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Fix Pick: Obama, McCain and the Troop Visit That Wasn't

Ever since the news of Barack Obama's decision to skip a visit to wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany broke last week, John McCain and his campaign have been doing their darndest to keep the story alive.

Surrogates have been dispatched to cable news programs, conference calls denouncing Obama have been organized, ads have been launched. McCain himself even got in on the act last night insisting during an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" that Obama had skipped the visit because no press -- specifically television -- would have covered it.

All of which begs the question: What is really going on here?

Lucky for Fix readers, two top-notch reporters -- the Post's Dan Balz and the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny -- who were on Obama's foreign trip offered their thoughts in separate pieces today. Do yourself a favor and read them both.

But, if you can't -- The Fix knows how very busy everyone is -- below you'll find the key excerpts from each piece.

First, the Post story penned by Balz and Michael Shear:

"In essence, the McCain charge is this: Obama cares so little for the welfare of wounded American soldiers that he canceled the visit when he was informed he could not bring reporters and television cameras to document it.

But there is no evidence that Obama ever planned to bring anyone to the hospital other than a single military adviser, whose status as a campaign staffer sparked last-minute concern among Pentagon officials that the visit would be an improper political event. The Obama campaign has cited those concerns as the reason for canceling Obama's visit."

And, now Zeleny's take:

"The cancellation provided one of the few sour notes in an overseas trip that otherwise seemed to be well orchestrated. It offered an opening on a subject, military affairs, that the McCain campaign believes Mr. Obama is vulnerable on.

If the story behind the story of the canceled troop visit has run its course, one question remains: Why didn't Mr. Obama leave his aides behind, even the retired general, and make the visit by himself?

'Even him going alone would likely be characterized by some as a political event,' Mr. Gibbs said in an interview on Monday, adding, "He decided not to put the troops in that position."

Satisfied? Or not?

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 29, 2008; 7:47 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Picks  
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Next: The Case Against Rob Portman

Comments

You forgot to mention that McCain's claim that Obama was going to bring cameras into the hospital was a lie.

Posted by: Aleks | August 6, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pre-election military oversees duty is different from other
aspirants to the Presidency; they wore the uniform. Obama runs
with his heart on his sleeve, and is flexible as a plastic mask.

Posted by: 3rd-Party Advocate | August 4, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

And so,once again WAPO Head Obama Shill
Chris the Democrat Fixer has proven how
totally out of touch with reality Chris
the Drippy Fizzle is here. Hey Chris didn't
you see the poll done by the Rasmussen
Report that shows over 72% of Americans
say "Barack Hussein Obama Should Have Gone
To Visit Our Wounded Troops In Our US Military Hospital In Germany!" now then?
Also, I stay in touch with several of our
troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who say that
OBAMA never did anything but run in his
heavy armored vechile to meet with the
Generals and have a rigged phony lunch with
the troops and shot a couple basketballs,
but no Enlisted Personnel Got To Talk With
Obama so where the WAPO Reporters taking
a nap then here Mr Fizzle? Hey Fred Hiatt
Please Pretty Please FIRE This Chris Creep
and don't you dare delete my post as I get
tired of the way WAPO violates peoples First Amendment Rights!

Posted by: Sandy5274 | August 1, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Well, John McCain's "acts" out of supreme frustration is understandable !!!

Posted by: Anju Chandel | July 31, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Sen Obama should use the basketball shot a thousand times to show just how unconcerned he is with the lies and low life claims of the McShame campaign.

Sen Obama should stay on the offensive. He should conduct his campaign as if McCain was not there, always taking the lead vs reacting while watching McCain continue to squirm, chase after Obama and his ideas and never deliver a single idea that is McCain's own.

Posted by: Go For it Obama | July 30, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Since when is leaving your wife for getting disfigured in a car wreck, integrity? Since when is making jokes about rape, integrity? Since when is referring to your wife as a c*nt, integrity? When is swearing to run a high-minded campaign and then leading with lies and low life attacks about your opponent's patriotism, integrity?

When is the campaigning of John McCain going to show some integrity?

Sen McShame runs a sleazy campaign.

Posted by: Disgusted | July 30, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Chris, If you really read these posts, please pay attention to this one. The phrase "begs the question" is a term from Classical rhetoric which refers to a logical fallacy of evading a question by asserting the question as a fact rather than answering it. It's been quite popular lately among the press corps, who get their ideas from each other, to use the phrase (as you did in this blog) to mean 'begs that the question be asked'. This is the OPPOSITE of its real meaning.

Posted by: wood5440 | July 30, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Gary:
Gary,Gary,Gary.It's great to see the peanut gallery represented here.You and the cadre of mindless psychobabblers make this exercise in futility somewhat entertaining.We might as well laugh at you;you certainly don't deserve the energy it takes to be disgusted.Grow up,guy.

Posted by: HoosierDaddy | July 30, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama did the right thing by not visiting the wounded in Germany. The State department had put out its orders, that all staff must not attend any Obama affairs, especially in Berlin. The handwriting was on the wall. It's all in the timing, and the DOD game was to evade, misque and put Obama in an untenable position. Damned if you do and damned if you don't!!
Phil Coffman said it "No matter who went with Obama to visit the troops, it would have been a political trip - nothing more, nothing less". And some sorry soul would have met him at the gate to turn him away.

Well someone told me the other day they wouldn't vote for Obama because he snubbed the troops. Not because he was black or anything like that. Oh yeah!! Candide said it--"We don't want a black president". That's really why McCain, McSame is running so high in the polls.

I WILL CONTINUE TO support Obama. My country is in trouble, my 4 children are losing ground in the employment sector, my grandchildren's futures are at stake and the world needs an "Honorable" US government to lead. Liberty's light has been DIMMED since the Bushies hit Washington in 2000. As my mama once told me, you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. And McCain has chosen the Dark Side.

Posted by: CarmanK | July 30, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Gary sez: I'm talking about bloggers paid to promote Obama no matter what the topic. Several have been outed here!
****************************************
REALLY? Can you tell me who they were? I would love to be paid. I am driven by my belief that the last 8 years have been an assault on the American way of governing, and the fact that Barack Obama is the first candidate I've been truly excited about since Bobby Kennedy. No one is paying me. My passion is real. The money I've sent to his campaign is real too - just like over 1.5 million others. No one has a gun to our heads.

Do you really believe it is the media that has made Obama who he is? Then tell we WHY it is that thinking people all over the world seem to have hope that he will be the Ameican President in 2009.

So Gary, perhaps someone is paying YOU if money is what drives you to post here. Some of us really have a passion for our candidate - can you say the same?


Posted by: sheridan1 | July 30, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Since when is exposing your grandmother, who raised you, as a racist to deflect attention from your bigoted pastor a sign of "integrity"? Or, reversing your position on FISA, campaign finance, or gun control? Or, chiding people for not speaking other languages when you don't do so yourself? Or joining a politically connected church when it launches your political career and then abandoning it when it costs you a couple poll points? Or, lecturing about transparency and then operating a campaign that even friendly reporters call more secretive than Bush's administration? Integrity? He's just words - nothing more than a suit.

Posted by: unclear | July 30, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Mariretta Thompson I'm talking about bloggers paid to promote Obama no matter what the topic. Several have been outed here!

Posted by: Gary | July 30, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Byron says "They did not like being told by Senator Obama that if Bush left the White House, they would quit hunting and quit going to church. And they certainly did not like Senator Obama's failure to fight for his right to visit the troops in Germany. Can't he stand up to the Pentagon?"

BYRON - GO READ DAN BALZ ARTICLE, for chrissake. You are badly misinformed!Quit hunting? He never even remotely said that! He was FOR lifting the gun ban in D.C., much to the chagrin of many Democrats. Quit going to church? ARE YOU KDDING? Obama is a staunch Christian and if nothing else, you should read the prayer that was leaked to the press which he left privately in the wailing wall in Jerusalem. He is truly a humble man of faith.
McCain/Rove are up to their old tricks - are you going to be a victim yet again this year?
Obama is a real statesman and has proven it over and over. Any one who thinks less is just not watching and listneing!

Posted by: sheridan1 | July 30, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Chris -

You left out the MOSY IMPORTANT part of Dan Bolz article, which is the last 3 paragrhaphs;
Obama's explanation, which came after more than a day of controversy, was the clearest in noting that it was Pentagon concerns about Gration accompanying him to the hospital that forced Obama to reconsider and, ultimately, cancel the visit.
Gibbs was asked yesterday about the continuing allegations from McCain that the real reason was a desire to bring a media entourage to the hospital.

"That's completely untrue, and I think, honestly, they know it's untrue," Gibbs said.

Uh, YEAH. I think they do to. Rove is on the payroll now - McCain, who said he wouldn't run a negative campaign, is stooping to Rovian tricks and playing with words. I haven't even read the posts here yet, but I am sickened by these desperate tactics by the McCain campaign. He seems to have nothing to say about policy (except that he knows how "to do it") - all his campaign effots are to smear Obama. What a creep.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I am white, 59, female, work full time and volunteer as do 98-99% of Obama's supporters!!! WE don't get paid. I donate monthly (first time ever to a political candidate), volunteer on phone banks, canvas, do registration, attend meeting and work at rallies. There are many great reasons for my active involvement. One major factor being his integrity. He does not lower himself respond to lies and pandering with more of the same! Politicians should be promoting themselves and their ideas and ideals. NOT trying to make themselves look better by slandering, demeaning and attacking their opponent. I personally find most republicans to be closed minded, judgemental, fearful, bias towards other oppinions, cultures and ideals. I find Gary's comment a typical fearful response. So afraid to take his blinders off and see the truth for what it is!!! So I ask Gary, what are you doing to support your candidate?

Posted by: Mariretta Thompson | July 30, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Amen Gary!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Paid Obama bloggers are clearly out in masses here.

Posted by: Gary | July 30, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

This sucks

Posted by: Gary | July 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign is being run by committee, with a different people calling the shots each day. One group wants to keep to the high ground and the issues, one wants to go negative, one thinks it's fine to repeat lies, rumors and innuendo - the question is, who speaks for McCain himself.

Unfortunately, right now it appears to be the last group. If and when the Straight Talk Express gets back on track, voter may start listening to him again. Right now, it doesn't look good for Team Republican.

Posted by: Tom J | July 30, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

If I had contributed money to the McCain Campaign I would ask for my money back. I mean, is this the kind of garbage the money is spent on? They can't beat him on the issues so they are resorting to character assasination.

Posted by: John from Chicago | July 30, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Lord Action once said "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." in the case of John McCain it only takes a chance for more power to absolutely corrupt him. This is clearly the case in this latest flap over the hospital visit. I voted for John McCain in the Republican primary in 2000 and was proud of John in 2001, but he has been failing my faith since. He is now proven he will reduce himself to a just another slimy politician just to obtain power. He has become what he fought against in 2000 and has become an older and slightly less smooth version of Bush. John McCain you have become the slim you never said you would become. You would rather give up the truth and your self dignity than lose an election. I am sure you would sacrifice American lives needlessly than lose an election. You have proven the Admirals right when they passed you over for promotion. You may deserve to represent that cesspool known as the Republican Party (Ted Stevens and company) but you do not have the dignitary to occupy the office of President.

Posted by: bradcpa | July 30, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Rove, advising Bush in the 2000 campaign, said McCain wasn't electable because he was neurologically unfit due to his imprisonment in VietNam, and he was morally unfit (adultry), having fathered several black kids. Now, in 2008, Bush/Rove claim he is the BEST qualified candidate to lead our country just as they claimed, Harriet Meyers was the best person to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.

Posted by: Gold Eagle | July 30, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

What is it with you ''DUMMY DEMOS'' It seems that you all want to paint John McCain as a lier. Your all like a bunch of sheep. Once the talking points come in from Democrat Headquarters (George Soros)and moveon.org . You all follow like you can't even think for your selfs.
''WHAT A BUNCH OF WIMPS''
When will you all start speaking Spanish as (Osama) wants you to. He said he wants change. Well guess what, That's all you'll have left if an when the ''DUMBORATS'' get in total control. Just look at what Pelosi and Reed are doing by not even letting a vote come to the floor on Oil Drilling. What are they affraid of???? (BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR)

Posted by: Rpbert | July 30, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

So what do you do? At least we know Obama can grow into the job and is a fast learner

-------
I agree that McCain should not be the next president, BUT I also agree that Barack Hussein Obama SHOULD NOT BE the next president of the USA. Obama is not experienced enough to do the job, has no idea what it consists of and certainly is not cabapable to be the CIC. Knows absolutely nothing about our mililtary. McCain just wants the war to continue forever.

