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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

McCain Will Beat Hayworth by Becoming His Foe



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I’ll be on the road for much of today, which means we can probably expect mass resignations and other huge breaking news.

From this morning’s Jolt:

John McCain 2010’s Next Attack Ad Will Target the John McCain of 2008

How bad does John McCain want to win his Senate primary? Well, he’s now got a get-tough-on-the-border commercial that completely ignores his previous positions, statements, and attitudes and that would probably bring tears of joy to Tom Tancredo. At this rate, next week he’ll denounce McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform as an unconstitutional restriction on the First Amendment.

AllahPundit is left sputtering: “I don’t know what to say, guys. I’m genuinely speechless. Pandering is one thing, shameless careerist pandering is something else, and then there’s John “G******ed Fence” McCain marching along the border in a badass Navy baseball cap looking like he could choke out a coyote with his bare hands. And you know what? If he thought he’d get a few points’ bounce from it, I bet he’d do it too. How long before he’s spotted on the trail wearing a “Viva Los 1070″ t-shirt? Consider this a preview of the 2014 “Re-elect Lindsey Graham” ad campaign, featuring Grahamnesty piloting a Border Patrol chopper and lending a hand on an oil rig.”

Doug Mataconis: “I really don’t know what else there is to say. In the face of a stronger-than-expected challenge from the right from a candidate who has flirted with the birther movement and made rather bizarre comments about gay marriage, McCain has effectively abandoned any semblance of the politician he claimed to be in the past, even to the extent of denying that he had ever called himself a maverick. It’s really rather pathetic.”

I would note that the Obama campaign put up a ludicrously over-the-top attack ad against McCain in 2008, accusing him of anti-immigrant pandering and racism, a charge so wildly untrue that even the mainstream media had to declare “real factual problems.” In other words, all of McCain’s previous efforts to appear sensitive, moderate, and welcoming of immigrants legal and illegal were tossed out the window once the Democrats needed votes. If you’re a Republican, your record is irrelevant; your opponent will call you racist and xenophobic, guaranteed. Perhaps McCain is realizing that if you’re going to be called a xenophobe no matter what your position is, you might as well court the voters who want a more secure border.


Tags: John McCain


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