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The Collective
Monday, October 6, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

After watching Governor Palin and a number of McCain surrogates1 launch a new strategy over the last few days of trying to accentuate Obama’s associations with William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko, I figured that a Keating Five counter-punch was coming soon.

And the Politico reports: Exclusive: Obama to hit McCain on Keating Five

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday is launching a multimedia campaign to draw attention to the involvement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the “Keating Five” savings-and-loan scandal of 1989-91, which blemished McCain’s public image and set him on his course as a self-styled reformer.

On the one hand, this is something of a blast from the past. On the other, it is a blast from the last time we had a major crisis in the finance sector and the last time that the federal government had to get involved in fixing it. It isn’t exactly the kind of thing that McCain should want to be in the middle of the national conversation at the moment.

McCain will try to counter the story by casting it as his Road to Damascus moment in terms of lobbyist and his rebirth as The Maverick. Still, in terms of the political narrative, this is not the kind of thing that McCain needs to be filtering into the story at this point in time.

It seems exceedingly unlikely that Ayers, Wright and Rezko are going to start resonating now when they haven’t to this point (it should be noted: none of these are new stories and have been in the mix for roughly a year). Given that fact, the “guilt-by-association” card was a dangerous one for the McCain camp to play given that they had to know that the Keating Five was the obvious counter-play.

I don’t think, by the way, that the Keating Five story is some super counter-attack that will lay waste to McCain’s campaign. However, it is more than enough to cause some voters to pause and wonder what McCain was up to during the Savings and Loan crash and to then draw parallels to the current financial bailout. Given that early voting has begun in a number of states, this isn’t good timing for McCain.

In terms of AyersWrightRezko: all that tactic will do is give hardcore McCain supporters and talk radio hosts another reason to dislike Obama. That simply isn’t going to be enough to win this election, not by a longshot.

To summarize: AyerWrightRezko isn’t new and isn’t likely to cause many to change their minds at this point. However, Keating hasn’t been a major focus to date and introducing it is a wildcard in the wake of the financial crisis. McCain’s campaign has made what may turn out to be a serious tactical error by taking this path.

James Joyner has a good write-up on this general story as well.

Sphere: Related Content

  1. Apparently, the subject of Obama associates was the topic of Sean Hannity’s America on FNC last night as well. []
Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |

15 Comments »

  1. This sort of baby slapping avoids the real issues at stake. Mccain pulled Obama into this, just like he politicized the economic crisis… is Mccain’s campaign still officially in “suspension?” There is no doubt that Mccain is openly embracing the Muslim charges against Obama, which cannot be perceived as anything other than prejudicial racism. SO WHAT!? Isn’t this a free country or not? Why is it such a big deal even if he is Muslim? Mccain and Palin are trying to paint him as a terrorist, just because they are convinced that he is Muslim. These idiots are quick to connect him to his former Christian pastor Jeremiah Wright, and then simultanteously slide over to charge him with the fallacious accusation of being Muslim. This is a serious disjunction in the thought patterns of many racist Americans. It’s unbelievable.
    Anyways… Obama’s professionalism transcends any politician this year… it’s clear, because he ended up on top of a two year long presidential race. He will NOT be brought down to Mccain/Palin’s level. They will not win because of their inability to connect with the real DIVERSE American population that many Americans pick up arms and fight for.

    Comment by Daniel — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 11:15 am

  2. What I can not understand is why the DEMS keep praising McCain for his great service for being a pilot in the NAM war.
    In fact the truth is McCain is not a smart man. He graduated 5th from the bottom in a class of over 750 people.
    Why else would a fighter pilot crash more than 5 times. You really have to be inept at your job to crash more than 5 times. He got caught and I give him credit for not accepting a deal to be free sooner than his fellow prisoners. But that fact alone in no way makes him qualified to be President.

    Sarah Palin has failed out of 2 state and 3 community colleges in her lifetime. How dumb is this VP pick ? She can not put two sentences together. Even a parrot can be taught to speak a few words, it does not mean it is smart. Notice how on Fox, she is so confident answering the newspaper question now after hours of coaching I believe. I think its a reflection of the people of Alaska who have chosen such a woman to be their governor.

    We have lost the respect of the military in our country, and only making wise use of our forces will bring it back, but it will take decades. We need to stop using our military to fight unjustified wars. We need to stop policing the world and stop extending the US empire.

    Another point I want to make is that Republicans are accusing Obama of being elitist. Well actually Obama is intellectual, and I would want a President who is intelligent and smart and opposed to Joe Six Pack and a dumb, stupid hockey mom. These words and associations do not mean anything as there is no substance in the Neo Con Ticket. And if money is the criteria of defining a elitist, then John McCain has 13 cars and 7 houses. His worth is upwards of 100 Mil.

