today's painting
Henry Paulson proposal as Nigerian spam: This is a matter of great urgence. We need a immediate blank cheque.

The Pinocchio Syndrome: McCain campaign can't break its bad habits

Stephenschmidt_3Oh, goodness. Sometimes politics is just embarrassing no matter who you plan to vote for. McCain, talking about Spain the other day, gave us one of those moments.

Well, apparently McCain's handlers decided enough was enough and that they were tired of him and his VP nominee and his campaign spokespeople being called liars. And so they got together the press on a conference call to discuss the matter to do what they do best — and to tell the press what strories about Barack Obama they ought to be covering. But the McCain staffers just couldn't help themselves. They . . . they . . . are alleged to have told the press many things that lack the virtue of being true. Embarrassing. Just embarassing. Ben Smith at Politico writes,

The errors in McCain strategist Steve Schmidt’s charges against Obama and Sen. Joe Biden were particularly notable because they seemed unnecessary. Schmidt repeatedly gilded the lily: He exaggerated the Biden family's already problematic ties to the credit card industry; Obama’s embarrassing relationship with a 1960s radical; and an Obama supporter’s over-the-top attack on Sarah Palin when — in each case — the truth would have been damaging enough.

“Any time the Obama campaign is criticized at any level, the critics are immediately derided as liars,” Schmidt told reporters.

But as he went on to list a series of stories he thought reporters should be writing about Obama and Biden, in almost every instance he got the details wrong. . . . .

Asked about the series of errors, McCain aides could not provide evidence to back up Schmidt’s assertions.

One McCain aide, Michael Goldfarb, said Politico was “quibbling with ridiculously small details when the basic things are completely right.”

Another, Brian Rogers, responded more directly:

You are in the tank,” he e-mailed.

(Do read the whole thing!)

Perhaps after this is all over, the McCain campaign staffers can be sold to a circus and is trained to do all kinds of tricks to help pay off campaign debts.

These folks don't just need to loose the election. They should be considering another line of work.

Or perhaps someone can concoct a happy ending whereby John McCain gets to be a Real Boy and not just the GOP's wooden toy. But it won't happen soon.

(Via Brad DeLong. Graphic © by Kathryn Cramer; Some rights reserved: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.)