February 22, 2008

More Good News: Team McCain's "Rapid Response"

Hatched by Dafydd

Very, very short suggestion that everyone read the Politico piece on how the McCain campaign reacted swiftly and surely to defuse the vile New York Times/elite media sex libel.

It's quite astonishing, really. And the competence and airspeed of the campaign's paratroopers gives me a lot of confidence heading into the general campaign -- where, whether we're facing Hillary Clinton (unlikely) or Barack Obama, this sort of smear job will be the norm against John McCain.

Key grafs:

Since November, McCain’s campaign had feared the story and its impact. But the delay also allowed McCain’s backers to plot exactly how they would respond.

An hour after The Times posted the story at about 7:45 p.m., Hazelbaker issued a scathing response labeling it “a hit and run smear campaign.” Soon after, the campaign sent reporters the extensive response prepared for the Times back in December. After that, the press received excerpts from the appearance of Robert Bennett, the Washington lawyer hired by McCain to try to deal with the newspaper on the story, on Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes.”

At the same time, McCain backers were gathering up favorable reaction and analysis on the cable networks and forwarding it to conservative media voices and other opinion makers on the right.

“We wanted to be fast, forward-leaning and as open and transparent as possible,” said a McCain aide involved in the effort.

(Long, long list of specific actions taken by the McCain camp omitted so eyeballs will not glaze over and lawsuits will not be filed.)

"Tactically, the McCain campaign executed flawlessly and quickly to put this story back in the box,” said GOP strategist Phil Musser, a former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. “They re-shaped the coverage from dawn to dusk, avoided any big name conservative defections and were actually monetizing the event online at the Grey Lady's expense.”

“Ironically,” says Musser, who supported Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, “the larger impact of the whole story may well be to further galvanize McCain's leadership position, especially if it goes away quickly.”

Good. I don't know whether it was Hillary or Obama who drove this (likely Hillary, if it were anybody), or whether the Times decided to freelance their character assassination... but it looks as though the smear has been nipped and kicked in the bud and bum, respectively. There might even be some blowback against the elites.

Go team!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 22, 2008, at the time of 7:23 AM

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The following hissed in response by: MTF

Another good one on the same subject, from Marc Ambinder. Unless the Times has new facts they can print, they look very bad. And upping the ante by sliming the woman involved or printing more unsourced innuendo about McCain won't cut it.

As it is, I'm surprised feminists aren't rising to the lobbyist's defense; after all, why does the Times so reflexively assume there is a sexual underpinning to a business relationship? Why are the feminist organizations letting the Times get away with this?

Actually, I'm not surprised the feministas aren't defending this womans good name-- they really don't give a rats ass about her, only about promoting a lefty agenda.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 10:00 AM

The following hissed in response by: eliXelx

Any chance that McCain might take out an ad in the NYT criticising the NYT for not being the NYT but being like the gutter press...?

The text will read (with apologies to the Bard):

"Who steals my purse steals trash, but he who trashes my good name IS trash!"

The above hissed in response by: eliXelx [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 10:52 AM

The following hissed in response by: Stephen Macklin

Not more than 3 seconds after reading this post i received this email from Screamin' Howard Dean:

Subject line: McCain's noise machine

Steve --
It's like 1989 all over again -- John McCain has been caught in yet another ethics scandal.

If you had a TV on yesterday, you saw who jumped to his defense -- the team of lobbyists who work for him, led by campaign manager and lobbyist Rick Davis, and the well-oiled right-wing noise machine, led by Rush Limbaugh. In an ironic message to McCain supporters yesterday, lobbyist Davis wrote...
[John McCain] has led the charge to limit the money and influence of the special interests in politics and stomp out corruption.
They spent the day breathlessly assailing the New York Times as "liberal," ignoring the ethics lapses the team of reporters had uncovered. The fact is, John McCain is facing legitimate questions about lobbyists, favors, and campaign contributions, just as he did during the Keating Five scandal that nearly derailed his political career twenty years ago.

Seeing more dollar signs, the McCain campaign and the RNC decided to jump at the chance to take advantage of the distraction they had created to raise money. They had spent the day firing their supporters up, trying desperately to change the subject, and then they literally cashed in on it. It was textbook sleaze.

So, let's hit back.

Don't let John McCain's team of lobbyists, Rush Limbaugh and the right-wing noise machine, the RNC and their special-interest backers take advantage of John McCain's most recent ethics scandal -- it's disgusting, and we can't let them get ahead like this. They're screaming as loud as they can, and you can send a message right back:


You and I know the truth. We know that John McCain is no maverick; he's no reformer. He promises the same ethics that have defined Washington and the Republican Party for far too long.

Just read what the Washington Post had to say today about John McCain's campaign operatives...
For years, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has railed against lobbyists and the influence of "special interests" in Washington, touting on his campaign Web site his fight against "the 'revolving door' by which lawmakers and other influential officials leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided."

