McCain 2008 = Gore 2000. Sort Of.

1 comment September 13th, 2008at 11:26pm Posted by Eli

Hey, remember the 2000 election, when the media turned Al Gore into The Biggest Liar Ever, with a little help from the Republican presidential campaign?  Well, now they’re turning John McCain into The Biggest Liar Ever, with a little help from… the Republican presidential campaign:

I started reading up last night on some of the campaign styles of presidential candidates of the television era (every race since Kennedy-Nixon), and it led me to conclude that John McCain is running the most fundamentally dishonest campaign of the last half-century. Every candidate from both parties has spun, accentuated, and exaggerated. They’ve all taken cheap shots and made promises they almost certainly knew at the time they couldn’t keep.

But there’s just something breathtaking about John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and it’s not just because he’s running in part on his reputation for candor and integrity. We’re talking about a candidate who’s been lying about everything — his record, his running mate, his opponent, his agenda, his past, and his policies. He’ll lie, get caught, and then repeat the same lie. He’ll lie, get caught, and then lie about lying. He’ll lie about some things in which the truth was just as good, but lying came more naturally. And he seems to be lying more as the race unfolds.

(…)

And the New York Times’ Michael Cooper and Jim Rutenberg report in a news story today that this might, slowly but surely, be on its way to becoming a campaign narrative.

Harsh advertisements and negative attacks are a staple of presidential campaigns, but Senator John McCain has drawn an avalanche of criticism this week from Democrats, independent groups and even some Republicans for regularly stretching the truth in attacking Senator Barack Obama’s record and positions.

That’s an exceedingly polite way of noticing all of the people who’ve noticed McCain’s pathology.

As Paul Krugman pointed out in his column yesterday, the character of a campaign is a much better predictor of how a candidate will govern than its competence.  It certainly was in 2000 and 2004, when Dubya ran deceitful, mean-spirited, divisive (but very competent) campaigns, and then proceeded to give us 8 years of deceitful, mean-spirited, divisive (and utterly incompetent) government.  And now John McCain is running the same kind of campaign with unabashed gusto.

So much for that March 11 memo from Rick Davis to the campaign leadership:

It is critical, as we prepare to face off with whomever the Democrats select as their nominee, that we all follow John’s lead and run a respectful campaign focused on the issues and values that are important to the American people.

Throughout the primary election we saw John McCain reject the type of politics that degrade our civics, and this will not change as he prepares to run head-to-head against the Democratic nominee.

(…)

Overheated rhetoric and personal attacks on our opponents distract from the big differences between John McCain’s vision for the future of our nation and the Democrats’….

Throughout his life John McCain has held himself to the highest standards and he will continue to run a respectful campaign based on the issues. We expect that all supporters, surrogates and staff will hold themselves to similarly high standards when they are representing the campaign.

Yeah, McCain’s enforcing that about as well as the no-lobbyists rule.

(h/t bmaz)

Entry Filed under: Elections,Gore,McCain,Media,Politics

1 Comment

  • 1. ::matthew  |  September 14th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    I’m pretty sure you’re lying about this…

    better to get your truth at Sarah Palin’s Personal Blog


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