honesty is the most effective tool...


a lie requires maintenance. the truth has resonance, other things agree with it, support it...

so when someone like me, with no name and no _appeal_to_authority_ says


"IF Iraq is about helping another country and not the oil, why aren't we in Darfur?"


I can destroy forward momentuum with an obvious statement....

you can destroy BS, by simply naming it...

All of the screaming and positioning is as unnecessary as school yard politics...


can they do the job? can you trust them? are they reliable? do they support the country or theirpartycaste?


if not, tear them a new rear exit, and teach others to do this too...


thanks.

Posted by: that is the point isnt it? | December 7, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

McCain hiring Nelson (of the Harold Ford obnoxious bimbo 'call me, Harold' adfame)is yet another piece of evidence that this hardline conservative in moderate's clothing will do ANYTHING to win.

Posted by: Barry90069 | December 7, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

If McCain wants to be elected President, he had better change his tune on illegal immigrant amnesty. Otherwise, both conservatives and Independents will vote for any Independent candidate in 08 or stay at home leaving Hillary to win. It appears, especially in view of the comments on WP Marc Fischer's story today, that only the American people want something done lawfully about illegals. Political frontrunners are either playing ostrich or Illegal Santa Claus.

Posted by: AmericaFirst | December 7, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - where I didn't agree with you was "All that John McCain represents is a continuation of neocon policies--cheating, lying, lawbreaking, divisiveness,religious intolerance, profligate spending, deep debt, disgraceful treatment of our military, and national dishonor."

That's virtually saying that McCain is that way personally. I don't think that he is. In fact, on a number of those things I would consider him to be just the opposite.

But, with his steady conversion to the party line within the GOP, I could see him being an "enabler" of those that do practice those policies.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 7, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

John Mcain was our hero when he was competing for the nomination in 2000, and we were as outraged as he was when the Bush campaign used its filthy smears agains him at Bob Jones and during the campaign in Alabama. How he could turn around to endorse Bush and actually campaign for him after the outrageously dirty campaign run by our "compassionate" leader defies belief! That shows him to be, in our opinion, just another sleazy politian who will do or say anything required for success. He has lost our respect and any credibility he may have once had. We wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot-pole!

Posted by: manassasman | December 7, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

McCain's entire political strategy is an obsolete, behind the curve concept that folks in the last election have repudiated. But inexplicably having walked into some sort of political fog, it's no surprise about those whom he now seeks to surround himself. What a comedown for this truly great American hero. Alas, say it ain't so Joe.

Posted by: Cactus Jim | December 7, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

There are only two reasons for all of the noise about Iraq, both of them having to do with not getting arrested.......

There is still the story spin going on, with no proof, that there is a legitimate, non greed oriented reason to be there...again with no proof or paper trail...

IF THINGS BREAK RIGHT THEY STILL WANT CONTROL OF THE OIL, even if its SAUDI CONTROL, cause there aint much difference between them and us. There are also much money to be made in certain sectors from feeding the war machine, and not letting on that the whole thing was a sham from the get go.... Politically speaking, you can't let the rubes rest they'll figure out the con... keep the story spinning.


IF THE TRUTH WERE KNOWN TO ITS FULLEST EXTENT, there would be thousands of people going to jail....and most certainly a core group getting removed permanently. IF THEY WERE SMART, they would make an example of this core group...PNAC, BUSH FAMILY AND FRIENDS , say I am sorry and call it a day, and move on. Most of the people in charge right now, including James Baker the III, Gates, GOSS, CHERTOFF, Wolfowitz, Kagan, Negroponte, and Cheney, et al.. are IN_IT upto their hipboots in bush family business....


THAT MAKES IT A LITTLE HARD FOR THE TRUTH TO COME FULLY OUT.


Politics, has to some degree become the curtain, for the Oz show of greed as the wizard of OZ...