Posted by: smaggie | July 30, 2008 12:51 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree that McCain should not be the next president, BUT I also agree that Barack Hussein Obama SHOULD NOT BE the next president of the USA. Obama is not experienced enough to do the job, has no idea what it consists of and certainly is not cabapable to be the CIC. Knows absolutely nothing about our mililtary. McCain just wants the war to continue forever.

Posted by: smaggie | July 30, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I am an Obama supporter and I will say Obama should never have tried to play Dr. Phil and analyze why people do what they do or think like they think. All people are different and have different motivations. Having said that you have to meet the man and if you do you will know he is on your side.

======
You all congratulate Obama on this story, but Obama cannot continue to reject the values of the working class and still get working class votes in the 2 states I know well--Michigan and Indiana. I know many "Reagan Democrats" in Michigan, and have many working class relatives in Indiana.

They did not like being told by Senator Obama that if Bush left the White House, they would quit hunting and quit going to church. And they certainly did not like Senator Obama's failure to fight for his right to visit the troops in Germany. Can't he stand up to the Pentagon?

Worst of all, the Obama campaign gave at least 4 explanations of Obama's failure to visit the wounded troops. They sounded like Clinton testifying to a grand jury.

The Senator has also been moving slightly toward endorsing racial quotas. If he goes all the way on this issue, the working class in Michigan and Indiana will turn reluctantly but decisively to McCain, as they did with Reagan in 1980. It's really a shame that Senator Obama has so little understanding of what is important to working class voters.

Posted by: Byron | July 30, 2008 12:44 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

You all congratulate Obama on this story, but Obama cannot continue to reject the values of the working class and still get working class votes in the 2 states I know well--Michigan and Indiana. I know many "Reagan Democrats" in Michigan, and have many working class relatives in Indiana.

They did not like being told by Senator Obama that if Bush left the White House, they would quit hunting and quit going to church. And they certainly did not like Senator Obama's failure to fight for his right to visit the troops in Germany. Can't he stand up to the Pentagon?

Worst of all, the Obama campaign gave at least 4 explanations of Obama's failure to visit the wounded troops. They sounded like Clinton testifying to a grand jury.

The Senator has also been moving slightly toward endorsing racial quotas. If he goes all the way on this issue, the working class in Michigan and Indiana will turn reluctantly but decisively to McCain, as they did with Reagan in 1980. It's really a shame that Senator Obama has so little understanding of what is important to working class voters.

Posted by: Byron | July 30, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Like Mccain told one Viet Nam veteran when he confronted him with his voting record. Mccain said,"You have your version on my record and I have mine". It is like he operates in some-kind of alternate reality. Like you said also he doesn't seem to get the idea of todays technology. You can't just lie and get away with it, No one has to take anyone word for anything anymore. You can just go somewhere like youtube and see it for yourself or it will be posted on a news website. Today you lie, you get caught.
=======

It's time for someone - anyone - to separate McCain's staus as a veteran with his record as a Senator of 'supporting the troops'. Because it's non-existent. The only people more unlikely to vote for McCain than Arizonans are the veterans who know he has shafted them over and over.

Everyone who said that it is McCain who is exploiting the troops is dead-on. It's just more and more embarrassing for all involved with him.

The media all thought the Dems might have the brokered convention; what happens if Addled McBrain melts down before September, as he seems about to do? And maybe someone should explain the concept of videotape to him. Or is it that he just has no shame at all?


Posted by: Mo | July 30, 2008 12:34 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

It's time for someone - anyone - to separate McCain's staus as a veteran with his record as a Senator of 'supporting the troops'. Because it's non-existent. The only people more unlikely to vote for McCain than Arizonans are the veterans who know he has shafted them over and over.

Everyone who said that it is McCain who is exploiting the troops is dead-on. It's just more and more embarrassing for all involved with him.

The media all thought the Dems might have the brokered convention; what happens if Addled McBrain melts down before September, as he seems about to do? And maybe someone should explain the concept of videotape to him. Or is it that he just has no shame at all?


Posted by: Mo | July 30, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I have met Mccain and I met him in 2000. It is shocking what he has become. This is not even close to the man I met 8 years ago. I don't think it is far fetched to say he may actually have something mentally wrong with him. It is like he is possessed or something.
..................
McCain, now that he is just another Republican scumbag, won't let facts get in the way of a good mudslinging.

Posted by: Spectator2 | July 30, 2008 12:26 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

McCain, now that he is just another Republican scumbag, won't let facts get in the way of a good mudslinging.

Posted by: Spectator2 | July 30, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

One of Mccains favorite reasons why he is ready to be commander and chief is his military background. Lets look a little closer at that. He went to Annapolis naval academy. This is maybe the most prestigious military institution in the country. While at Annapolis a cadet learns military history, Military tactics, leadership, discipline and a host of skills that prepare them to be officers and lead men. While there John Mccain was admittedly drunk most of the time something confirmed by his class mates. He graduated at the bottom class 894 out of 899 in his class. In his book he attributes this to his parting and not really caring much for things like math and other scholarly studies. He did like history though he says in his book. In spite of his horrible record he did graduate probably due to who his father was. While serving John Mccain was never in command of or a leader of men. He was taken prisoner and for the duration of the war was a POW. Later he was in command of a naval training base in Florida a token job he got due to his father. The highest rank he ever achieved was captain. He retired from the Navy and went into politics. Probably the most he actual knows about leadership and the military is what he learned at the academy where he finished next to last in his class and admits he didn't do much study. John Mccain I am afraid is the black sheep in what is otherwise a respected military family.

=========

Whatever you may think of him, at least McCain has served his country in the military. I suspect Obama was too busy consorting with the ex-Weatherman Ayers, his spiritual advisor and mentor Rev. "God Damn America" Wright, and going house hunting with his good friend, the convicted felon Rezko. Of course serving in the military doesn't qualify you to be President of the USA, but neither does being a "Community Organizer" or being in the US Senate for less than one year before you decide that you are qualified to be President. I'm not surprised that Obama did not make time to visit the wounded soldiers. There was no photo Op for him because of the restrictions from the Pentagon.

Consider some findings from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center:

* Americans' low esteem for the federal government doesn't extend to the military. A May survey found support for the federal government the lowest in at least a decade -- 37 percent -- with President Bush's favorability at only 27 percent. But the survey indicated a favorability rating of 84 percent for the military.

* Military service topped a list of presidential-candidate traits that would make Americans more likely to support someone in a February 2007 survey. Some 48 percent said they'd be more likely to support a candidate with military service; only 3 percent said they'd be less likely to do so.

* Respondents to an April survey were asked which traits described various candidates. Ninety percent thought the word "patriotic" described McCain, while 61 percent thought it fit Obama. Seventy-one percent said "tough" fit McCain but only 49 percent applied it to Obama. Obama did better with "inspiring": 66 percent, to 39 percent for McCain.

More than twice as many U.S. presidents have had military experience as haven't. For some, it was central to their identities, from George Washington to Dwight Eisenhower.

Posted by: BHBF | July 30, 2008 11:58 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Gee....I sure am glad this is a "non-story" otherwise we might be wasting a lot of space and time with useless comments about *nothing*. I'm sure glad the Obama folks think it's a non-story along with Chris ... I sure am satisfied.

Jack

Posted by: Jack Buttram | July 30, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Whatever you may think of him, at least McCain has served his country in the military. I suspect Obama was too busy consorting with the ex-Weatherman Ayers, his spiritual advisor and mentor Rev. "God Damn America" Wright, and going house hunting with his good friend, the convicted felon Rezko. Of course serving in the military doesn't qualify you to be President of the USA, but neither does being a "Community Organizer" or being in the US Senate for less than one year before you decide that you are qualified to be President. I'm not surprised that Obama did not make time to visit the wounded soldiers. There was no photo Op for him because of the restrictions from the Pentagon.

Consider some findings from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center:

* Americans' low esteem for the federal government doesn't extend to the military. A May survey found support for the federal government the lowest in at least a decade -- 37 percent -- with President Bush's favorability at only 27 percent. But the survey indicated a favorability rating of 84 percent for the military.

* Military service topped a list of presidential-candidate traits that would make Americans more likely to support someone in a February 2007 survey. Some 48 percent said they'd be more likely to support a candidate with military service; only 3 percent said they'd be less likely to do so.

* Respondents to an April survey were asked which traits described various candidates. Ninety percent thought the word "patriotic" described McCain, while 61 percent thought it fit Obama. Seventy-one percent said "tough" fit McCain but only 49 percent applied it to Obama. Obama did better with "inspiring": 66 percent, to 39 percent for McCain.

More than twice as many U.S. presidents have had military experience as haven't. For some, it was central to their identities, from George Washington to Dwight Eisenhower.

Posted by: BHBF | July 30, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Well I don't know about that, but like with Hillary it has helped in further vetting Obama, The way he has handled himself through all this, the class and composure he has exhibited through the attacks while not lowering himself to Mccains level, show me he does have the stuff to be president. In that respect Mccain has answered some of the questions people may have had about Obama, was he up to the task. He is the guy and now there is no doubt.
You are right, it has "boomeranged" back on Mccain.

=========
I am a "Believer", therefore, I know that these vicious lies about Obama are going to "boomerang" on McCain. He appears to be perpetuating lies while KNOWING them to be lies. This is a dangerous thing for anyone to do because GOD IS WATCHING, and HE has said,"What you sow, that will you also reap". So people, just sit back and watch the PAYBACK. I pity John McCain.

Posted by: ohgee | July 30, 2008 11:44 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I am a "Believer", therefore, I know that these vicious lies about Obama are going to "boomerang" on McCain. He appears to be perpetuating lies while KNOWING them to be lies. This is a dangerous thing for anyone to do because GOD IS WATCHING, and HE has said,"What you sow, that will you also reap". So people, just sit back and watch the PAYBACK. I pity John McCain.

Posted by: ohgee | July 30, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. We are considering voting for a man for the office of President of the United States who has been known since the first day he walked into the senate as
"Insane Mccain".
ARE WE CRAZY?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

McCain is losing the last three neurons he has left in his brain. He can only see through the blinders that his neocon advisers are forcing him to see. It's very sad to see a national hero succumb to the same lies that the Bush administration is so famous for. I am very disappointed.

Unfortunately the Senator's campaign is so boring and out of touch with the American public that he must resort to lies. It is very sad...

Posted by: Carlos Mock | July 30, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This story is going to die a natural death like all the others.While it lives on life support systems,it is safe to say it is no story at all.We will all move on to something else as soon as the media and the political operatives want us to do so.
The McCain camp has run a horrible campaign.Nothing is genuine and everything is smear-based.The respect that Senator McCain deserves for his military service and sacrifice is the only respect he will get.
The apparent fact that Senator McCain is within 5 or 6 points of Senator Obama in the polls is a minor miracle.This suggests that a problem lies in the laps of the electorate and the pollsters,neither of whom can be trusted at this stage in the campaign season.
We will leap forward soon to the actual election,and these mindless stories will be in the graveyard of uselessness where they belong.
Wake up,people,and smell the coffee.

Posted by: HoosierDaddy | July 30, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Mccain could find the branch he's crawled onto sawed off again - just like Iraq. Obama can set up a visit to injured troops at virtually any time. It's easier than scheduling a visit to Iraq. And just like with Iraq, Obama will do it better than McCain ever could.

Maybe Obama ought to invite McCain to tag along.

Posted by: Bexis | July 30, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I think by all definitions the campaign and Obama are one and the same and can't be separated. Anything he does has to be considered as political at this point weather by himself or part of an organized event. Once it is made public it is political.

=======
Does anyone know who usually accompanies our fabulous elected officials when they visit the troops? Are there certain Pentagon policies that govern their visits or was this decision in Germany based on the caprice of someone "in charge" there? It seems as if there are plenty of cameras and reporters around when our congress people go troop visiting. No one can argue that they are not "political" figures. Senator Obama is the "presumptive" presidential democratic nominee but he is also the junior Senator from IL. I guess I'm trying to understand if different "regulations" were applied to him. Can anyone shed some light on this? I can't imagine why his decision to bring one aide justifies his being prohibited from visitng the troops.