But when McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried.
The facts are clear: from Keating Five to today, throughout his 25 years in Washington John McCain has consistently taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from his special interest friends, flown on their corporate jets, and then turned around and tried to do favors for them. And he's surrounded himself with just the type of people he claims to fight against -- including Rick Davis, Charlie Black, and senior advisers Steve Schmidt and Mark McKinnon.

McCain and the right-wing noise machine will do anything and say anything to win. Turning an ethics scandal into a fundraising opportunity is just the start, and exactly what you'd expect a team full of lobbyists to come up with.

Now we have to make sure that every voter in America knows it. We need your help to make sure we can take them on -- we can't afford four more years of lobbyists, corporate interests, and George Bush's Washington.

Send a message about how Washington should work. Match the McCain campaign and the RNC right now:


Thanks for hitting back, Howard DeanP.S. -- John McCain may try to claim that the past careers of his advisers are irrelevant, but look at this passage from today's Washington Post article about Charlie Black, McCain adviser and chairman of lobbying firm BKSH and Associates...
But even as Black provide a private voice and a public face for McCain, he also leads his lobbying firm, which offers corporate interests and foreign governments the promise of access to the most powerful lawmakers. Some of those companies have interests before the Senate and, in particular, McCain's Commerce Committee.

Black said he does a lot of his work by telephone from McCain's Straight Talk Express bus.
John McCain literally has a lobbyist for "corporate interests and foreign governments" working from the "Straight Talk Express."

Where will they work from if he wins the White House?

Make a contribution right now to stop this kind of politics.

The battle is on, and the DNC sent their media pawn the NYT out to fire the first shot.

The above hissed in response by: Stephen Macklin [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 11:00 AM

The following hissed in response by: Pam

I was also heartened by the swiftness of McCain's response. Keep it up, Senator. You'll need to as the NYT et al will send more torpedoes your way.

The above hissed in response by: Pam [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 11:19 AM

The following hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr

Yeah, but look at what the article claims: "But the reaction may have said as much about the mindset of the conservative movement on the brink of the general election as it did about McCain and his team."

In other words, the article says more about the prejudice of its author than it does about the competence of the McCain campaign (and that's a lot!).

But it's a good article, worth a read for the uncovered facts and a pleasant snicker at the uncovered bias and prejudice.

The above hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 1:28 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

This is all about innoculting Obama from his inevitable bimbo eruptions due shortly.
If McCain can get his people to rally around and get him a pass to a phony allegation, then (according to lefty rationalization) when Obama's real scandal(s) show up, they should be ignored as well.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 2:14 PM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

If there are stories that start to emerge about this woman's sexual habits, don't be surprised. If those same stories include recitations of how long McCain was wife-less while attending Senate sessions in D.C., again, don't be surprised. Lastly, don't be shocked if stories start coming out that McCain like to carouse in bars with friends, and Iseman was sometimes one of those friends.

That's the sort of story, one with innuendo piled on innuendo, we have to expect. The Times is backed into a corner and they will fight back.

None of that concerns me, and it may even put the Times in a worse position if they do it. What does worry me is that if anything exists that the public construes as real, solid evidence, then that could really hurt him given the tenor of his response to the story (regardless of whether McCain had an affair or not). I think the voting public is paying enormously close attention to this battle of the titans.

I wish the defense of McCain was less confrontational, and focused on the obvious: even if the affair allegations were true, and they aren't, there is absolutely no evidence he ever did anything for her clients (other than write one letter for one of his biggest contributers). Nothing, nada. He's the lowest pork spender in Washington, and has been for his entire career. The Times will never disprove that defense, because it's fact. Unhappy former employees be damned.

In a perfect world, not only would there be no evidence, but the Times will have been shown to be making a case built solely on their own wish for a GOP implosion in 2008. This is very high stakes poker- a Presidential nominee is being destroyed by a newspaper. Or, the reverse. There really is no middle ground here.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 22, 2008 4:18 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

I can only hope the McCain org reads this blog and in particular your post. It is very wise.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 6:11 AM

The following hissed in response by: Rovin

Any chance that McCain might take out an ad in the NYT criticising the NYT for not being the NYT but being like the gutter press...?




The above hissed in response by: Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 8:20 AM

The following hissed in response by: Insufficiently Sensitive

It's good to hear that there was a rapid response well prepared by the McCain campaign. They better be prepared for a string of slanders, now that the MSM has two honest-to-God socialists to cheer for.

However, we see nothing of this defense in left-wingety Seattle. Today's Seattle Times has a luscious article of 'concern' about McCain and the 'evil lobbyists volunteering in his campaign'. Wonder why no one is 'concerned' about the volunteers on the Democratic side?

Yesterday's P-I had a seemingly honest editorial, in which Mr. McCumber clearly stated why he didn't just pick up the NYT 'story' the day before - he agreed with Bill Keller's skepticism about thin evidence. Oh, one small detail - that wasn't in the print edition; it was buried in the on-line edition.

The above hissed in response by: Insufficiently Sensitive [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 12:26 PM

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