I am pulling that curtain back mr novak... back atcha stinkeeeeeeee

Posted by: some thinkin gqualities | December 7, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

JD-I'm not name calling -- I'm stating the facts. Google Terry Nelson and you will see that he is guilty of everything I have mentioned. And more. He's another Lee Atwater, the worst kind of gutter politician. If this is who MCain is hiring, this is who McCain is.

Go look at the record. I'll get you started:

'In 2000, he became the political director of the NRCC.[1][4]
From January 2002 [5] to July 2003, Nelson was deputy chief of staff of the Republican National Committee (RNC). In that position, he has been mentioned in two criminal cases:
Nelson was the superior of James Tobin, the New England political director for the RNC, who was convicted in late 2005 for his role in a scheme to jam phone lines in New Hampshire in November 2002 to block Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts. Nelson was on the government's witness list to testify at Tobin's trial, [6] but he was never called to testify at the trial.[7]

As of 2006, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and two others face criminal charges of violating a Texas law that prohibits the use of corporate money to fund candidates. The indictment charges they wrote a check to the RNC from a PAC controlled by DeLay and had the RNC send the same amount of money to the candidates, in order to get around that law. According to the indictment, the request and proposal to do this was made to Nelson in September 2002, and the check and list of candidates to be funded was given to Nelson two days later.

In September 2006, the Washington Post reported that the Republican National Committee had hired Nelson to run an ad campaign to attack Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate seats in the November general election, featuring negative information that researchers had or would dig up on Democrats.[10]

In 2005, Nelson and his partners at DMNM started another firm, Crosslink Strategy Group, to create "grassroots" campaigns for corporations and interest groups (astroturfing. The firm's website says it can teach clients how to "increase your PAC fundraising" One the employees of the firm is Chris LaCivita, who helped design Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's anti-Kerry ads.[3]
Working Families for Wal-Mart, a group with significant funding from Wal-Mart, has employed the Crosslink firm. In April of 2006, temporary workers hired by Crosslink were signing up shoppers to become members of the "Working Families" group, a campaign intended to eventually go nationwide. [12]

In October of 2006, Nelson was revealed as the second producer, with lead producer Scott Howell, of the attack ad used against democratic candidate Harold Ford Jr. in which a white woman said that she had met Ford at a Playboy party. The ad concludes with the woman speaking to the camera and saying to Ford "Call me."

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

At the inception of democracy in the Unite d States of Ameica, there were two forces at work....greed and freedom.

Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, represented the vision of Democracy... Life, liberty, freedom, pursuit of happiness.... The others, the rich guys with European connections, that stood to gain from seperation from certain tithe ing responsibilities to heads of state that signed the land grants to them...went along to get reich, by not sharing with their former masters...

The fledgling democracy needed landed sorts, with European market and sailing connections, and the landed needed an idea that made it legal to quit tithe ing... Thus democracy was born from a hastily formed union between greed and freedom.... Greed has tried to retake the country several times since then...

The formation of labor laws at the turn of the Century are a response to that... which have been eroded and circumvented in many cases nowdays... no paid overtime being the most obvious example... or the bargaining chip of ILL SEND YOUR JOB TO Rajneesh in Bangalore if you dont do it for his rate...

McCain is trying to stand in for the Bush cabal... he will be flushed down the toilet with the rest of the effluvium...flotsam and jetsam

or crap to the less literate.

Posted by: sharing... | December 7, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

More reasons not to support McCain . . . bush retreads.

Posted by: C. J. Vickers | December 7, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

McCain hired the guy responsible for the racist Harold Ford "Call me" ad? And we're supposed to still think of this guy as a "maverick"?

Posted by: Tracy | December 7, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Have to agree with JimD and Drindl (to an extent); McCain is not the straight-talking "maverick" he used to be. He's never denied his Conservative beliefs, but has basked in the "moderate image." But now, he's far less independent than he used to be, and some of his stated positions and actions in the past year just have me wondering about him having become just another typical hack.