Posted by: caw | July 30, 2008 11:10 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

You make a great point, this taking a lie and running with it as Mccain has done regardless of all the evidence to the contrary is exactly what got us into Iraq.

Is this how he would run his presidency? He would just lie to us to further his own goals? We are at a "case closed" moment with John Mccain. His integrity that he has based his whole political life is much in question. He is not the man he pretended to be. He doesn't even pretend anymore, the mask is off and he knows it.

========
The McCain campaign of late has only reinforced my opinion of his 'shoot-from-the' style even when not backed by facts. His constant sniping at Obama is already old and pathetic. This should make everyone further question McCain's judgement and ability to serve a president and commander-in-chief.
As a military veteran, I fully support Senator Obama and believe he will restore honor, dignity and leadership to the White House - attributes that McCain and Bush/Cheney neither possess nor seek. Obama's sense of judgement already eclipses that of McCain. McCain represents old thinking from an old-time Washington hack. And I can't help but recall McCain's role in the sordid Savings & Loan scandal which has been forgotten in this campaign. I proudly support Barack Obama for president.

Posted by: Bob Zuley | July 30, 2008 10:52 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know who usually accompanies our fabulous elected officials when they visit the troops? Are there certain Pentagon policies that govern their visits or was this decision in Germany based on the caprice of someone "in charge" there? It seems as if there are plenty of cameras and reporters around when our congress people go troop visiting. No one can argue that they are not "political" figures. Senator Obama is the "presumptive" presidential democratic nominee but he is also the junior Senator from IL. I guess I'm trying to understand if different "regulations" were applied to him. Can anyone shed some light on this? I can't imagine why his decision to bring one aide justifies his being prohibited from visitng the troops.

Posted by: caw | July 30, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign of late has only reinforced my opinion of his 'shoot-from-the' style even when not backed by facts. His constant sniping at Obama is already old and pathetic. This should make everyone further question McCain's judgement and ability to serve a president and commander-in-chief.
As a military veteran, I fully support Senator Obama and believe he will restore honor, dignity and leadership to the White House - attributes that McCain and Bush/Cheney neither possess nor seek. Obama's sense of judgement already eclipses that of McCain. McCain represents old thinking from an old-time Washington hack. And I can't help but recall McCain's role in the sordid Savings & Loan scandal which has been forgotten in this campaign. I proudly support Barack Obama for president.

Posted by: Bob Zuley | July 30, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

socialist have army's too. army are socialist institutions. maybe if socialism's is bad we should disband are military

Posted by: bscott | July 30, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Take a stand Chris and call out John McCain on this one. Of course this camera thing isn't the reason Obama didn't go in Germany. He made three troop visits this month without cameras, at Walter Reed, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan. He knew the policy and never planned to bring cameras, that is a fact you should report. More importantly, you should report that McCain is lying.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/snubbing_wounded_troops.html

McCain is so angry he'll now say anything, make up any slanderous lie in order to get what he wants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LifsuCdTnXo

Posted by: Seth | July 30, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What Mccain does with these attacks is heighten the importance of Obama. He makes every move Obama makes, relevant, while he himself becomes more irrelevant by comparison. You can see it everyday. Yesterday Mccain visited an oil rig but no one even knew it. It was overshadowed by the Obama story and again Mccain was out of the news except for the media calling him a liar on the story. I don't think Obama has to do anything anymore, Mccain has given this to him and he doesn't know how to get it back.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

No need to anymore. The public gets it. Mccain has lose in just a few weeks something he has spent 25 years building. The image of the straight talking honest politician is gone. The admired John Mccain of 2000 the the press loved does not live here anymore the everyone see it. The despicable person that he has become now is not one that someone people any longer want to embrace. Although Obama is running a great campaign, this was Mccains to win if he was still that same man of 2000, but he isn't. Maybe he never was, who knows.

--------
It seems to me McCain exploits the troops. That's all he ever talks about. As Americans, we all should honor the brave men and women who serve our country, but to insert them into everything he says, 24/7 seems . . . well . . . like John McCain is the one who exploits the troops every chance he gets and then some.

Maybe the media should question McCain's motives on this question.

Posted by: Mary | July 30, 2008 10:13 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The difference between John McCain and Barack Obama is that Barack Obama has CLASS. That is a trait that the REPUBLICANS gave up long ago. They only know "mean spiritedness" and MARKETING. They are good at both but should remember that as Abraham Lincoln said long ago, "YOU CAN FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME AND SOME OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME, BUT YOU CAN'T FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME". The American people for the most part have woken up.

Posted by: Patricia C. Gilbert | July 30, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

WaPo says personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. What do they think of Chris posting this deliberate lie , and not giving the truth about what happen.No, its John Mcsame who told the lie so they go along with it. How so very pathetic. Chris I have placed you in my Faux bag where you belong. You are no better than hannity,Billo the Clown, and all the rest of the Rovians.

Posted by: tygirl | July 30, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't think you read that list, it was not good things. It showed him to be an inept coward and traitor.

========
to the poster with the list of McCain military accomplishments. He may be a war hero but that does not make him good presidental material. Obviously you neglected to take a peek at the senators voting record in which he has overwhelmingly voted against veterans. For him to stand on his military record and not support the needs of veterans which his record demonstrates is disgusting.

Posted by: MAlex | July 30, 2008 9:21 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me McCain exploits the troops. That's all he ever talks about. As Americans, we all should honor the brave men and women who serve our country, but to insert them into everything he says, 24/7 seems . . . well . . . like John McCain is the one who exploits the troops every chance he gets and then some.

Maybe the media should question McCain's motives on this question.

Posted by: Mary | July 30, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Not satisfied with the comment. Obama could have made far more political capital by going alone. Does he have to be shadowed by others than the Secret Service for everything he does. Looks suspect that he can't be let out of a handler's grasp lest he do or say something wrong. The conflicting stories as to why he didn't go aren't helping either. Make up one story and stick with it. He has too many stories for everything. Who is he?

Posted by: Bill LaPorte, Raleigh, NC | July 30, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse


You are exactly the one Mccain is aiming at someone dumb enough to believe it. Unfortunately for Mccain you probably won;t even vote.
======


It's great to see that Obama is being called out for his anti-American views. The man is Socialist and respecting our military is something he knows nothing about.

Posted by: jon | July 30, 2008 9:54 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Cillizia can continue to print Mcsame's lie, but not a word about the truth. Tell me, are the only journalists Keith Oberman and Rachel Maddow? Well I will leave it to those two to set the record straight.They are the only ones we can beleive these days.

Posted by: tygirl | July 30, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The real reason for the Pentagon's last minute kabosh on restricting Obama's campaign staff was most likely they didn't want the troops to see Retired Major General Scott Gration, Obama's top military advisor.

(As an Air Force pilot, General Gration flew more combat missions than any other American while commanding the operations overseeing both the northern and southern no-fly zones in Iraq. His aerial combat experience logs in at more than 5,000 hours, including 983 hours of combat time during 274 missions in Iraq. Gration was also the commander of Task Force West during Operation Iraqi Freedom.)

Never mind...the true facts won't stop the McCain slime machine. McCain promised a respectful campaign about issues.....I'm waiting!

Posted by: Joyce | July 30, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

What is this like the fifth day Mccain has wasted on this. Obama in the news everyday, now being backed up by most every news agency that what Mccain is saying is a lie. Mccain looking even more like a fool, liar and desperate. Obama would love this to go on for another month as the clock is running down and Mccain is off message obsessed with attacking Obama with lies and getting caught. Doesn't Mccain remember Hillary's sniper story? Mccain is in total self distruct mode.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Jon:

First of all, I have not seen any evidence that Obama is a socialist. Second, if he is, that does not mean he is opposed to America... only that he believes that socialism would be a better road to travel. You would disagree. That does not make you anti American, either. Just on the other side of one issue.

As for respecting the military, I submit that he shows more respect for the military than John McSame, who voted consistently against veteran's benefits while Obama voted for them. Even if our lying sh*t of a President gave him credit - he was opposed.

Furthermore, even if Obama is a Socialist, which he is not, that would not mean that he does not respect the military. That is simply put a non sequitur.

What is not a non sequitur is that you are an idiot - regurgitating White House talking points, and not bothering to think for yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Correction: WHO make up the other We

Posted by: MoxiemeinKC | July 30, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick response to a couple of my fellow bloggers...There already IS a KWAANZA Christmas display at the WH, along with other displays that represent the diversity of OUR nation. Candide blogs that the real truth need not be masked in lies from PaCain; WE just don't want a black POTUS. While I agree the are many bigoted and racists citizens inside our borders who are repulsed at the very thought, they are not as emboldened are brazen as Candide appears to be. Rather they mask it in inexperience, youth, not his time, etc. In the end, however, Nov 4 will tell the tale. By the way, have you noticed the millions of other Americans you make up the other WE!!?

Posted by: MoxiemeinKC | July 30, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

It's great to see that Obama is being called out for his anti-American views. The man is Socialist and respecting our military is something he knows nothing about.

Posted by: jon | July 30, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

This is perhaps the most desperate grab at a non issue I've seen since, well, flag pins. The troops swarmed over Obama while he was there and this non story has been widely debunked. Any whoring by Cilliza for Republican interests (again) in this space is expected but entirely irrelevant to anything.

Your irrelevance is showing guys. Again.

Posted by: Mike M | July 30, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

McCain is despicable. It's bad enough that he exploited wounded troops to smear Obama with an absolutely false charge, but he continues repeating the smear after it has been proven absolutely false? All to score political points. Mr. Cillizza, why is it you fail to mention this, or the fact that McCain has himself had to cancel several visits to military bases, for the exact same reason...at the time he would be viewed as a candidate and not a senator, thus againt DOD rules. I find it interesting that the straight-talking maverick feels it's ok to exploit the troops in this contemptible way, yet has voted time and again against veterans issues, including failing to fund vital armor and equipmment for our troops in a war zone, or care for the wounded once they make it home. Truly, truly despicable.

Posted by: Erin | July 30, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

And dang it Chris we can't let the mean ole McCain campain do this to our beloved Obama! I just love watching all you liberal media hacks run to your key boards and to protect Obama from from those mean republicans! Even though the reports are true..... you Chris and the liberal media can't stand to see your man (Obama) moveing down in the polls! haha

Posted by: gary | July 30, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"Wait- he did do drugs, it's a fact (coke and weed)...."

Posted by: Daman1

Didn't stop you from voting for Bush--who wouldn't admit it. Who really cares if someone takes drugs? The funny thing about you conservative louts is that you want nothing regulated except private sex and recreational (and medical) ingestibles that come from nature. You hate all natural things, in fact, which is why you clear-cut forests, strip-mine mountains, and poison people with your chemicals. You always say stupid things like "people's jobs matter more than spotted-owl habitat" (you omit the hyphen because you're basically illiterate), but will put profits above people's jobs and lives. Then you lead the way to destroying the only planet in the universe known to support human life, while denying science--except when it comes to devising weapons of mass destruction.

Posted by: edwcorey | July 30, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

My guess is, if the tables had been switched - the Obama campaign would have jumped on such a large mistake in the same manner. Press there, or not, he should have gone. Politically, experience and his lack of military background are such weaknesses for Obama (and strengths for McCain) that it would have been a great move by Obama to go. And all the politics aside, it shows respect for the troops that he should be demonstrating, even if it only affects the patients in the hospital he visited.

Posted by: knj | July 30, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

First, who cares about this other than the hard left or hard right partisans that want to pull America in two?

Second, if I wanted to find out what happened objectively, I would certainly not look to the Washington Post or NY Times.

Until we discuss substantive issues in front of the U.S., rather than bash a person or persons we've been told to hate by the angry press, we will deserve the partisanship we get.

Posted by: JR | July 30, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

No matter who went with Obama to visit the troops, it would have been a political trip - nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: Phil Coffman | July 30, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

to the poster with the list of McCain military accomplishments. He may be a war hero but that does not make him good presidental material. Obviously you neglected to take a peek at the senators voting record in which he has overwhelmingly voted against veterans. For him to stand on his military record and not support the needs of veterans which his record demonstrates is disgusting.

