Friday, September 19, 2008

Dishonest McCain Ad Also Plays Race Card

Another McCain ad has been shown to be dishonest, with some even describing it as playing the race card. The Fact Checker at The Washington Post provides a summary and considers McCain’s attempts to tie Franklin Raines, former CEO of Fannie Mae, to Barack Obama to be dishonest. In giving McCain Two Pinocchios for the statements in his ad they conclude:

The McCain campaign is clearly exaggerating wildly in attempting to depict Franklin Raines as a close adviser to Obama on “housing and mortgage policy.” If we are to believe Raines, he did have a couple of telephone conversations with someone in the Obama campaign. But that hardly makes him an adviser to the candidate himself–and certainly not in the way depicted in the McCain video release.

Karen Tumulty says McCain is playing the race card with this ad:

When politicians interject race into a campaign, they seldom do it directly. Consider McCain’s new ad, which the campaign says it will be airing nationally:

This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman.

Let me stipulate: Obama’s Fannie Mae connections are completely fair game. But this ad doesn’t even mention a far more significant tie–that of Jim Johnson, the former Fannie Mae chairman who had to resign as head of Obama’s vice presidential search team after it was revealed he got a sweetheart deal on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial. Instead, it relies on a fleeting and tenuous reference in a Washington Post Style section story to suggest that Obama’s principal economic adviser is former Fannie Mae Chairman Frank Raines. Why? One reason might be that Johnson is white; Raines is black.

And the image of the victim doesn’t seem accidental either, given the fact that older white women are a key swing constituency in this election.

Marc Ambinder sees this as playing the race card from a different angle:

If one is to impart an ulterior motive to the ads creators, it might well be that they’re hoping that the Obama campaign (or the media) condends the ads as racist and therefore magnifies their effect. Call it — “Playing The Race Card” card.

This is all probably a sign of despiration as McCain falls further in the polls. In August, when similarly behind, he showed his despiration in the choice of Sarah Palin as running mate. Now that this is beginning to backfire, he must look for other ways to try to get back in the race. Things might really get ugly when we have someone like John McCain running who is willing to say or do anything to attempt to get elected.