I used to look forward to seeing McCain represent a different approach in the Republican Party. Can't do that any more.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 7, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Remember that McCain supports Bush's Iraq policy completely--which means stay in Iraq forever:

'The words tossed out at the news conference were bleak. "Grave and deteriorating," co-chairman Lee Hamilton told the cameras. Reciting a list of woes -- more than 2,900 Americans dead, $400 billion gone and "great hardship" for Iraqis -- the former congressman became dramatic: "Our ship of state has hit rough waters."

The other co-chairman, James Baker, got Bush through the Florida recount of 2000 but was of no help yesterday. "Struggling in a world of fear, the Iraqis themselves dare not dream," George H.W. Bush's secretary of state said, using the words "no longer viable" to describe the current Iraq policy and "brutal violence" to describe Iraq.'

Do you think that this election maybe demonstrated that the american people want someething else altogether?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"dirty tricks"? "cheating" "lies"..."desperate old fraud?" Wow, and I thought the right wing was supposed to be the side that's mean spirited, name calling, evil bunch.

Posted by: JD | December 7, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

McCain, by his choice of advisers, has signaled that he is going to run his campaign on swiftboating, dirty tricks, bigotry, cheating, lies and demagoguery.

In other words, typically 'conservative'. Is this what Americans want, more of the same?

I hope he is exposed for the desperate old fraud he is.

Posted by: jana | December 7, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Really Chris? You write a whole post about Terry Nelson without mentioning his DeLay/TRMPAC connections, the NH Phone jamming job OR the 'Bimbo Ad' in Tennessee, which was his doing?

It's nice to see you've completely bought off on the insider-the-beltway idea that these consultants can do no wrong.

Posted by: bawbie | December 7, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday we saw a new beginning in terms of Iraq - new Sec of Defense and the ISG report

The American People are looking for new beginnings - McCain and HRC represent the same old guard - both of them are all over the political spectrum depending on the polls on any given day -

How do you call a man who is in bed with the most radical christian fundmentalists a progressive? Past positions-

HRC is no different

Everyone is in for a surprise - both the Dems and Republicans will eventually produce candidates who are not tied to the old guard -

I find it interesting in terms of arrogance and disconnect from the people that McCain is hiring the same so called experts who lead the Republicans into a thumpin - he does not get it -

While I would love for McCain to be the nominee because it would help the Dems - I do believe the money handlers in the Reputrican party are going to put their money on a better more viable candidate

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Remember - there is something wrong with buying Christmas presents from China when china does not allow Christians to freely practice their faith

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | December 7, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

JimD, your analysis is very interesting, and although I don't like it, I can't bring myself to disagree.

The only wildcard is how desperate the Republicans are in early 08, if the Dems overplay their hand and really beat them up in Congress, then the right will probably toe the line and swallow hard, rather than put up their own guy to split the vote, knowing he can't win.

Guiliani has an awful lot of baggage, plus he's been out of politics for awhile, so I have a hard time seeing him at the top of the ticket.

Posted by: JD | December 7, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I agree that McCain would make a formidable candidate. I also believe that he is nowhere near as moderate as his image. McCain's positions on most issues are strongly conservative. However, he is not an ideologue and he is not interested in pushing hard on the most divisive social issues. I would say he is the most likely Republican nominee and he would probably beat any potential Democrat as things stand now. His biggest problem in securing the nomination will be the Republican base's distrust of him. Should Giuliani run, he would siphon off a lot of potential McCain voters. That could open the door for Romney or a dark horse. I doubt that Giuliani could win the nomination. However, if he manages to knock McCain out and the true believers split their votes between Romney and Brownback, it might happen. It is not all that likely, but it might happen. Giuliani could probably beat any Democrat head to head but it would not be a head to head race. The religious right will run a third party candidate if Giuliani is the GOP nominee.

Posted by: JimD in FL | December 7, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse


The spiralling violence in Iraq has created what is becoming the biggest refugee crisis in the world, a humanitarian group said today.