Posted by: MAlex | July 30, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of left-wing liberal garbage. You must read the Pentagons's post to understand that Obama was allowed to visit the troops, he just could not make it political and was not allowed to bring camera's and his campaign staff. Because camera's were not allowed, he felt it was not the right thing to do. Bull Crap. He was just pissed that he wouldn't be able to show himself. The whole trip was nothing but a "show". He is only a mediocre senator at best and had no business going on a trip like that.

Posted by: Ken | July 30, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"A Pentagon spokesperson confirms to me [Greg Sargent http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07/pentagon_confirms_that_it_told.php] that because of longstanding Department of Defense regulations, Pentagon officials told Obama aides that he couldn't visit the base with campaign staff. This left Obama with little choice but to cancel the trip, since the plan to visit with campaign aides had been in the works for weeks.

"But it turns out that the Pentagon did in fact tell Obama that in this case, it was not only "inappropriate," but against DOD rules, for him to conduct the visit with campaign staff.

"We have longstanding Department of Defense policy in regards to political campaigns and elections," Pentagon spokesperson Elizabeth Hibner told me. "We informed the Obama staff that he was more than welcome to visit as Senator Obama, with Senate staff. However, he could not conduct the visit with campaign staff."

"It's unclear how Obama could have made the visit at all, given the Pentagon's directives. No Senate staff was on the trip, and the Obama camp says they received the Pentagon's directives on Wednesday, after they were already abroad."

Unless Obama had specially sent for Senate staff to replace his Campaign staff he could not make the visit, he could not then use his Senate staff for any other purpose.

John McCain does not appear to understand that when you are a presidential candidate you are not as Senator and you cannot use your senatorial privileges to further your campaign. When Barak Obama was in Iraq he was a Senator Obama, all the other senators and the Senate staff went home so when he was in Germany he was Mr Obama.

Posted by: Chrisle | July 30, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

This is just extraordinarily weak from the McCain campaign. It sounds like the Pentagon changed the rules on Obama's campaign at the last minute--wonder why?--and set up McCain's pitchfork-wielding villagers for a fresh round of manufactured outrage.

Never mind that we have real problems to deal with, from our whopping huge deficit to our energy crisis (bigger and better than '73!) to Iraq and Afghanistan to the Justice Dept. political hiring fiasco to... well, you name it, it's become a problem in the last seven years. But I guess Sen. McCain is too busy building this one incident into the basis for his never-gonna-happen presidency.

Go, John. Yay. You're sure showing presidential fiber.

Posted by: DB | July 30, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

We wouldn't need all these ridiculous criticisms of Obama if his opponents would just tell the truth: we don't want a black president.

Posted by: candide | July 30, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

All of this seems so stupid to me.
The reason I am voting for Obama is because if he can put together such a good group for his campaign, I figure he can also put together a good administration. This would make up for any shortcomings in experience and so on.

Posted by: Sara Wolfson | July 30, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

This is a disgusting bunch of nonsense from McCain. The pettiness of this campaign confirms the naval brass decision when it passed over McCain for promotion of Admiral. I guess he will do anything to avoid explaining why he was party to the invasion of Iraq which is biggest strategic mistake in American history. If McCain was such a brilliant strategist why did he want to open up a second front before we finished off Al Qaeda in Afghanistan? Why did he want to take out a government that was not supporting our enemy Al Qaeda and providing a needed buffer to Iran? The truth of the matter is it was the greatest strategic falure in the history of the United States. McCain's role was one of cheerleaders of this failed endevor, saying this war would be a piece of cake. Let us get some straight talk about issues that really matter instead of this smoke. I am asshamed that I supported McCain in 2000.

Posted by: bradcpa | July 30, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

" . . . John McCain and his campaign have been doing their darndest to keep the story alive." And you, Mr. Cillizza, are doing your darndest to help Senator McCain do just that! At this point, anyone who was interested in this non-story has already determined his or her belief about it. What is the purpose of presenting old news as something new, especially when it involves the perpetuation of a lie? I find it difficult to determine whether you have taken up journatlistic prostitution or reportorial ambulance chasing, Mr. Cillizza, but neither is very admirdable.

Posted by: a concerned citizen | July 30, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Cindy needs to keep her man on his meds... "before" doing anymore interviews or town hall meetings....

A recent town hall meeting in Nevada...
Little Girl: Mr McCain, will you raise our taxes?
McCain: No, I will not...

And then he stole her lollipop....when the foolish people of this nation elect him POTUS....

This is what CBS News had reported recently on Mr Obama's visit of our wounded children in a "mission Accomplished" occupation...

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/27/ftn/main4297769.shtml

Posted by: AlexP1 | July 30, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

McCain said he would run a dignified campaign. I guess he thought the Swift Boat Liars were a dignified bunch. Pathetic.

Posted by: birdman | July 30, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Some variation on the theme "BHO failed to visit hospitalized troops to go to gym" has become a junk email I have received several times.

I have now sent the Balz-Shear article as a reply-to-all in each case.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 30, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

find it hard to believe that anyone is going to care about this two weeks from now. Even Republicans are scratching their heads and saying "is this the best McCain can do?" He dared Obama to make the trip and the Prime Minister of Iraq all but endorses Obama for President. I suppose one could feel sorry for McCain, reduced to calling Obama out for supposedly not caring about the troops but, as has already been made abundantly clear, it would not have mattered if Obama had gone in to see the troops or stayed away, the Republican campaign would have tried the same tired gambit. The clock is ticking and the campaign is gasping.

Posted by: dch | July 30, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Half a truth is often a great lie."

Either John McCain is unaware of this common knowledge and, thus, shown no common sense in promulgating a half-truth about Barack Obama's decision or, on the other hand, knew that he could pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate by offering up this half-truth.

According to FactCheck.org, "McCain's facts are literally true, but his insinuation - that the visit was canceled because of the press ban or the desire for gym time - is false. In fact, Obama visited wounded troops earlier - without cameras or press - both in the U.S. and Iraq. And his gym workouts are a daily routine."See: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/snubbing_wounded_troops.html

Posted by: Geoff | July 30, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

MccCain is running the same slime campaign as Bush. Truly a third term of the same.

Posted by: Sam | July 30, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Satisfied? The Pentagon didn't want him to visit that particular location. He visited other troops while he was abroad. But the racists and morons that post here are clearly to stupid to get it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

McCain and his campaign are making statements and allegations that have been proven to be untrue...and they know it! Yet they keep forwaridng the information as if it is the truth. The sad thing is, much like in the Bush 2004 campaign, the Republicans lie and a majority of people choose to believe the lies, even when they are confronted with the truth.

Posted by: jberezo | July 30, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

"If a presidential candidate tells me he is going to raise my taxes then you can bet there is no way he will get my vote. If he tells me that he is going to raise the capital gains taxes I will give him an F- in economics and adivise other people not to vote for him due to his poor understanding of economics. If he claims there are 57 states I will give him an F- in history. I will also wonder why this story is passed over by the press especially considering the grief that Dan Quial got for just misspelling a word. My only adivce to Obama is that surly the press has given you a long list of passes on your gafes but this will only be tolerated by them for so long and then they will come after you." Posted by: camere01

---

Dear camere01: I can see from your comment why you gave Dan Quail a "pass" as he can spell better than you. You seem to be unforgiving about things that are debatable (benefit of marginal tax increase/decrease) but forgiving about things that are indisputable (spelling of a word). But then again, it is your prerogative to live within a reality of your own making.

Posted by: Geoff | July 30, 2008 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention, I distinctly recall Hilary visiting the troops at Landstuhl, WITH reporters and cameras! Did the rules change for Obama, or did they break the rules for Hilary?

Posted by: lamb_woman | July 30, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes, McCain is OLD, and many of us are very tired of old farts running our country! I sure am - I'm leaning toward new blood, myself. Isn't it the old farts who've made the world the mess it is today?

Yes, McCain this week, showed himself to be liar! It's absolutely disgusting!

Yes, Obama admitted he tried drugs when he was young - but didn't pretty much everyone who grew up during that time?

Let's get off of this merry-go-round and start thinking about the future of this country, can't we? There must be more important things to talk about!

Posted by: lamb_woman | July 30, 2008 6:39 AM | Report abuse


I don't know what really happened, but if this is the best blow McCain and lay on Obama, he should give up now. Is this really an issue? So many real things are going on, and this is it?

It seemed to me today that Obama was meeting with Treasury Secretary Paulsen and the Prime Minister of Pakistan. McCain was trying to explain when and if and how he would raise taxes or not.

Maybe it's just the media coverage, but when I have that kind of day (McCains'), I want to go back to bed and wait until tomorrow.

Posted by: PatrickInBeijing | July 30, 2008 4:58 AM | Report abuse

I used to really like and respect Sen. McCain but not anymore. He lies FAR too easily and makes FAR too many mistakes on crucial facts and it seems that he learned the absolutely wrong lessons from his "bushed" experience in 2000. (McCain is now sounding and looking waayyyy too similar to you-know-who for me to ever CONSIDER voting for him now.)

McCain just looks more desperate ever single day! And I, for one, simply find that SAD. (I truly miss "McCain 2000"!)

Posted by: Carmen Cameron | July 30, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

If a presidential candidate tells me he is going to raise my taxes then you can bet there is no way he will get my vote. If he tells me that he is going to raise the capital gains taxes I will give him an F- in economics and adivise other people not to vote for him due to his poor understanding of economics. If he claims there are 57 states I will give him an F- in history. I will also wonder why this story is passed over by the press especially considering the grief that Dan Quial got for just misspelling a word. My only adivce to Obama is that surly the press has given you a long list of passes on your gafes but this will only be tolerated by them for so long and then they will come after you.

Posted by: camere01 | July 30, 2008 4:02 AM | Report abuse

McCain's problem is that, in the words of one commentator, he's starting to look like a grouchy old man in a bathrobe and slippers who yells at kids from his porch. If age wasn't an issue for him before, it will be soon--assuming that he continues to snipe at Obama instead of giving the public a constructive reason to vote for John McCain. (As an Obama supporter, I can't wait to see the the two men face each other in a televised debate. And before anyone accuses me of ageism, let me point out that I'm from the grey-hair/no-hair generation myself.)

Posted by: Durant Imboden | July 30, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

It was inappropriate for the command at Landshtul to take the position that retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration - who was going to be the only aide to accompany Obama - was an extraneous presence who, by himself, would have made Obama's visit "political".

Would they have rendered the same opinion had it been Gen. Wesley Clark (former Supreme Commander of U.S. Forces, Europe) who previously had authority over that very hospital? Or Gen. Anthony Zinni, whose former troops were the actual patients in the hospital? Or suppose Obama has sought to bring with him General Merrill McPeak, another Obama-supporting flag officer, who is a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? The local command at the hospital acted in a political and inappropriate manner, which was disrespectful to Gen. Gration, to the troops, and to the Senator. There should be a military investigation of how this was handled by the base and the hospital.

As for John McCain, he is apparently dishonest and lacking in character or integrity, or he would have disowned these lies instead of repeating them. Perhaps McCain's moral and ethical failings in this regard are why these leading flag officers support Obama instead.

Posted by: PressToDigitate | July 30, 2008 2:37 AM | Report abuse

So it was a boneheaded move by Obama to cancel the trip to avoid putting the troops into the political crossfire, only to have McCain put them there anyway by lying about the event? Yeah, this line of attack is totally going to put John McCain over the top!

Posted by: John M. | July 30, 2008 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Definitely not satisfied, and neither is the American public. A very shameful, boneheaded move from Obama. McCain would be fool not to play this up.

Posted by: JT | July 30, 2008 2:06 AM | Report abuse

"What seems necessary is for all the news media to do what the Post and Times did -- to state uneviqocally that the McCain campaign is lying -- and for reporters to ask mcCain why he is repeating a lie."

You said it. There is no wiggle room here, folks. This is not about whether Obama's been a big meanie to McCain. This is about the irrefutable fact that McCain has just flat-out lied about something to the American people.

Posted by: John M. | July 30, 2008 2:03 AM | Report abuse

John McCain has lied and continues to lie about Obama's visit. Obama did not call off the visit because he couldn't bring the press with him, which is precisely what McCain has claimed. There is a line that has just been crossed, between hard hitting attacks and lying. (The oil ad was just stupid.) McCain cannot back off of his position now. I have to say, Steve Schmidt's McCain has little to do with the honorable soldier we saw in 2000.

