Finally! The gloves are off! Sarah Palin is hitting Obama hard…where it hurts him most. The soft underbelly of his slimy character:
Palin told a group of donors at a private airport, “Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” She also said, “This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America.”
Palin, Alaska’s governor, said that donors on a greeting line had encouraged her and McCain to get tougher on Obama. She said an aide then advised her, “Sarah, the gloves are off, the heels are on, go get to them.”
The escalated effort to attack Obama’s character dovetails with TV ads by outside groups questioning Obama’s ties to Ayers, convicted former Obama fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko and Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
This jives with what The Washington Post reported, this morning:
Sen. John McCain and his Republican allies are readying a newly aggressive assault on Sen. Barack Obama‘s character, believing that to win in November they must shift the conversation back to questions about the Democrat’s judgment, honesty and personal associations, several top Republicans said.
With just a month to go until Election Day, McCain’s team has decided that its emphasis on the senator’s biography as a war hero, experienced lawmaker and straight-talking maverick is insufficient to close a growing gap with Obama. The Arizonan’s campaign is also eager to move the conversation away from the economy, an issue that strongly favors Obama and has helped him to a lead in many recent polls.
“We’re going to get a little tougher,” a senior Republican operative said, indicating that a fresh batch of television ads is coming. “We’ve got to question this guy’s associations. Very soon. There’s no question that we have to change the subject here,” said the operative, who was not authorized to discuss strategy and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Being so aggressive has risks for McCain if it angers swing voters, who often say they are looking for candidates who offer a positive message about what they will do. That could be especially true this year, when frustration with Washington politics is acute and a desire for specifics on how to fix the economy and fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is strong.
I’m not too worried about the so called “risks” at this point. McCain/Palin are sinking in the polls, and that calls for tough measures. Obama never should have made it this far with his background. This should have all come to the fore, much earlier than now. It looks like Sarah is coming out with both barrels blazing, and that is excellent news, because by Palin, personally going after Obama in this fashion, the media is obliged to cover it, (although the A.P. does so tepidly). Still, the issue is getting more attention, and Obama can’t very well sic his goon squad lawyers on Governor Palin, like he does to t.v., and radio stations.
Now, he has to keep answering to his association with William Ayers, himself, and he always does a painfully bad job trying to explain it, because the truth is…..he was buds with the guy, and that’s a hard thing to excuse.
Keep it up, Sarah, God love ya!
Ace is live blogging a McCain/Palin rally in Carson, CA., and ‘Cuda is on the attack, hitting Obama again on the Ayers thing. Go Sarah!
Someone call the whaaaaambulance:
As Obama was in an airplane heading to Asheville, NC, for debate preparations, his campaign responded forcefully with a statement, calling Palin’s shot “desperate,” “false,” and a distraction from the nation’s economic ills.
Governor Palin’s comments, while offensive, are not surprising, given the McCain campaign’s statement this morning that they would be launching Swiftboat-like attacks in hopes of deflecting attention from the nation’s economic ills. In fact, the very newspaper story Governor Palin cited in hurling her shameless attack made clear that Senator Obama is not close to Bill Ayers, much less ‘pals,’ and that he has strongly condemned the despicable acts Ayers committed 40 years ago, when Obama was eight. What’s clear is that John McCain and Sarah Palin would rather spend their time tearing down Barack Obama than laying out a plan to build up our economy.
How old was Obama, when his buddy Bill Ayers did those despicable acts, again?
Desperation is coming up with the same lamo excuses that didn’t work the first time.
Which reminds me. I think the Rev. Wright is due to make a reappearance any time, now;
How old was Obama when he was sitting in those pews for 20 years? Hmmmmmm?
Jake Tapper at Political Punch says that the McCain campaign is about to open up a “can of whoop-ass” on Obama.
I like it.
He also says:
There’s also a curious story bubbling out there about a former Obama poker buddy, Will County Executive Larry Walsh, and questions leveled by a political opponent about Walsh’s connections to a county contractor.
It’s unclear that Walsh did anything remotely wrong, but, hey, it’s October.
Sounds complicated and uninteresting, and there’s not enough time left to get people interested.
…May be useful in a …*one more corrupt crony* sort of way, I guess, but I really think they need to stay on Ayers, Wright, and Rezko.
The MSM are covering the Obama Ayers connection thus: Obama and Ayers were just a couple of guys who ran into each other occasionally, served on a board together, and lived in the same neighborhood. They are all careful to mention that Obama has condemned Ayers’ despicable acts that occurred when Obama was only eight years old.
In other words, they are pretty much parroting the Obama campaign’s talking points.
The McCain campaign really needs to put out an ad that is specific and detailed, beyond making allegations. They should be in contact with Stanley Kurtz for help with this.
They can’t make this case by making vague generalizations, as in, “Obama palled around with a terrorist”. That’s a good start, but now it has to be backed up with the facts.
The MSM are circling the wagons right now. The McCain campaign needs to find a way to cut through their wall of bullshit for the kill.
UPDATE V (Oct. 5):
After receiving a fresh batch of racism charges (big surprise, there), the McCain Plain team are sticking to their guns:
The last four weeks of this election will be about whether the American people are willing to turn our economy and national security over to Barack Obama, a man with little record, questionable judgment, and ties to radical figures like unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers. Americans need to ask themselves if they’ve ever befriended an unrepentant terrorist, or had a convicted felon help them buy their house — because those aren’t smears, those are true facts about Barack Obama.” —Tucker Bounds, spokesman McCain-Palin 2008
It sounds to me like Palin is relishing her role as attack dog:
During her stop in California, Palin was asked about an Associated Press analysis that said her charge about Ayers was unsubstantiated, a point made by other news organizations, and the criticism carried a “racially tinged subtext that McCain may come to regret.”
“The Associated Press is wrong,” Palin said. “The comments are about an association that has been known but hasn’t been talked about, and I think it’s fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy’s living room.”
In fact, Obama was questioned about Ayers during a prime-time Democratic debate against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton prior to April’s Pennsylvania primary.
Palin, recharged after last week’s debate, is animating the party’s conservative wing with harsh attacks against Obama. She’s courting high-dollar donors for campaign cash. And she is looking to wrestle away women and independent voters from the Democrats.
“The heels are on, the gloves are off,” she declares, a threat delivered with a smile.
With that message, the campaign is sending her on a whirlwind tour of political trouble spots.
If you haven’t yet seen Jeff Goldstein tear Douglass Daniel of the Associated Press a new one, click here.