    One last thing, if Republicans want to bring up guilt by association. I would bring McCain Keating 5 scandal as a reflection on Johnny Mac, and also if Jeremiah Wright is allegedly a reflection on Obama, then why isn’t Karl Rove a reflection on George Bush.

    I can not wait for when Mr. Rove is tried for his criminal activities after DEMS get the White House. I’d like to slap that stupid smirk off his face and while I am at it, throw in Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. That would be a good break from my everday job.

    Comment by John (Oak Park, CA) — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 11:43 am

  3. During the primaries, I was a big fan of Hillary. I did not get on the Obama wagan. I did not view John McCain negatively with exception that he is mostly for the wealthy. Despite that I wanted to give him an Obama a fair chance in listening to their campaign then have an opinion of whom would be best for the presidency. When he chose Palin, that really did it for me, this woman is bad for this country. Not only is she an airhead, but she is ding bat. She keeps smiling through her debate answer that she did not answered and winking not taking it seriously. Where I come from when you wink and talk you are talking smack and not taking seriously. I remembered McCain stating on national T.V. that he did not want to run a dirty campaign. He has flip flop on everything he said. He is not a man of his words and that is troublesome for me. Everyone in the media kept talking about him bringing back the Wright issue, which reminds me of children trying to spark a fight. So the media played a lot in this too. He roll the dice and Obama now have to roll back. This is so riduculous. Our country is in turmoil with the economy, people are broke and going broke and they think they can fool the American people with this blunder. We do not care. We want to survive. I really think McCain is a Maverick. Maverick don’t last very long. My parents once had a Maverick. It was a ugly Ford car back in the 70’s. Did not last too long on the market. I don’t see any around anymore. This old guy and his dumb beauty pageant assistant needs to go into retirement, rest his brain. He has turn me off.

    Comment by Donna — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 11:44 am

  4. The term “maverick” is an old western term describing steers which have wandered away from the herd. These are not the brightest cattle, and they usually end up contributing another sun-bleached skull to the desert landscape when they die of thirst or starvation. In the 1950’s, the term was reborn with the James Garner television series about two brothers who were professional gamblers. I don’t see either of these applications as being all that flattering to a presidential candidate. In any case, I think ‘loose cannon’ and hot-head are much more applicable to John McCain, who seems to pick positions that will advance his legend while he gets nothing done. If elected, McCain would be the lowest academic achiever to be president in U.S. history, graduating at the bottom of his Naval Academy class of nearly 900 midshipmen. His career as a naval aviator was marred by several mishaps, which were ultimately attributed to show-boating and poor pilot judgment. These themes have re-surfaced in his current campaign. Of course, the best example of his poor judgment has been his choice of running mate, a person who is less qualified to be vice president than any other person who has ever run for that office.

    Comment by John RJ — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

  5. There you go again Joe talking about the past. This is what Sarah Palin said during here debate with Sen Biden last week. Now today Sarah Palin here you go again talking about the past in your comments about Sen. Obama and William Ayres. Its the past Sarah and has nothing to do about what your party and its leader have done to this country. Stick to the issues at hand (oh that’s right you have no clue about that) maybe you should call Tina Fey and get some help.

    Comment by Gary B. — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  6. McCain is reaching to far, the Tony Rezco, Rev Write, Ayers is old news, I’ve heard over the radio another stink ad about Obama, saying do you want a president who listens and dance to rap music of TI. John McCain approved of the message. If thats the kind of campaign McCain is running then he is racist. He did not want to vote for the King Holiday.

    Comment by W.P — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

  7. The Republicans should shut Sarah Palin up, she’s only speaking out of turn and mouthing off to sound knowledgeable. she avoids real issues and this ranting about character is goin to backfire with her history of indiscretions, as well as her children’s.

    Comment by vette — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  8. Since the mainstream media is in the tank for Obama … he literally can get away with anything! When the media is one sided in reporting the truth, they are worse than a witness who is convicted of perjury. A biased media paves the way for despots and dictators who rise to power. Hitler could not have risen to power without his minister of propaganda, Joseph Gobbels … who controlled what the public saw,heard, and eventually believed. In time, a biased media can even revise history, turning young minds into automatons, who think and act in unison … even to the point of strapping on suicide bombs. I’m in my 60’s, and I’ve never seen such a biased media before. Our wonderful country is starting to change in very bad ways. It seems that an organized group of malcontents have infiltrated our media and our schools … in an effort to change America beyond recognition. These arrogant fools are going to turn America into a defenseless third world country. I believe that our only hope to save America, is to reject the biased media’s candidate, and elect the candidate who has always represented truth, jusice, and the American way. Elect Senator John McCain in November. God Bless America.
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=obama+youth+junior+fraternity+regiment&search_type=&aq=f

    Comment by Howard — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  9. Thanks, Howard, for reminding us that Obama is like Hitler.

    You are right to suggest that if we elect a colored fellow like Obama President that he’ll “turn America into a defenseless third world country.”