Posted by: John M. | July 30, 2008 2:02 AM | Report abuse

John McCain has lied and continues to lie about Obama's visit. Obama did not call off the visit because he couldn't bring the press with him, which is precisely what McCain has claimed. There is a line that has just been crossed, between hard hitting attacks and lying. (The oil ad was just stupid.) McCain cannot back off of his position now. I have to say, Steve Schmidt's McCain has little to do with the honorable soldier we saw in 2000.

Posted by: John M. | July 30, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

What seems necessary is for all the news media to do what the Post and Times did -- to state uneviqocally that the McCain campaign is lying -- and for reporters to ask mcCain why he is repeating a lie.

Posted by: Miande | July 30, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Moniker - Here's a quote from the ospital commander, sgt. Major Craig Layton, : "If Senator Obama isn't comfortable meeting wounded American troops without his entourage, perhaps he does not have the experience necessary to serve as commander in chief." This ratbag is a political hack and was USING wounded troops as a political ploy. his was the wretched swine that waited until the Congressional delegation had left and, then, laid down this trap for Obama. Now, it's ILLEGAL for a military officer to do what he did. But worse, it's completely without honor. If nothing else, I want this piece of trash kicked out of the service.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Just so you know, Obama has responded to the McCain ad with an ad of his own. I forget what exactly was on it, but it did accuse McCain of playing dirty politics.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 30, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Of course, had Obama visited wounded troops at Landstuhl, the McCain campaign would be full of rage (RAGE!) that Obama would dare use the troops as part of a cheap political stunt. The hypocrisy of the whole situation is really quite unbecoming for the McCain campaign.

This isn't about an issue or some perceived or real failing of Obama's character. Rather it's all about trying desperately to turn the spotlight away from the foundering McCain campaign.

Posted by: glowing_plasma | July 30, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

FACT SHEET: Military record of John Sidney McCain III
Both McCain III's father and grandfather were Admirals in the United States Navy. His father
Admiral John S. "Junior" McCain was commander of U.S. forces in Europe - later commander of
American forces in Vietnam while McCain III was being held prisoner of war. His grandfather
John S. McCain, Sr. commanded naval aviation at the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
McCain III, like his father and grandfather, also attended the United States Naval Academy.
McCain III finished near the bottom of his graduating class in 1958.

McCain III lost five U.S. Navy aircraft
1 - Student pilot McCain III lost jet number one in 1958 when he plunged into Corpus
Christi Bay while practicing landings.
2 - Pilot McCain III lost another plane two years later while he was deployed in the
Mediterranean. "Flying too low over the Iberian Peninsula, he took out some power lines
which led to a spate of newspaper stories in which he was predictably identified as the
son of an admiral.
3 - Pilot McCain III lost number three in 1965 when he was returning from flying a Navy
trainer solo to Philadelphia for an Army-Navy football game. McCain III radioed, "I've got
a flameout" and ejected at one thousand feet. The plane crashed to the ground and
McCain III floated to a deserted beach.
4 - Combat pilot McCain III lost his fourth on July 29, 1967, soon after he was assigned to
the USS Forrestal as an A-4 Skyhawk combat pilot. While waiting his turn for takeoff, an
accidently fired rocket slammed into McCain Jr's. plane. He escaped from the burning
aircraft, but the explosions that followed killed 134 sailors, destroyed at least 20 aircraft,
and threatened to sink the ship.
5 - Combat pilot McCain III lost a fifth plane three months later (Oct. 26, 1967) during his
23rd mission over North Vietnam when he failed to avoid a surface-to-air missile. McCain
III ejected from the plane breaking both arms and a leg in the process and subsequently
parachuted into Truc Bach Lake near Hanoi. After being pulled from the lake by the North
Vietnamese, McCain III was bayoneted in his left foot and shoulder and struck by a rifle
butt. He was then transported to the Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton.

1973 New York Daily News labeled POW McCain III a "PW Songbird"
On McCain III's fourth day of being denied medical treatment, slapped, and threatened with
death by the communist (they were demanding military information in exchange for medical
treatment), McCain III broke and told his interrogator, "O.K., I'll give you military information if you
will take me to the hospital." U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former
POW John McCain.
It was then that the communist learned that McCain III's father was Admiral John S. McCain,
the soon-to-be commander of all U.S. Forces in the Pacific. The Vietnamese rushed McCain III to
Gai Lam military hospital (U.S. government documents), a medical facility normally unavailable
for U.S. POWs.
By Nov. 9, 1967 (U.S. government documents) Hanoi press was quoting McCain III describing
his mission including the number of aircraft in his flight, information about rescue ships, and the
order of which U.S. attacks would take place.
While in still in North Vietnam's military hospital, McCain III gave an interview to prominent
French television reporter Francois Chalais for a series titled Life in Hanoi. Chalais' interview with
McCain III was aired in Europe.
Vietnamese doctors operated on McCain's Leg in early December, 1967.
Six weeks after he was shot down, McCain was taken from the hospital and delivered to a
U.S. POW camp,
In May of 1968, McCain III allowed himself to be interviewed by two North Vietnamese
generals at separate times." May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain
In August 1968, other POWs learned for the first time that John McCain III had been taken
prisoner.
On June 5, 1969, the New York Daily News reported in a article headlined Reds Say PW
Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral, " . . . Hanoi has aired a broadcast in which the pilot son of
United States Commander in the Pacific, Adm. John McCain, purportedly admits to having
bombed civilian targets in North Vietnam and praises medical treatment he has received since
being taken prisoner . . ." The Washington Post explained McCain III's broadcast: "The English-
Language broadcast beamed at South Vietnam was one of a series using American prisoners. It
was in response to a plea by Defense Secretary Melvin S. Laird, May 19, that North Vietnam treat
prisoners according to the humanitarian standards set forth by the Geneva Convention."
In 1970, McCain III agreed to an interview with Dr. Fernando Barral, a Spanish psychiatrist
who was living in Cuba at the time.
The meeting between Barral and McCain III (which was photographed by the Vietnamese)
took place away from the prison at the office of the Committee for Foreign Cultural Relations in
Hanoi (declassified government document). During the meeting, POW McCain sipped coffee and
ate oranges and cakes with the Cuban.
While talking with Barral, McCain III further seriously violated the military Code of Conduct by
failing to evade answering questions "to the utmost of his ability" when he, according government
documents, helped Barral by answering questions in Spanish, a language McCain had learned in
school. The interview was published in the in January 1970.

McCain III was released from North Vietnam March 15, 1973
In 1993, during one of his many trips back to Hanoi, McCain asked the Vietnamese not to
make public any records they hold pertaining to returned U.S. POWs. McCain III claims, that
while a POW, he tried to kill himself.

McCain III was awarded "medals for valor" equal to nearly a medal-and-a-half for each
hour he spent in combat
For 23 combat missions (an estimated 20 hours over enemy territory), the U.S. Navy awarded
McCain III, the son of famous admirals, a Silver Star, a Legion of Merit for Valor, a Distinguished
Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars, two Commendation medals plus two Purple Hearts and a
dozen service medals.
"McCain had roughly 20 hours in combat," explains Bill Bell, a veteran of Vietnam and former
chief of the U.S. Office for POW/MIA Affairs -- the first official U.S. representative in Vietnam
since the 1973 fall of Saigon.
"Since McCain got 28 medals," Bell continued, "that equals to about a medal-and-a-half for
each hour he spent in combat. There were infantry guys -- grunts on the ground -- who had more
than 7,000 hours in combat and I can tell you that there were times and situations where I'm sure
a prison cell would have looked pretty good to them by comparison. The question really is how
many guys got that number of medals for not being shot down."
For years, McCain has been an unchecked master at manipulating an overly friendly and
biased news media. The former POW turned Congressman, turned U.S. Senator, has managed
to gloss over his failures as a pilot and his collaborations with the enemy to become America's
POW-hero presidential candidate.
For more information: www.againstmccain.com www.usveterandispatch.com

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

He spent hours on the phone talking with them that day when he couldn't go. I have a feeling they got a pretty good kick out of that.
=====


mibrooks27 even you would have to agree the troops being cancelled on (to no fault of there own) was regretable? But Obama doesn't!
Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 12:55 AM

Who punched the numbers on the phone for mister Obama? I think calling some injured troops on the phone is always better than in person that is so inpersonal these days. Isn't it.

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse


JOHN MCCAIN, TRADER TO HIS COUNTRY, COLLABORATOR WITH THE ENEMY, MILITARY DISGRACE.


Ted Sampley, a Vietnam Veteran and former Green Beret, issued a CHALLENGE to John McCain "If you can show us that the information presented in our mailer is untruthful . . . we will Stand Down" This CHALLENGE was issued during an interview with INSIDE EDITION on January 17, 2008.
John, family members of Vietnam POW/MIA(s) have been waiting for more then 14 years for you to have the courage to face them eye to eye in front of the American Public - Here is your opportunity for some "STRAIGHT TALK." Stop hiding behind your fabricated "War Hero" persona. You know we can prove your collaborations with declassified government documents . . . It is time for the American people to get to know the REAL John McCain - the John McCain that the POW/MIA families witnessed during the 1991-93 US Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs .
Bring It On John! HERE IS OUR NUMBER 252-527-0442
=====
Shania recite Obama's only comeback all you want. Obama screwed up but will not admit it. They are calling McCain dishonorable only because Obama has no defense! A little like when Obama was calling everyone divisive when he got hammered his Pastor and his Bitter comments. Remember?

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 1:07 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Shania recite Obama's only comeback all you want. Obama screwed up but will not admit it. They are calling McCain dishonorable only because Obama has no defense! A little like when Obama was calling everyone divisive when he got hammered his Pastor and his Bitter comments. Remember?

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Yah, where was Johnny Boy's support for the troops when Jim Webb's bill, against all odds, passed the Congress to increase their benefits - McCain voted against it. Easy for him in the rarefied elite world being a son and a grandson of admirals - but the lowly commissionaires, the grunts, the recruits of detroit, McCain could give a rats ass for them. Several tours of duty. Shell-shocked and worn out - and Johnny Boy voted against increasing their benefits...

Posted by: Maj Lars | July 30, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Its odd that McCain will throw dig's at Obama for not seeing one hospital, but where has Johhny boy been while the Vet. Administration and returning soldier scandal has been unfolding?the only hospital i recall him visiting in his run here is to a V.A. home , basically a bunch of like aged, retired military personnel.not exactly towing the front line

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

He spent hours on the phone talking with them that day when he couldn't go. I have a feeling they got a pretty good kick out of that.
=====


mibrooks27 even you would have to agree the troops being cancelled on (to no fault of there own) was regretable? But Obama doesn't!
Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 12:55 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 even you would have to agree the troops being cancelled on (to no fault of there own) was regretable? But Obama doesn't!

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Even with the bush legacy Mccain could have won this going away. All he had to do was be the Mccain of 2000. It is too late now and there is no turning back for him. He is running a campaign of hate and the public isn't buying it. When this is over he will have no one to blame but himself

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

So tragic: McCain is a character 'beholden' to others, whearas a Leader bucks the tide and all the Rovean and Neocon advisors and does what is right for Reality's sake. Did you notice the big change? He led a largely decent primary - and that's why he won it. But up against a 'phenom', he decided, beholden, to let the Rovean management take over in the person of Steven Schmidt. You could read between the lines that Mark Salter and Rick Davis weren't thrilled. They were the more decent types that helped McCain win the Primary - but, no, McCain had to cave in to pressure and bring in the Roveans. This should be seen as the Faustian bargain it is. And I believe that because the national tide has turned against Rove, Bush and Cheney (and Romney), the same negative Rovean campaigning won't work the same - it didn't work, notice, in the Hillary Campaign. Mark Penn and Howard Wolfson were doing similar things on behalf of Hillary, spinning the BS Quotient, the Goebbels approach as one other reader called it - it just succeeded in making Hillary look worse. And I believe that this stupid charge about visiting the troops - these Rovean lies - will make McCain look worse and worse to those Independents that grew as a force in reaction against such things in the Dubya Administration. All McCain gains through this Faustian bargain is to become a Sock Puppet to the Roveans and the Neocons. Then, the Independents and Moderates - well we hoped McCain would beat Romney and Giuliani back in the Primaries, but he's losing us now - I know sooo many that are saying that these recent dirty tactics have ended their allegiance to McCain and they are becoming Obamacons. McCain had the opportunity to do things unlike Bush and cleanse the GOP, bringing it back to its forefathers - he has blown it! The 'paths of 'glory' lead but to the gravy.' What's really tragic is the level of politicization of the Military - a good General should step in and investigate this vigilantism; McCain is using the Military to score political points. That's what Jim Webb said is going on with the GOP leadership and it is a disservice to the country and an insult to true Patriots who want a non-partisan armed forces. Shame on McCain for caving in again to low elements. Chuck Hagel was right - an honorable man (McCain in 2000) is sinking to dishonorable means. Instead of the Leader we were looking for, we are left with a Sock Puppet to the Neocons, with the Roveans pulling the strings.

