by Matt Stoller, Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:13:10 AM EST
Senate Majority project found this quote from McCain '08:
"The President's leadership has earned our trust in the war on terror, and surely his administration deserves the presumption that they would not sell our security short."
But wait! In 2004, here's what McCain said:
"I said no. My answer is still no. No confidence."
by Scott Shields, Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 05:49:32 AM EST
Oh, the myths about John McCain. To much of the media, he's a political superhero, an incorruptible war hero and a crusading government reformer. The myth of McCain is so powerful that Nora Ephron is convinced that there's no man in America who wouldn't vote for him. (Speaking personally, I can confirm that there's at least one, and, call me crazy, but I don't think Matt's a big fan, either.)
Obviously, like Ephron, we here at MyDD take a bit more of a realistic view of McCain. This morning, Roy Temple goes pretty far in helping to do away with the McCain mythology by digging some interesting information out of story in the LA Times. At Google, there are 345 matches for the search "John McCain""campaign finance reformer". I seriously doubt very many of them mention the fact that McCain's selling access for $100,000-plus campaign checks for his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In seeking to reach his goal, Schwarzenegger is offering large donors personal access. Invitations to a March 20 dinner in Beverly Hills offer "head table seating with the governor" for two and six photos of couples with the governor for those who contribute at least $100,000 to his reelection campaign and the state GOP. The dinner's star speaker is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a champion of campaign finance reform. ...
An aide to McCain, meanwhile, denied that the Arizona senator's plan to appear at a Schwarzenegger fundraiser was awkward. McCain, who is weighing another presidential bid in 2008, has been collecting political chits around the country by helping candidates raise money under state rules that are far more lax than the restrictions on federal campaigns.
How this explanation from McCain's aide is supposed to make him look better is beyond me. Essentially, he's saying that McCain isn't selling himself for the money, but rather for the support of the Governor of one of the largest states in the union. Either you believe in campaign finance reform and clean elections or you don't. Actions speak louder than words here. McCain can say whatever he wants about reform, but as long as he takes part in this kind of blatant auctioning off of democracy, it means nothing.
by Matt Stoller, Tue Feb 14, 2006 at 03:19:41 PM EST
I do enjoy this bit of posturing:
A new earmark-reform proposal authored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is quickly gathering support from unelected critics of pork-barrel spending, but even some of those supporters acknowledge that the measure ignores the lion's share of the federal budget and faces powerful obstacles to enactment.
Shorter John McCain: I'll propose stuff that has no chance of passing and even less of a chance of working.
Let me just point out what's so pernicious about this - here's a guy who just doesn't care if his legislation works. He really doesn't. He's proposing it because it looks like the right thing, not because it is the right thing. That's principle, I guess, but it's the principle of someone who is proud, impatient, stubborn, delusional, and dishonest with himself and others.
Remind you of anyone in charge of a major industrialized nation? No? Me neither.
by Matt Stoller, Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 11:26:29 AM EST
I really enjoyed this blog post from Steve Clemons. It's about McCain's appearance in an excellent documentary called Why We Fight, which I recently saw. Or rather it's about McCain's dissatisfaction with his appearance in that documentary:
I've seen the film three times now, and Senator McCain comes off as a 21st century Eisenhower in the movie -- the type of potential President who can be a 'big national security president' but not let the military-industrial complex, a term coined first in Dwight Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Address, run amok.
Salter, who has been a key aide to McCain for many years and has written with McCain Faith of My Fathers and Why Courage Matters, is someone who understands the importance of editing. Not everything makes it into the book, or the film in this case. Salter's demands veer dangerously close to thin-skinned censorship. Not good for any team considering a run at the most admired, feared, pilloried, and lampooned job in the world -- the Presidency of the United States.
TWN has gone to some effort to learn about some of the background on the interview, what was in the larger interview -- tough to get as the director has not wanted to release the material because it would undermine his editorial prerogatives.
TWN has confirmed that the McCain office essentially ignored Jarecki for months, despite calls, a mailed DVD of the film, and various interactions as Jarecki had hoped to involve McCain in the roll-out of the film (figuring that he would like it).
It wasn't until the film became "big" that Salter and the McCain staff paid any attention to the director. They called Charlotte Street Films in a huff, according to one source, demanding a copy of the film. As it turned out, McCain's office had had one already on their shelves, unwatched.
So, while I do not have (yet) the text of the McCain interview, some of the things he said were extremely provocative.
My apologies to both Senator McCain and Eugene Jarecki for sharing some of this, as I admire both, but in my view, Jarecki actually protected McCain's interests in this film -- and Mark Salter is behaving in a surly, oppressive way -- not what Senator McCain deserves.
I'm not one for the 'blame the staffer not the boss', especially since McCain and not just Salter is apparently angry about this. I guess someone poured petty potion into the McCain office watercooler last week.
by LiberalFromPA, Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 04:09:29 AM EST
I don't write diaries often, but this recent incident between John McCain and Barack Obama has gotten me unusually interested. First off, I couldn't make sense of it. The whole thing just seemed...wierd, unexpected. But the more I thought about, the more I came to realize what this signals. I'm curious to know what others might think about my theory. It's a bit long, but I hope you think its worth it.
As I said, the McCain-Obama tiff seems like a strange and rather unexpected one. After all, Senator Barack Obama is a well-regarded, well-spoken senator known for his courtesy and sincerity. Additionally, McCain is known to work in a bipartisan manner on some high-profile issues, and by all accounts does so in a manner becoming a Senator of the United States. That is what makes McCain's reaction to, and attack on, Sen. Obama so puzzling.
But put into the proper perspective it becomes all too clear exactly why John McCain chose to attack Barack Obama. John McCain, before all else, wants to be President of the United States. And the lengths to which he will go to in order to attain that position could be first seen when he endorsed George W. Bush at the 2000 Republican National Convention after the Bush campaign had slandered and smeared Mr. McCain and his family. Since then, John McCain has made numerous efforts to cozy up to the Bush team, to the point where he now operates as a close ally to the administration, if not as one of them. And the Bush team, well aware of John McCain's popularity amongst the electorate, understands that he may be the GOP's best bet to hold onto the White House come 2008 (further proof here). Knowing that, it is rather logical to conclude that the man behind this attack was not McCain or one of his operatives, but someone from the Bush team -- political operative #1, Karl Rove.