    You forgot to mention that Obama (or, more appropriately, Hussein) is probably also a Muslim [or a Jew, take your pick] intent on selling the country out to some cabal of bankers/terrorists that want to put the US under a direct protectorate of the United Nations.

    Comment by Ratoe — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

  10. They all need to stop acting like grade school children on the playground and start actually acting like adults. It still baffles me that adults who are actually looking for public support in some manner will resort to grade school tactics for attention. Is it any wonder why there is so little turn out during election day? Look at what we have to choose from!

    Comment by M.T. — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 1:50 pm

  11. At least this is viable information. Those crazy Repubs are trying desperately to tie Obama to a man he met for 5 minutes. McCain was DIRECTLY involved in something serious. And he was not let off clean. He was admonished, but ultimately there was not enough evidence to stick him with the kind of punishment 2 of the other 4 got. Its still sad you have all these racist morons trying desperately to tie Obama to terrorism simply based on his race and name. Palin should stick to Beauty pageants, her scripture is better received there. McCain is a fraud - definately no hero. He needs to go back to school and at least try to graduate in the top 50 percent of his class this time. Embarassing old man. He should just retire.

    Comment by Gia — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

  12. Obama can blame McCain for the economic crisis that only McCain, Clinton and Bush warned congress about years ago. Obama and friends have only profited from it all.

    But, as it turns out, Obama trained “community organizers”, members of ACORN, nation wide as to how to intimidate bankers into giving high risk sub-prime loans to their constituents who vote as can be expected, Democratic.

    What bothers me the most is how the main stream media is not giving us all the information to make a well informed decision. Too many red flags with Obama. You might cast aside one or two, but he has too many skeletons in his closet to trust a mere first term unaccomplished senator with being Commander in Chief.

    Here’s just the short list of reasons to doubt this guy. There’s plenty more.
    Close Association with Bill Ayers, unrepentant domestic terrorist, founder of the “Weathermen” who stated on 9-11 that he himself did not do enough to bomb federal buildings.

    20 years listening to the rhetoric of Rev Wright, racist anti-white, America Hating preacher of christianity - really?

    Questionable financial dealings with Tony Resko, currently being sentenced to prison for many of them.

    His economic advisor, Franklin Raines, former CEO of Fannie Mae who resigned under scandal after filling his pockets with millions of taxpayer dollars and in large measure, personally responsible for the financial collapse of today.

    Friend and neighbor, Louis Farrahkahn, leader of the nation of ISLAM, honored for lifetime achievement by Obama’s so-called “christian church”. No more needs to be said.

    His work helping Rashid Khalidi, reportedly a PLO activist, a known terrorist group.

    The racist and hate filled college thesis paper of his wife Michelle.

    His own hidden from public view college thesis paper - wonder why?

    But ignore all of it if you can.

    Just try reading the “AUDACITY OF TRUTH” - That ought to give you some clue to what the truth about this guy might really be.

    He so frighteningly resembles Adolph Hitler in his rise to unquestioned popularity, that I am amazed “skin heads” aren’t supporting the guy. Maybe they are confused by the white half of him.

    One thing is for certain! If Obama was white… he would barley be a footnote in the primaries with what he has accomplished beyond his two memoirs.

    Comment by Keith — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

  13. will somebody please call a news station and get the word out about palin and her husband trying to get alaska out of united states control

    Comment by larry lindsey — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

  14. And a while back I had the naive audacity to hope this was going to be a clean presidential election between 2 candidates I liked and admired.

    My foolishness is only eclipsed by the spectacle of these jackasses escalating their internecine slime contest, while trumpeting “country first” & other such drivel, at the very moment international stock and credit markets are freaking out over the potential failure of American politicians to competently & seriously address the financial crisis.

    It’s like watching a 3 Stooges bit on the deck of the Titanic and being asked to choose between the antics of Moe or Curly to save the ship.

    Comment by RandyB — Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  15. Do you want a pair of mavericks in the whitehouse? Someone who will do what they want dispite what is right or wrong? A loose cannon, so to speak. Someone who will zig when we need them to zag?
    I hope not, people. If anything, we need someone with a direction. In both the economy and against an unrelenting enemy.
    I recently read an article in my local newspaper about McCain’s time as a POW in Viet Nam. In that article it talked about how he formed his “view of the world” and the use of the U.S. military in the world. I wonder…I really wonder what that inner view really is. Does McCain want the inact some sort of revenge against an enemy that he choses? Regardless of the reason. And put our troops in more hot zones than we can support at one time?
    I am sceptical of this Republican ticket. The corrupt ways in Alaska will not work in Washington…or will they!
    I still have one question; is the Vice-President and part of the Executive branch or the Legislative branch of our government. What about the rest of the cabinet?

    Comment by Randy — Tuesday, October 7, 2008 @ 10:24 am

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