Posted by: Shania | July 30, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

I think your right DrSteveB, Obama was not just thinking selfishly of his campaign. It was the one armed man! Or, did the devil make him do it? DrSteveB unlike Obama you do agree the troops being cancelled on (to no fault of there own) was regretable?

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Moniker This is not a "scandel". This is a game of whack-a-mole being played by the McCain campaign, the Bush Administration, and the Pentagon, **USING** wounded soldiers, just like my son, as political toys in their campaign. It's about as low a thing as I have ever witnessed. No one, not any politician, not any campaign, has a right to do anything other than honor those young men. What McCain and his goons have done is so wrong, so despicable, so DISHONORABLE, that I am white with rage! Why isn't the press and veteran's organizations screaming about this?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

key to story-Repug operative Bryan Whitman (0+ / 0-)
The key to this whole story is probably the role of Republican political operative Bryan Whitman assigned to do DoD dirty work. It looks like he set-up both the Obama campaign and the press with the whole bait-n-switch around the inivite and then phony initial reporting to the gullible press.

See:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/art-levine/how-will-obama-progressiv_b_115162.html

&

http://www.americablog.com/2008/07/bushrumsfeld-political-hack-bryan.html

Maybe real reporting could include a follow-up interview with him?

Posted by: DrSteveB | July 30, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Kristi Obama doesn't regret not going. Say it with me, now, Obama does not regret, not going to see those troops on that visit. He is on video saying so!

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

The McCain camp continues to lie even when they know the truth. I think that has been clearly established by now. I just wish the press would come out and call it what it is - a LIE. McCain is a LIAR. His campaign and he personally are LIAR's. There credibility is nonexistent.

When the press knows something is a lie, Please say so! Don't just say "McCain says this..." "Obama says this ..." When you know McCain is lying you have to say so.

Shame on John McCain. Shame on the McCain Campaign. Shame on any members of the media who know they are lying and fail to report it.

McCain is not only lying but HE IS POLITICIZING the troops. Obama tried not to and McCain just grabbed it and is pimping it for all its worth. It is bulls#$%!

He is a disgrace.

Posted by: Kristi | July 30, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

GandalftheGrey you might be pleased to now Obama visited Walter Reed pre-scandal but did nothing about the conditions until after that scandal broke. That is a fact.

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 sorry to hear about your son. But it was a good thing he was not looking forward to Obama's visit in Germany. It would of been real disapointing to find out Obama changed his mind to avoid dirty tricks.

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

McCain has proven himself to be just another slandering slime bucket Republican. I am glad that some of the media (Balz, aptly named) is reporting his lie. Others (like Zeleny, he's no Balz, apparently) fudged it as another "he said, he said" issue, which is the sort of response from the media that encourages the Republicans to keep up their lying attacks.

Posted by: Chuck | July 30, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama Quietly Visits Veterans at Walter Reed
by Associated Press
Saturday, June 28, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama stopped by Walter Reed Army Medical Center Saturday to visit wounded war veterans, a group that he has said endures substandard care under the Bush administration.

The presumed Democratic nominee, who was in Washington to speak to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, slipped into the facility shortly after 9 a.m. without stopping to speak to the small group of reporters who follow him. The visit wasn't on his public schedule.

Obama has criticized the Bush administration for its treatment of veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and has suggested Republican rival John McCain would continue Bush policies if elected.

The administration was roundly criticized last year after it was revealed that veterans at Walter Reed were housed in rundown accommodations and suffered neglectful care.

Obama has said the country has failed its veterans by allowing such "second-rate conditions," by not giving troops enough time at home and not doing enough to support military families.

***************

Obama to visit Walter Reed
By MIKE ALLEN | 6/27/08 7:43 PM EST


Barack Obama is scheduled to pay a solemn visit to wounded Iraq veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington on Saturday, Politico has learned.

The visit will be Obama's third.

Obama's staff is keeping his trip low-key. It is not on his public schedule, and his campaign would not confirm it. A pool of reporters will go with him, but will not accompany him inside.

Obama will be in Washington to speak to the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. His opponent for president, John McCain, will also address the group.

******************
Obama visits Afghanistan to tour war zone

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama visits with troops in Kuwait and Afghanistan

NAHAL TOOSI
AP News

Jul 19, 2008 06:46 EST

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama started a campaign-season tour of combat zones and foreign capitals, visiting with U.S. forces in Kuwait and then Afghanistan -- the scene of a war he says deserves more attention and more troops.

The Illinois senator arrived Saturday in Kabul as part of an official congressional delegation and then flew to eastern Afghanistan. Staff. Sgt. David Hopkins said Obama and two other senators were making a brief stop in Jalalabad airfield, in Nangarhar province, to visit with soldiers stationed there.

Obama's first visit to Afghanistan, coming less than four months before the general election, was rich with political implications. Republican presidential rival John McCain has criticized Obama for his lack of time in the region. Obama is also expected to stop later in Iraq.

Robert Gibbs, a campaign spokesman, said Obama arrived in Kabul around noon. En route from Washington, he made a stopover in Kuwait to meet with U.S. forces stationed there, Gibbs said.

Posted by: GandalftheGrey | July 30, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I know exactly what you men. Unlike most of the more venomous right wing attack dogs here, one of my sons was IN that hospital after his Bradly was blown up and he was badly injured. Most of them don't have the slightest idea of what genuine sacrifice and patriotism is. They wave their made in China flags and play "whack-a-mole" --- laying their silly traps and damning Obama no matter what he does. I'm sick of it and sick of them.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 30, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 so what? Sandbagged! I would not need to have my hand held to go anywhere. If it is a dirty trick to make Obama follow established rules then so be it. Oh my god! Obama did not have his wet nurse so he could not do the right thing and see are brave men and women.

Posted by: Moniker | July 30, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Le sigh, typical 24 hr news style slander. It takes 10 seconds to make an accusation (obama snubs troops!) and 2 minutes to explain, no, that's just not true. Then it takes 10 seconds to make some new slander (Obama is an opportunist/Obama backs down under preassure/Obama is indesicive!) and takes another 2 minutes to explain why that's not true either. Eventually people will stop paying attention, the question is what's the last thing they heard?

So, congradulations to McCain for ads that clearly will help you more then hurt you. Too bad it's exactly the kind of politics you once stood against however.

I imagine the best thing that Obama could do in this situation is constantly reply with a short quip. Everytime someone in the campaign is asked they would start with the statement.
"These ads make no sense; we never wanted reporters in the hospitals."
And then once that's said rational arguements can be allowed. Repeat it enough and the tv's will put up the phrase "never wanted troops in the hospital" and the damage from these ads might be mostly contained.

Posted by: John | July 30, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

McCain is lying. Clearly. By all accounts. He is distorting the truth and lying. His campaign, as Robert Novak wrote the other day, is in a shambles. He is ruining his legacy as a war hero and a straight shooter. He is disgracing himself. It's a shame.

Posted by: Kid TJ | July 30, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

From what I hear, Obama was always under the impression that he could bring his military advisor with him. The Pentagon knew this, as he had told them of his plans well in advance. When, at the very last minute, after the Senatorial delegation had left and he had no one other than his campaign staff with him, then and only then did the Pentagon make that rule. I am sure Mr. Obama felt he was being sand bagged. I know almost anyone would feel exactly the same way. So, he anticipated some sort of dirty trick by the Pentagon, as he had already experienced similar political attacks from that nest of Bush rats. So he cancelled the whole trip. I would have too.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 30, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I hate being called "you people". Us people don't like liars and racists. We may not know how to win but we don't have to Obama does. And Obama can't without our vote.

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Can you tell me what Mccain did today? I know, another day lost as Mccain is pulled off message. Obama has him running in circles.

========
EVEN IF THIS IS COMPLETELY CORRECT, OBAMA IS CLAIMING THAT HE IS READY TO BE OUR NATION'S COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

IF THAT IS REALLY THE CASE,

HE NEVERTHELESS FOLDED HIS HAND ON VISITING WOUNDED TROOPS.

PERHAPS HE WAS 'SET UP' FOR THE FALL BY THE PENTAGON, BUT IF THAT IS SO, HE EXERCISED POOR JUDGMENT IN LETTING IT HAPPEN.

I BELIEVE THIS IS MCCAIN'S POINT EXACTLY, NOT THAT OBAMA IS NOT A VERY DECENT AMERICAN ++++

BUT THAT HE LACKS THE EXPERIENCE NECESSARY TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

CASE CLOSED ???

Posted by: brucerealtor | July 29, 2008 11:26 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Morgan Obama in your scenario is much worse. He made the plans and changed them to foil McCain at the troops expense. Your brillant Kevin.

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

But there is no evidence that Obama ever planned to bring anyone to the hospital other than a single military adviser, whose status as a campaign staffer sparked last-minute concern among Pentagon officials that the visit would be an improper political event. The Obama campaign has cited those concerns as the reason for canceling Obama's visit."
--------------------------------------
EVEN IF THIS IS COMPLETELY CORRECT, OBAMA IS CLAIMING THAT HE IS READY TO BE OUR NATION'S COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

IF THAT IS REALLY THE CASE,

HE NEVERTHELESS FOLDED HIS HAND ON VISITING WOUNDED TROOPS.

PERHAPS HE WAS 'SET UP' FOR THE FALL BY THE PENTAGON, BUT IF THAT IS SO, HE EXERCISED POOR JUDGMENT IN LETTING IT HAPPEN.

I BELIEVE THIS IS MCCAIN'S POINT EXACTLY, NOT THAT OBAMA IS NOT A VERY DECENT AMERICAN ++++

BUT THAT HE LACKS THE EXPERIENCE NECESSARY TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

CASE CLOSED ???

Posted by: brucerealtor | July 29, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

WAS OBAMA 'GASLIGHTED'? DID THEY HAND HIM THE MATCH AND HE NAIVELY LIT THE FLAME?

You know how Obama said he was "played" by that sweet German reporter who sneaked into the gym and wrote about his firm tush and such... and then posed with a smiling Obama?

Well, it sounds like he may have been "played" on the hospital visit snafu.

The Pentagon firmly cautioned Obama that he wouldn't want to look like he was electioneering with the wounded, making it sound like he would be violating some kind of code of political conduct if he went to the hospital.

Perhaps Obama and/or his people fell into a linguistic trap. And maybe, just maybe, it was in the grand tradition of those merry political pranksters, Donald Segretti and Karl Rove.

Now, no one will never know for sure; but it sure was interesting how fast the McCain campaign got that attack ad on the air.

I think the psy ops guys call it "dissonant linguistics" or "linguistic dissonance" or "dysfunctional linguini", or something convoluted like that.

In a column about possible "minefields" that might be planted under Obama's path on his foreign tour, we considered the possibility of dirty tricks, thusly:

"...Feed him some disinformation and hope he regurgitates it to the press, which will have been given a covert heads up."

Perhaps the disinformation was that a solo visit to the wounded troops would be considered political, when in fact congresspeople make such visits all the time (as Obama should have known).

Of course, nobody forced Obama and/or his people to fall for it, which they did.

It was a rookie mistake that may have led him to participate in his own "gaslighting," to borrow a phrase from the Ingrid Bergman movie, "Gaslight."

Google that term. You will find it has some harrowing socio-political connotations which may apply to the present body politic -- and to the story below:


"VIGILANTE INJUSTICE": LEARN ABOUT
STATE-SUPPORTED DOMESTIC TERRORISM:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

Posted by: scrivener | July 29, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I am satisfied. Here is why. Obama knew that the right wing was going to exploit the visit to smear him whether he went with the press or by himself.

