McCain's Losing His "Base"
by Todd Beeton, Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 02:27:24 PM EDT
McCain has jokingly referred to the media as his base, but he may have singlehandedly lost that base this week. One of the more remarkable things about the success of Barack Obama's Middle East trip from an optics and media message perspective is how it has coincided so magnificently with a McCain meltdown. Even more remarkably, the media gets it and they are not pulling punches.
Hat tip to Al Rodgers whose dailyKos diary provides an excellent collection of cartoons, videos, transcripts and newspaper covers to document John McCain's worst week ever, from which I borrow liberally below:
On McCain's confusion, yep, it's official, linking it to his age is no longer taboo. Here's David Gergen on CNN:
Anderson, where I think this story is probably going to go is toward the issue of age.
John McCain is nearing his 72nd birthday, which is coming this August. You know, in the last few days, he has confused the border of Iraq and the border of Afghanistan. Not long ago, he confused Somalia with Sudan.
And what you're going to do is find his critics arguing the age issue.
And we have already -- already, on "LARRY KING" tonight, for example, there was a vigorous argument, about his age.
And what about McCain's attempt to gain points for being "right" about the surge? Here's Jack Cafferty ripping McCain:
Look, the surge is over. The surge is over.
McCain needs to stop whining about the surge.
An interview saying if you'd known then what you know now, would have, could have, should have is totally irrelevant to what we do now with Iraq. [...]
So, you know, I'm tired of listening to McCain whine about he won't "say he was wrong about the surge," [mocking tone, original].
It just doesn't matter at this point!
And finally, in response to McCain's offensive claim that Barack Obama would prefer to lose a war to win a presidential election than win it, here is a disgusted Gergen:
Anderson, I do think it's a mistake, but I think the bigger mistake today was arguing, as you said earlier -- John McCain said twice today that that Senator Obama would rather lose a war than a campaign. That's a very tough charge.
...with which Joe Klein concurs:
But what he said today -- and David Gergen is absolutely right about this -- what he said about Barack Obama being willing to lose a war to win an election IS THE MOST SCURRILOUS THING THAT I HAVE HEARD A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SAY IN THE NINE ELECTIONS I HAVE COVERED. [emphasis original].