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Never wear a white suit when slinging political mud.
Sen. John McCain seems to have forgotten this, and now he’s getting mud all over his once-proud image as a man of integrity, dismaying even some of his own supporters for the self-destructive stupidity of his attacks on Sen. Barack Obama.
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The latest mess soiling McCain’s suit came when his buddy Bush started dumping billions of taxpayer dollars into the Wall Street bailout. McCain had been an eager supporter of the laizzes-faire legislation that turned these banks into unregulated, high-dollar casinos, leading to their crash. But he and his Karl-Rovian campaign handlers saw that support for Wall Street was no longer popular. So, not only did he turn on his former banking friends, he also tried to stain Obama with guilt by association. The McCainites ran an ad breathlessly declaring that Obama takes advice on financial policy from the former-CEO of Fannie Mae, one of the failed banks.
This turned out to be a lie.
Then, the mud splattered all over McCain himself. His own campaign manager, Rick Davis, happens to have been a $35,000-a-month lobbyist for –guess who? – Fannie Mae! Well, huffed the senator, I do get advice from Rick, but he has not represented that bank or any other of the failed giants since becoming my campaign manager, so there’s no conflict. McCain even added defiantly, “I’ll be glad to have [Davis’] record examined by anybody.”
Oops, more splatters on the white suit. The New York Times did examine the record, finding that Fannie Mae’s corporate sibling, Freddie Mac, has been paying Davis’ lobbying firm $15,000 a month since 2005, only cutting him off this month, when both of the big lenders were taken over by the federal government.
It’s time for McCain to come clean – if he can.
“Loan Titans Paid McCain Advisor Nearly $2 Million,” The New York Times, September 22, 2008.
“McCain Aide’s Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac,” The New York Times, September 24, 2008.