Who is really exploiting our soldiers here? Who used the soldiers to smear Obama? Who was waiting in the wings for any opportunity? It is the McCain camp who is disrespecting our soldiers by exploiting them.

Posted by: Kevin Morgan | July 29, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Careful what you wish for.

I think in a couple more days, aided by all the abuse from McCain, Obama will decide 'Gosh darn it, I SHOULD go visit the wounded troop, and I'm gonna do it."

And then he will proceed to have the biggest, baddest, troop-visiting, extravaganza, pullooza event ever - making McCain again look like a 2nd rate loser.

Face it - he does everything like a pro.

Posted by: Time for a nap | July 29, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Damian 1, idiots throughout this country hold you in awe.

Posted by: Dennis | July 29, 2008 10:27 PM

----------------------------------------
It's DAMAN1, not Damian you retard. And it's not just in this country that idiots hold me in awe...I'm quite well travelled.

Posted by: Daman1 | July 29, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

McCain loves the troops so much that he wants them to stay in Iraq and get shot at and dodge IEDs for another four years.

Posted by: Patrick | July 29, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

John Mccain is the one who exploited the troops and now looks like a fool. More days with Mccain chasing his tail

=====
Krishna it boils down to the fact Obama saw this thing affecting his campaign not the troops. He caused the troops more headlines by not going and he regrets nothing? Come on.

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 10:35 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

This is McCains honorable campaign that he promised he would run ? Barf !

Posted by: stryker | July 29, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

It's called politics. I have registered over 200 who will all be Obama voters and I will even be making sure they get to the polls in November. I am only one of thousands on the ground around the country. I am afraid complaining will not get your candidate elected. You people don't know how to win.

====
When Obama has a problem he just throws yours and lobbyist money at it. Yes Obama has their money also 52 Mil worth. 20 Mil is now going to "mobilze" Hispanic voters. Seems he has such a deserved bad rap with them that he has to pay for locals in key areas to endorse him. Vote for Obama these paid headHunters will be saying. The problem is what they wont be saying about Obama to these Hispanics!

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 10:30 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Krishna it boils down to the fact Obama saw this thing affecting his campaign not the troops. He caused the troops more headlines by not going and he regrets nothing? Come on.

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Well Chris of the Fix, judging by the tone of your blog I think you are not satisfied. For me it is not that big of a deal issue. Obama did call over to the hospital. Politically, you could argue he should have went to avoid McCain, FOX NEWS, and mainstream media from making it a big deal. With that said, Obama has visited plenty of our wounded veterans over the past few years.

McCain and his campaign as well as conservative media want to make this a continual campaign issue because they are weak on the issues that matter most to Americans.

The cover of Obama not visiting the veterans in the German hospital is the most recent evidence that shows how the main stream media continually coddles John McCain.

McCain said in his interview with Sunday's ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous that increasing payroll taxes are on the table for Social Security which goes against McCain's original pledge (up until July 27, 2008) of "no new taxes". Then McCain's spokesman, Tucker Bounds, goes on FOX NEWS and dismisses McCain's statements as not representing the campaign.

What?! Huh?! Isn't McCain in charge of his own campaign? The media should be all over this but no. Only a couple TV media outlets discuss this contradiction.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 29, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/28/andrea-mitchell-leads-med_n_115501.html

======

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Fix Pick: Obama, McCain and the Troop Visit That Wasn't
Ever since the news of Barack Obama's decision to skip a visit to wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany broke last week, John McCain and his campaign have been doing their darndest to keep the story alive.

Surrogates have been dispatched to cable news programs, conference calls denouncing Obama have been organized, ads have been launched. McCain himself even got in on the act last night insisting during an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" that Obama had skipped the visit because no press -- specifically television -- would have covered it.

All of which begs the question: What is really going on here?

Lucky for Fix readers, two top-notch reporters -- the Post's Dan Balz and the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny -- who were on Obama's foreign trip offered their thoughts in separate pieces today. Do yourself a favor and read them both.

But, if you can't -- The Fix knows how very busy everyone is -- below you'll find the key excerpts from each piece.

First, the Post story penned by Balz and Michael Shear:

"In essence, the McCain charge is this: Obama cares so little for the welfare of wounded American soldiers that he canceled the visit when he was informed he could not bring reporters and television cameras to document it.

But there is no evidence that Obama ever planned to bring anyone to the hospital other than a single military adviser, whose status as a campaign staffer sparked last-minute concern among Pentagon officials that the visit would be an improper political event. The Obama campaign has cited those concerns as the reason for canceling Obama's visit."

And, now Zeleny's take:

"The cancellation provided one of the few sour notes in an overseas trip that otherwise seemed to be well orchestrated. It offered an opening on a subject, military affairs, that the McCain campaign believes Mr. Obama is vulnerable on.

If the story behind the story of the canceled troop visit has run its course, one question remains: Why didn't Mr. Obama leave his aides behind, even the retired general, and make the visit by himself?

'Even him going alone would likely be characterized by some as a political event,' Mr. Gibbs said in an interview on Monday, adding, "He decided not to put the troops in that position."

Satisfied? Or not?

By Chris Cillizza | July 29, 2008; 7:47 PM ET | Category: Fix Picks
Previous: Analysis: Stevens Indicted in Alaska |


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Comments Please email us to report offensive comments.

'Even him going alone would likely be characterized by some as a political event,' Mr. Gibbs said in an interview on Monday, adding, "He decided not to put the troops in that position."

Really? Then why was it planed in the first place? Why couldn't anybody in this vaunted campaign team think of that in the beginning?

Mr. Gibbs's explanation doesn't pass he smell test.

Posted by: Krishna | July 29, 2008 10:28 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

When Obama has a problem he just throws yours and lobbyist money at it. Yes Obama has their money also 52 Mil worth. 20 Mil is now going to "mobilze" Hispanic voters. Seems he has such a deserved bad rap with them that he has to pay for locals in key areas to endorse him. Vote for Obama these paid headHunters will be saying. The problem is what they wont be saying about Obama to these Hispanics!

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

'Even him going alone would likely be characterized by some as a political event,' Mr. Gibbs said in an interview on Monday, adding, "He decided not to put the troops in that position."

Really? Then why was it planed in the first place? Why couldn't anybody in this vaunted campaign team think of that in the beginning?

Mr. Gibbs's explanation doesn't pass he smell test.

Posted by: Krishna | July 29, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

If you actually believe that you are already beat
=========

"Obama has him chasing his tail and Mccain doesn't even know it."

Obama was the one running out of the country when McCain dared him. Rub Obama on the carpet and he'll go like those little toy cars.

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 10:10 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Damian 1, idiots throughout this country hold you in awe.

Posted by: Dennis | July 29, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 9:45 PM
"Obama is such a scum bag. He is going to destroy this country."

OK Mr. anonymouse, how is Senator Obama going to destroy this country?
Did you listen to entertainment talk radio long enough to find out or did you lose your train of thought before you surfed to a different station.

I hope you weren't driving were you?
Commenter's like you shouldn't drive AND listen to the radio, ride with passengers or use a cell phone;
that's way to much distraction for you!!!!

Posted by: JAC | July 29, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

And this post is getting more votes for John Mccain how? Have you donated to your candidate? Have you campaigned for him? Will you even vote?

------------------------------------
Yes, No and Yes. I wish we had a more conservative candidate but ya dance with the one that brung ya. I'm just here for the chicks anyway.

Posted by: Daman1 | July 29, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Mccain is just ridiculous and comes off like a fool. In a race many have said will be close, it will be the last week and his going 100% negative, something it is not possible to go back from once you start, this will be where they will say Mccain lost the race. This last week will be Mccains sniper week, (Remember Hillary). It is like he doesn't, maybe he doesn't, want to win. All politicos will tell you this does not work. Negative has to be based on something, it can't just be made up. The public may not be real bright but they also are not that stupid either.

========
Both McCain and Obama are way off:

I don't think Obama has any ill feelings towards our troops. I think he respects them a great deal, and if elected, will do what he can to support them. That being said, I think this just shows that he panicked under some pressure. He was given two tough choices, go to the hospital alone, leaving everyone else behind which he didn't want to do, or to cancel the whole event.

I would have chosen the former but he chose the latter.

I am a proud conservative but thin McCain is way off on this, and almost everything else. To try to paint what might be the next commander-in-chief as anti-troops is really hurtful. If Obama gets elected and even one troop member feels that Obama does not care about him because of McCains ad, McCain did a great amount of damage. I hope he realizes this and stops putting out this kind of garbage and starts to run the campaign he promised people.

Im so sick of this election, they're both terrible.

Posted by: George | July 29, 2008 10:07 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

"Obama has him chasing his tail and Mccain doesn't even know it."

Obama was the one running out of the country when McCain dared him. Rub Obama on the carpet and he'll go like those little toy cars.

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

And this post is getting more votes for John Mccain how? Have you donated to your candidate? Have you campaigned for him? Will you even vote?

======
Basketball? I heard he went to get a Swedish massage/rubdown instead of visiting the troops? What's the real story here?

Posted by: Daman1 | July 29, 2008 10:05 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Both McCain and Obama are way off:

I don't think Obama has any ill feelings towards our troops. I think he respects them a great deal, and if elected, will do what he can to support them. That being said, I think this just shows that he panicked under some pressure. He was given two tough choices, go to the hospital alone, leaving everyone else behind which he didn't want to do, or to cancel the whole event.

I would have chosen the former but he chose the latter.

I am a proud conservative but thin McCain is way off on this, and almost everything else. To try to paint what might be the next commander-in-chief as anti-troops is really hurtful. If Obama gets elected and even one troop member feels that Obama does not care about him because of McCains ad, McCain did a great amount of damage. I hope he realizes this and stops putting out this kind of garbage and starts to run the campaign he promised people.

Im so sick of this election, they're both terrible.

Posted by: George | July 29, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Moniker, your to rich. I'm stopping by just to see you in action. These guys and gals posting these days make it interesting. Thank goodness because then it would be just Chris...

Posted by: Bye Bye Crow | July 29, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Basketball? I heard he went to get a Swedish massage/rubdown instead of visiting the troops? What's the real story here?

Posted by: Daman1 | July 29, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Another day and John Mccain is still off message, Obama has him chasing his tail and Mccain doesn't even know it. It is so easy to push Mccains buttons they must be in the Obama offices wondering what is the next bogus thing they can bait Mccain into going after and looking like a fool.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The news story that Barack Obama snubed our wounded troops in Germany in order to go to the gym (where cameras were allowed and going to the gym is much more important you see)

- Madhatter

You are a friggin idiot. BTW, 'snubed' is with two dees.

1. The gym you are referring to was at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, during his recent overseas trip. He sank his only three-point shot under the pressure of having to perform in front of our beloved soldiers.

2. The film stock you are also citing was recorded by the Department of Defense. Do a Google, or watch the DOD footage on You Tube.

3. During his visit with these troops, the press DID NOT go along with him. This was a closed event.

4. During Obama's trip to Baghdad, he visited wounded soldiers in the Green Zone at the heart of the city.

5. Last but not least, he visited our armed forces in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Chris - you're contrbuting to the muck raking with this rhetorical question. You're fanning the flames of a baseless story.

Although you're merely a blogger, please temper your posts with the facts; otherwise, we can simply chalk this blog up to yet another sleezy ad-spot for WaPost.com.

I'll take a pass on coming back here for succinct analysis in the future..

Posted by: Eatin' Crow | July 29, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Bob, Gilbert, and Isolation...you guys are the typical lib response when you are losing an argument. Get personal, make fun of your opponents physical appearance, play the race card and assume everyone who doesn't agree with you is racist or a hick. Liberals like to think they are so caring and inclusive but are actually the most angry, hating and racist as they always see color first and want to categorize you.

Posted by: Daman1 | July 29, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Do that again Joan. I did not even think it was possible to channel the Obama camp.

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama could have visited the troops alone had he wished to do so. He didn't. End of story.

Posted by: JackESpratt | July 29, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, by all means let's place our attention on McCain's characterization of Senator Obama's decision not to visit the wounded instead of on the deed itself. And the bandage on his mole-skinned, aged face.

Posted by: distracted | July 29, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Bob, age discrimination is your thing. Right? McCain is not fit to serve because he is old according to you.

