Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Olbermann Special Comment--McCain / Palin mudslinging attacks

On Monday, Countdown's Keith Olbermann gave a special comment, where Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gave a stump speech in Clearwater Florida, attacking Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for being "pals" with former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers. Palin's attack on Obama incited the crowd to boo at Obama, even going as far as one anonymous person shouting out to, "kill him." Palin was silent, refusing to admonish the crowd for demanding Obama's assassination.

And there was even more hate within the Republican Party on Monday. Republican presidential candidate John McCain was speaking in Mexico on Monday, when McCain asked the audience, "who is the real Barack Obama?" An anonymous supporter replied, "A terrorist." The audience laughed, and McCain continues on, not admonishing the crowd for calling Obama a terrorist, but rather complaining at how McCain is upset at the "angry barrage of insults."

At Sarah Palin's Florida event"

[Arriving] reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

And finally, Pennsylvania Republican Party chairman Robert A. Gleason, Jr. called out Barack Obama's association with Ayers "alarming," and questions Obama's character in "that he knowingly associates with terrorists?" In short, the Pennsylvania Republican Party chairman called Obama "a terrorist's best friend."

So why am I bringing all this McCain hate up? Because it is all that McCain has left to campaign on. On Monday's Countdown fifth story, Olbermann reports the McCain strategist saying that McCain will lose, if the election is based on the economic crisis. Olbermann also provides the NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll numbers, with 59 percent of Americans saying that the economy is the most important issue in deciding the election, and Obama's national lead over McCain is at 49 percent over 43 percent. You can view Olbermann's story here:

The McCain campaign has attempted to compete in claiming that John McCain is now the candidate of change in this election, even though John McCain campaigned as a candidate of experience in the GOP primary. That strategy has failed since Obama had started his own presidential campaign as that of a change campaign, and has shown John McCain voting record to be 95 percent of the time in line with George W. Bush. The Obama campaign has linked John McCain with George W. Bush, and that a McCain presidency would be a third Bush term. But what has really sent the McCain campaign spiraling downward has been the economy. It has been the financial crisis, the steep slide of the stock market, accumulating into a $2 trillion loss in Americans' retirement savings over the past 15 months. Americans are wary of the $750 billion Wall Street bailout package, with a 55 percent majority of Americans opposed to using the government bailing out private companies with their taxpayer dollars. And even today, the International Monetary Fund is predicting that the U.S. will go into a deep recession, with a projected slowing to 1.6 percent growth this year, and a screeching halt to 0.1 percent growth for 2009. The economy is the big election news issue now. The McCain campaign cannot compete against the economic news with the stale, Bush economic policies of tax cuts for the rich and government deregulation in the face of a plummeting stock market and the wiping out of Americans' retirement savings. The only thing the McCain campaign can do is to wallow into the mud and go negative against Obama. I think the strategy here for McCain is to try to bring out the conservative vote with extreme, divisive politics, and hope that the fear mongering, Obama-is-a-terrorist, approach will peel off enough independent votes to win. I'm not sure that is going to happen, not with the deteriorating U.S. economy. But it is the only play that John McCain has, with less than a month to go in the election.

This brings us back to Keith Olbermann's Special Comment. Olbermann criticizes Sarah Palin's attacks against Obama, linking Obama with Ayers, and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. These are non-issues that have already been investigated, reported, and commented on, in the press and blogs, months ago. And while Olbermann directly criticizes Palin for stepping into the mud, he also shows Palin's hypocrisy of attacking Obama on terrorism and religion with Palin's own association with the Alaska Independence Party, or Palin's relationship with Pastor Thomas Muthee, and the video showing Muthee protecting Palin from witchcraft. In reality, Olbermann states that "the wheels" are coming off the McCain campaign, as John McCain and Sarah Palin fail to shift Americans' attention away from the damning issue of the economy, to the personality and character issues of negative attacks on Obama. Not only are we watching the wheels come of the McCain campaign, but we are also watching the spectacular slow-motion train wreak of the McCain Straight Talk Express. Here is Keith Olbermann's Special Comment:

And here is the transcript.


Javaneh said...

Interesting blog post. As a blogger, we thought you’d be interested in VoterWatch’s Presidential Debates Project. We have brought together presidential candidates, political figures and others to comment on the presidential debates. Dick Morris, Sophia Nelson, Public Agenda, and others are using our video player to provide their commentary. Be sure to check it out at

Eric A Hopp said...

Dear Javaneh:

Thank you for your comment. I'll look into this VoterWatch Presidential Debates Project.