A report (pdf) by Washington-based Refugees International said an influx of Iraqis threatened to overwhelm other Middle Eastern countries, particularly Syria, Jordon and Lebanon.

Last month, the UN estimated that 100,000 people were fleeing the country each month, with the number of Iraqis now living in other Arab countries standing at 1.8 million.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

There should be a hyphen between "win" and "over" in this headline, otherwise it sounds ingeniously ambiguous, as if McCain's somehow "defeated" these political foes...

Interesting thought, if you can't beat em', hire em'? Hire the same sleazebags who beat up on you, they've certainly proven themselves, and it gives you a small measure of control over them, at least as far as their paycheck goes.

Sounds like something out of "A Clockwork Orange."

Or Machiavelli.

But we'll leave that moral judgement to others, huh?

How many WaPo, NYTimes, LATimes, etc. ad infinitum, headlines will we read in the next few months that start "McCain wins..." just tranplant "Hillary" or "Romney" with McCain and you can watch as the upper east coast MSM lure their billion-dollar candidates into campaigns they may never be able to win, no matter how much ostentatious politickin' occurs.

Until we take the profit out of politics, it will always be perverted by those who profit from it.

"Qui Bono?"

In this age of media-dominated politics, the primary beneficiaries of our political process are the corporate owners of the MSM, not The People.

Posted by: JEP | December 7, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Hucklebee: doomed.

'In a campaign season where GOP Presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and John McCain are falling all over themselves to appeal to conservatives, White House hopeful Mike Huckabee is pushing a radically different approach: He's calling for the U.S. to welcome Hispanics into American society. The Associated Press reports that Huckabee told an Arkansas political club: "One of the great challenges facing us is that we do not commit the same mistakes with our growing Hispanic population that we did with African Americans 150 years ago and beyond. We're still paying the price for the pathetic manner in which this country handled that."

Huckabee, the governor of Arkansas, added, "I think, frankly, the Lord is giving us a second chance to do better than we did before." Huckabee has a book coming out in January, and he's said its reception will help him determine whether to run for President. Somehow we doubt the sales will be all that strong among the border-patrol crowd.'

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

A ticket of McCain and Rudy? LOL on the floor, rolling around. Two massive, bloated, towering egos like that, working together? Not in a million years.

Check this out:

'Are you a federal government employee? You've probably been asked -- more than once -- to help the mighty Iraq rebuilding effort by volunteering to fill a post over there for a few months.

Apparently, folks haven't been stepping up to the plate. So you civil servants might not have a choice in the matter, if the Iraq Study Group gets its way. From the final report, Recommendation #74 reads:

In the short term, if not enough civilians volunteer to fill key positions in Iraq, civilian agencies must fill those positions with directed assignments. Steps should be taken to mitigate familial or financial hardships posed by directed assignments, including tax exclusions similar to those authorized for U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq.
So the government might force you, a lanyard-swinging desk jockey, to serve in the fiery chaos of a faraway land, away from friends and family, at risk of death. Silver lining: tax break!'

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse

ABSOLUTE PROOF that Gates is the right guy... he's opposed by the fruitcakes, nutjobs and wingers:

'Santorum goes down swinging ...

After Gates was confirmed, Santorum -- who lost his seat in the November election amid a wave of unhappiness about the Iraq war -- took to the Senate floor.
He delivered a nearly hourlong speech, warning of the dangers of not confronting "Islamic fascism" and its budding alliances with anti-American countries such as Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba.

"We are sleepwalking through the storm," Santorum said. "How do those who deny this evil propose to save us from these people? By negotiating through the U.N. or directly with Iran? By firing Don Rumsfeld, (and) now getting rid of John Bolton? That's going to solve the problem?"

He said he felt Gates is not "up to the task."

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I disagree. GOP losing this last election is the best thing that could have happened to McCain. The Republicans (of which I'm decidedly NOT one, btw) will be scared and maybe a little desperate, depending on how frisky Pelosi and Harry get, and will be looking for what they perceive as a sure thing.