Posted by: Lindell | July 29, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

It is so disheartening to know that people are trying hard to find ways to decrease the violence in our country and then to have to listen to John McCain and his campaign trash talking about Barack Obama all the time. It has been my experience that violence is preceded by trash talking. I wish the media would quit making excuses for and/or justifying nasty, gutter strategies as legitimate ways to win campaigns. John McCain has served our country honorably in the past, but he is currently serving it dishonorably.

Posted by: Joan | July 29, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Has McCain's ear fallen off yet? I'm concerned his leprosy is contagious.

Posted by: Isolation | July 29, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The only thing you can take from Dan Balz's story is that John McCain is a LIAR. The media needs to call this for what is it -- a bald face LIE.

Posted by: McCain = Liar | July 29, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

What does being black have to do with it? Cocaine is a rich drug. Who can really even afford cocaine? Gilbert Cantlin you are being typical. If the facts are bad about Obama hammer the messenger with racism

Posted by: Lindell | July 29, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert, you are so right.
I am white and know "these people" quite well.
They, are what we call "white trash"
They have dead end jobs, no career, lousy family life.
They have to blame someone for their miserable life.
-The judge did not give them a break.
-The wife got too much child support.
-The boss does not understand.

And of course, the biggest cause of their problems.....MINORITIES!

But don't worry.
White trash people, never vote. They don't even know where to vote. On election day you can find white trash at your local tavern...or police lock up.

Posted by: Bob | July 29, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama is such a scum bag. He is going to destroy this country.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

To Moniker: although I would like to disagree. I can't. Obama needed to suck it up and apologize to those troops.

Posted by: Al C. | July 29, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Click here to visit Fact-Check: http://www.factcheck.org/

It recounts 7 major lies that John "Angry Bush" McCain has told about Obama or Obama's record this month alone.

John McCain is lying to American voters. Shame on him.

After 7 years of Bush and Cheney leading the country, we need a president who has some respect for FACTS and TRUTH if we're ever going to get back on track.

To lie to the American people is unpatriotic.

Posted by: Amy | July 29, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Wait- he did do drugs, it's a fact (coke and weed)and admitted it in his book. He even read it in his own voice on the audio version of the book (I wish some 527 would make a commercial with him reading that).

Posted by: Daman1 | July 29, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

All that crap about Obama and drugs--just because he's half black--is sick! You people are only bigoted gossip mongers, nothing else. Why don't you spend some time becoming genuinely informed before you spout all your garbage?

Gilbert Cantlin

Posted by: Gilbert Cantlin | July 29, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Bob, didn't I see your post by another name. Also I believe one clever response to your "what if" about McCain was that Obama being a former user of cocaine. He is 70% more likely to turn back to the drug under times of severe stress.
Wow that is scary!

Posted by: Lindell | July 29, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of basketball...I heard from an inside campaign source that Michelle and Barry Obama are already planning to add a Kwanza display next to the National Christmas Tree...I'm not sure what Kwanza is but I think it is a made up holiday to celebrate the first time Dr. J dunked from the foul line....or something.

Posted by: Daman1 | July 29, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

He's been sinking in the polls like a rock since Saturday. It's this combined with viral email from from the soldier based in Afghanistan that will derail his campaign.

Posted by: Jeremy | July 29, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

It is very simple. Obama was worried about appearance. That is not in dispute. In the end, the only ones that suffered were the troops. Obama thought of only himself and his campaign taking heat on this one. McCain would have taken that heat and you know it. Also Obama even seemed proud of his decision and claimed no regrets in a televised interview. None! Talk about arrogance. He did not even say sorry once.

Posted by: Moniker | July 29, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

According to the National Institute of Health if John McCain were to be elected there is a significant chance he would develop Alzheimer's Disease and suffer dementia.
About 5 percent of people ages 65 to 74 have Alzheimer's Disease.
The rate increases dramatically to 50% in people 85 and older.

While in office, McCain would have a 15% chance of developing Alzheimer's and dementia and would be unable to perform the duties of President.

There are several tests to determine if someone has, or is developing the disease. McCain REFUSES to take the tests.

According to the NIH the tests include:
Tests to measure memory, problem solving, attention, counting, and language. Spinal fluid tests and brain scans. McCain released his medical records for a 4-hour period of time, would not let reporters make copies, or ask questions.

On the campaign trail McCain has made numerous verbal gaffes, including the need to refer repeatedly to cue cards to remember basic facts like the price of milk. He has spoken at length about countries that no longer exist. He has confused the borders of major countries.
And he gets angry quickly.

McCain could put the rumors to rest by taking a few tests. But he refuses.

Posted by: BOB | July 29, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

This is one of those issues where a veep will come in handy, the top surrogate who can fight fire with fire and turn defense into offense. Someone who can let McCain know that there will be a price to be paid for each attack.

Posted by: Optimyst | July 29, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is lying to voters. Shame on him.

After 7 years of Bush and Cheney leading the country, the American people will insist in November on a president who has some respect for FACTS and TRUTH.

John McCain = Angry Bush.

No thanks.


Posted by: Amy | July 29, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Linguist,
you have described the classic Karl Rove tactic of attacking a strength. I think it's a pretty thoughtful insight and I'm glad I read it.

Posted by: THUD | July 29, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

EYES ONLY TO 'LINGUIST':

You seem to have the inside track on this one. Why not share? We will be able to separate the disinformation from the accidental truth.

Your post about basketball has the genuine ring of someone who understands "cognitive dissonance" and "Neuro-Linguistic Programming"...

NLP -- am I speaking your language?

Posted by: scrivener | July 29, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"IF Senator McCain's campaign gets its way...the Obama campaign CAN'T use that shot..."

Slander doesn't seem to be working very well this time, so it's not clear anyone of a mind to be swayed will be much affected by what McCain is saying. Besides, for good or ill if the basketball video becomes popular it will just go viral on the internet.

Everybody loves the troops, but they too are political creatures and most are strongly committed to "winning the war," whatever that means. In Obama's position, I think I also would have declined to go unaccompanied on such a visit. I very much doubt that any such stricture would have been placed on Sen. McCain.

Posted by: fzdybel | July 29, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

It all goes to character and decisionmaking...all bad in this case for Obama. I think he just Swiftboated himself. This is spreading virally on the internet and especially on military and military family websites. Curious to see what the polls will look like next week.

Posted by: Daman1 | July 29, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Madhatter, you are wrong on every count. The MSM NEVER makes a big deal out of such matters when it comes to republicans. Witness all the gaffes from McCain these past couple of weeks, and his flip-flops on all kinds of issues, including abortion. NOTHING.

But flag lapel pins? An over-excited reverend? The MSM obsessed over what Gore was wearing and pimped stories like he said he invented the internet, which of course, he did not. With Hillary it was whether she tipped at a restaurant and whether she laughed too much; with Edwards, it was his haircut. On and on.

If this had been McCain, I venture there would have been nothing.

Posted by: Monk | July 29, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse


This is one of those idiotic non-issues that the mainstream media loves all too well. Gore was kicked up and down the street on such phony non-issues and history was changed because of it.

It's stupid, stupid, stupid. But it's also a strategy that has worked for Republicans: thrown everything against the media wall --eventually something will stick. Witness the swift boat campaign.

Some "maverick" McCain is. This is the best he's got? Kvetching like an ornery old grandpa?

Posted by: Monk | July 29, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

The news story that Barack Obama snubed our wounded troops in Germany in order to go to the gym (where cameras were allowed and going to the gym is much more important you see) would be a big, big scandal with every newspaper and journalist in the country crying their crocodile tears over it exept for one thing, Barack Obama is the Democratic Party--controlled MSM's tin foil god and he's a pc-black. If McCain or any Republican had done that it wouldn't be just a couple of journalists like Balz and Zeleny, or a few by-the-way mentions on the evening news, it would be a front page above-the-fold scandal-story right up to the November 4th election. The MSM would be crucifying McCain and the Obamanistas wouldn't need to lift a finger nor pay out a dime for any negative ads.

Posted by: madhatter | July 29, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

WAS OBAMA 'GASLIGHTED'? DID THEY HAND HIM THE MATCH AND HE NAIVELY LIT THE FLAME?

You know how Obama said he was "played" by that sweet German reporter who sneaked into the gym and wrote about his firm tush and such... and then posed with a smiling Obama?

Obama said he was "played." Well, it sounds like he may have been "played" on the hospital visit snafu.

The Pentagon firmly cautioned Obama that he wouldn't want to look like he was electioneering with the wounded, making it sound like he would be violating some kind of code of political conduct if he went to the hospital.

Perhaps Obama and/or his people fell into a linguistic trap. And maybe, just maybe, it was in the grand tradition of those merry political pranksters, Donald Segretti and Karl Rove.

Now, no one will never know for sure; but it sure was interesting how fast the McCain campaign got that attack ad on the air.

I think the psy ops guys call it "dissonant linguistics," or something convoluted like that.

In a column about possible "minefields" that might be planted under Obama's path on his foreign tour, we considered the possibility of dirty tricks trip, thusly:

"...Feed him some disinformation and hope he regurgitates it to the press, which will have been given a covert heads up."

Perhaps the disinformation was that a solo visit to the wounded troops would be considered political, when in fact congresspeople make such visits all the time (as Obama should have known).

Of course, nobody forced Obama and/or his people to fall for it, which they did.

It was a rookie mistake that may have led him to participate in his own "gaslighting," to borrow a phrase from the Ingrid Bergman movie, "Gaslight."

Google that term. You will find it has some harrowing socio-political connotations which may apply to the present body politic -- and to the story below:


"VIGILANTE INJUSTICE": LEARN ABOUT
STATE-SUPPORTED DOMESTIC TERRORISM:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/get-political-vic-livingston-opinion-expose-state-supported-vigilante-squads-doing-domestic-terrorism

Posted by: scrivener | July 29, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

actually it was an attempt to drive that picture of McCain with the Dalai Llamma off the boards, remember... the Content leading the Incontinent.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 29, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

What kind of nonsense is this? Sorry McCain, this isn't Vietnam anymore. Just because he's a liberal doesn't mean he hates the troops. Too bad that kind of caricature actually does work in electoral politics...

Posted by: Finn | July 29, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Taking the high road in a low road McCain campaign environment leaves Obama in a no win situation. Had he gone, even alone, there is a chance the McCain side would have politicized the situation. I am disappointed the corporate media has decided to pay unequal and negative attention to Obama when McCain on a daily basis mumbles, stumbles and fumbles his way along the campaign trail often telling outright lies and other misrepresentations including revisionist history. The media seems to treat McCain like Bush--velvet gloves. Is there a concern by reporters they will be the one to rigger McCain (or Bush) from going off the deep end? Media: show courage, U.S.A. above all partisan interests!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
I saw you on Hardball today and you were great as usual. But the one key point none of you raised re: the WH talking points McClellan said were provided to FoxNews hosts is that the problem isn't so much that the WH gave them talking points, it is that the hosts use them as though they are factual arguments. (For example, I have personally heard Hannity parrot WH talking points on a regular basis.)

It wouldn't be a problem if they said, "according to the White House..." or "the White House position is...".

There is a law that prohibits the feds from spreading propaganda (which is why the Voice of America cannot be heard in the U.S.). Under the Bush Administration, the gov't doesn't have to spread the propaganda -- they have plenty of hacks willing to do it for them. After all, it is a lot simpler to just repeat what you read or heard. As you know, it takes time and effort to actually research an issue and develop your own opinion of it.

Posted by: Rhonda | July 29, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Actually, here's my guess of what's really going on:

If you listen to Senator McCain or watch his ads on this issue, they make the point that Senator Obama went instead "to play basketball".

Why is that significant?

When I saw Senator Obama make that basketball shot, I immediately thought, "Wow. He wins. He wins the visuals. He wins the election. In a country where visuals appear to count for everything, that shot is going to be seen in ad after ad, and it's actually going to go a long way to destroy a lot of the nonsense about Senator Obama being an "elitist", an intellectual, an "other".

Except now......IF Senator McCain's campaign gets its way...the Obama campaign CAN'T use that shot since it will remind people that he supposedly preferred going to the gym to seeing troops in hospital.

Think I'm crazy?

Maybe. But it certainly makes sense to me.

Posted by: Linguist | July 29, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Flags, lapel pins, troops. All these are just symbols and not of any importance to the nuanced mind. Leave that stuff to the bitter unenlightened masses and people from Kansas who are too constipated to know what is best for them.

Posted by: Turkey | July 29, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

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