The Campaign Spot

The Obama Campaign Releases Its Chaff on the Keating Five

Because the McCain camp is bringing up Obama’s working relationship with William Ayers – the guy who put a bomb in the women’s room of the Pentagon – the Obama camp is bringing up McCain’s relationship in the Keating Five scandal back in the late 80s/early 90s.

From those noted right-wingers at Slate, back in 2000:

The Senate Ethics Committee probe of the Keating Five began in November 1990, and committee Special Counsel Robert Bennett recommended that McCain and Glenn be dropped from the investigation. They were not. McCain believes Democrats on the committee blocked Bennett’s recommendation because he was the lone Keating Five Republican.

In February 1991, the Senate Ethics Committee found McCain and Glenn to be the least blameworthy of the five senators. (McCain and Glenn attended the meetings but did nothing else to influence the regulators.) McCain was guilty of nothing more than “poor judgment,” the committee said, and declared his actions were not “improper nor attended with gross negligence.” McCain considered the committee’s judgment to be “full exoneration,” and he contributed $112,000 (the amount raised for him by Keating) to the U.S. Treasury.

But put that aside. Put aside, too, the fact that his involvement in the scandal is what drove McCain to become such a relentless pain-in-the-tuchus about campaign finance reform, and arguably blind to First Amendment objections. Put aside the fact that McCain sees that his association with Keating was a mistake, whereas Obama refuses to even be straight with voters about how long he knew and worked with Ayers.

Can you find a single American who otherwise would support McCain but has decided against it because of his meetings with an Savings and Loan owner back in the late 1980s? (By contrast, I could find a lot of Americans who think a lengthy working relationship with a man who tried to kill U.S. Servicemen, policemen, and innocent civilians is ipso facto disqualifying for those who aspire to be commander-in-chief.)

This is chaff – noisy, shiny, easily deployed –  designed to throw off a metaphorical radar-guided missile from reaching its target.

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