In one of the latest smear ads from the McCain Campain, former Secretary of Commerce, William Daley, is displayed with an unflatering mug shot, and is called “heir to the Chicago political machine”. He is then tied to Obama, along the with other alleged associations about which McCain and Palin seem to be obsessed these days.
Only thing is, as Andrea Mitchell points out on MSNBC, McCain has himself been a longtime friend and associate of Daley, especially as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. In fact, Mitchell said, Daley felt blindsided by the ad because just last week, he attended a McCain rally where he got an autographed picture. (I wonder whether McCain informed him that he was about to be slammed.)
Anyway, as it turns out, at least one prominent Republican, a former Michigan governor, says he now regrets his endorsement of McCain:
He endorsed John McCain in the presidential primary, but now former Republican Gov. William Milliken is expressing doubts about his party’s nominee.
“He is not the McCain I endorsed,” said Milliken, reached at his Traverse City home Thursday. "He keeps saying, ‘Who is Barack Obama?’ I would ask the question, ‘Who is John McCain?’ because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.
"I’m disappointed in the tenor and the personal attacks on the part of the McCain campaign, when he ought to be talking about the issues."Lincoln Chafee, Phil Arthurhultz, and Bob Eleveld are other Michigan Republicans who’ve had enough and now are actively endorsing, and even campaining for, Obama.
There are lots of interesting angles at which to approach this debate. But one of the most interesting to me is why McCain’s negative campain ads (called 100% negative by advertising experts) aren’t working this year, when such ads have classically had so much effect, according to many pundits. Swiftboating, according to some, practically destroyed Kerry. So, why is McCain’s shit-slinging so ineffective?
I think it’s a couple of things. One, there’s too much going on this time: one economic catasrophe after another; two long and costly ground wars; a younger and more enlightened electorate; and an extremely unpopular party, headed by an extremely unpopular president. I think McCain is coming across like the angry old uncle at a family gathering who ruins everybody’s mood at the table by constantly nagging a cousin about some ancient grudge. He truly is giving the world an object lesson on how not to run a presidential campain.
As McCain himself might mutter, as he shuffles around the room, “Remarkable.”