Look at McCain's efforts to build bridges (with Kennedy, HRC, etc.) across the aisle. He's viewed as a moderate by a majority of the country, and even more important from the GOP perspective, a ticket of him and Rudy puts both Calif and NY in play, which seals the deal.

I think his position on campaign finance reform, combined with his willingness to embrace what he thinks are good ideas of the Dems, gives him the rep of a problem solver. His military service gives him street cred with the strong-defense crowd (including me), and name me another repub who is viewed as able to work better with whatever Congress looks like in Jan 09.

Posted by: JD | December 7, 2006 9:52 AM | Report abuse


The President began to look almost demented. At a March 25th speech to AFL-CIO Building Trades Department, as North Vietnamese troops made their deepest penetration into the South so far, he cried:

"Now, the America we are building"--he paused, and hit the words deliberately for emphasis--"would--be--a--threatened--nation if we let freedom and liberty die in Vietnam...'

Posted by: nixon 1972 | December 7, 2006 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Expect to see a lot of pictures of McCain being embraced and kissed by GW Bush once the race begins. That along with his age and his health, plus the fact that the born agains just hate the man with a fervor usually reserved for people named Clinton, will doom his primary bid.

Posted by: Betcha | December 7, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

But JD, McCain ISN'T a progressive. Nor is he a maverick. Nor does he beleive in 'straight talk.' He has been willing to sell out everything he might have once beleived in, becvause the only thing he cares passionately about is getting elected.

Pay attention to what he says NOW, not what he said or did 5 or 10 years ago. All he represents now is a continuation of Bush policies -- and I don't think that's what people really want now, is it? So don't be so sure.

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, you must be joking. McCain is the closest 'progressives' (libs) can come to getting one of their own nominated by the GOP, putting lefties in a no-lose for '08.

Of course you see that, from your comments we know you're not stupid.

Personally, I hope McCain gets the nod from the GOP, because a maverick in the White House, someone not beholden to special interests, wouldn't be a bad thing. Plus, he's a practical shoo-in against anyone the Dems would toss up there.

Posted by: JD | December 7, 2006 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Drindl-
When you say we need, do you mean from the Repubs side? Its probably better off to leave them to push forward with their own brand of unethical behavior and stubbornly cling to their failed war. Young, new blood, new ideas, I think that can only come from the progressive side in 2008.

Posted by: Pdoggie | December 7, 2006 9:22 AM | Report abuse

What McCain represents is the dying gasp of an ideology whose time past. It is the politics of hatred, bigotry divisiveness and semantic games--wasn't it Terry Nelson, in fact, who started the rumor that McCain had a black child out of wedlock?

Whether or not he runs, Barack Obama has the right message for today, for the future, for all of the Democratic party, which is shared hope and common purpose -- reacting to the real challenges we face, rather than trying to force a rigid, one-size-fits-all, unrealistic ideology on the whole country. He can inspire, because he is real. He can reach out, because he is not consumed by hatred. He is actually, in many ways, what a true compassionate conservative looks like:

'Warren is also the most gifted religious entrepreneur since Billy Graham. Warren's book "The Purpose Driven Life" has sold in the tens of millions, and his specific model for the megachurch has spread all over the country. He is not building a new denomination. He is building a new network, and it's powerful. Warren and his wife, Kay, have made alleviating the AIDS crisis in Africa one of the central components of their mission.

And thus it came to pass that when Warren called a conference at his church last Friday on World AIDS Day, among those he invited were two potential presidential candidates. It was unsurprising that one of them was Sen. Sam Brownback, the Kansas Republican and a loyal social conservative who has taken up the AIDS issue with passion and commitment.

But when the other invitee turned out to be Obama, parts of the old evangelical political apparatus went after Warren as a heretic. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, declared that Obama's views on abortion -- Obama is pro-choice -- represented "the antithesis of biblical ethics and morality" and insisted that Warren had no business inviting him to Saddleback.

Warren's church issued a statement reaffirming its strong opposition to abortion, but Warren did not back down. Indeed, he seemed to revel in rejecting the old evangelical political model. "I'm a pastor, not a politician," Warren told ABC News. "People always say, 'Rick, are you right wing or left wing?' I say 'I'm for the whole bird.' "

When it came his turn to speak, Obama took on the moral message of evangelical AIDS activists -- and then challenged them.

"Let me say this and let me say this loud and clear: I don't think that we can deny that there is a moral and spiritual component to prevention," he declared. "In too many places . . . the relationship between men and women, between sexuality and spirituality, has broken down and needs to be repaired."

Then Obama got to what "may be the difficult part for some," as he put it, that "abstinence and fidelity, although the ideal, may not always be the reality."

"We're dealing with flesh-and-blood men and women, and not abstractions," Obama said, and "if condoms and potentially things like microbicides can prevent millions of deaths, then they should be made more widely available. . . . I don't accept the notion that those who make mistakes in their lives should be given an effective death sentence."

That Obama received a standing ovation suggests that Warren is right to sense that growing numbers of Christians are tired of narrowly partisan politics and share his interest in "the whole bird."

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2006 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Somebody forgot a "end bold" tag.

Posted by: Zathras | December 7, 2006 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, Terry Nelson:

'Terry Nelson, an unindicted co-conspirator in the TRMPAC Tom Delay scandal, and the boss of Jim Tobin, the convicted felon in the NH phone-jamming case, is the head of opposition research for the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. So it's not a surprise that these kinds of unethical dishonest tactics are being used.

Sources in Bergen County are reporting that an autodial robocall is being made that starts out sounding like a positive Bob Menendez message. If you hang up, it repeatedly calls you back. If you listen all the way to the end, it finishes by saying that Menendez is an embezzler and under criminal investigation.
This is a voter suppression tactic being used nationwide by the GOP. Initially callers will think they are hearing a call from the Menendez campaign asking for support. If they hang up, it will repeatedly call them back. The intention is to annoy the voter so much that they no longer support the candidate. For those who actually listen to the entire call, they are presented with a series of lies and smears against Menendez, also with the intention of suppressing turnout. It's a win-win tactic for them.

The NRCC is doing the same exact thing in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and at least 53 other races across the country.

Terry Nelson is a key GOP operative, a senior advisor to John McCain and someone heavily involved with both Tom Delay and Karl Rove. This guy breaks the law and gets rewarded for it.'

All that John McCain represents is a continuation of neocon policies--cheating, lying, lawbreaking, divisiveness,religious intolerance, profligate spending, deep debt, disgraceful treatment of our military, and national dishonor.

Is this what America is looking for? We need someone young -- new blood, new ideas. McCain is a retreat into a failed past.

Posted by: drindl | December 7, 2006 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it's that big of a surprise that McCain is now rounding up many of Bush's former staffers. I think a lot of them, like many voters, just want to be associated with the anticipated winner, regardless of where he/she stands on the issues.

I still wonder, though, if enough voters in Iowa will forgive McCain for sitting that state out in 2000. Sure, he could lose there (assuming he finishes a respectable second or third) and still recover in New Hampshire and South Carolina and ultimately come away with the nomination. George H. W. Bush did that in 1988 after finishing third in Iowa behind Bob Dole and Pat Robertson (of all people).

However, as front-loaded as the primaries are today, loss of momentum in Iowa is not an easy thing to recover from. Ask Howard Dean.

http://commenterry.blogs.com

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | December 7, 2006 8:36 AM | Report abuse

McCain should be vulnerable in the GOP but it seems every possible conservative alternative is quite flawed themselves. Could he be the GOP's Bob Dole of '08?

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | December 7, 2006 8:29 AM | Report abuse

well I don't know about how effective a communicator Jones is, but he IS very handsome.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 8:11 AM | Report abuse

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