Flailing McCain

If only the man would just concede, given his political fate in under three weeks time, but no. He has to keep digging further holes for himself.

the Spanish-language Univision published its own sit down with McCain, in which the Arizonan suggested that there was a direct connection between the September 11 terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq.

Asked by the host whether he agreed with Barack Obama that “the Iraq war had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of 9/11,” McCain replied:

“No. We invaded a country that every intelligence agency said was developing weapons of mass destruction. Think of Saddam Hussein in power with oil at 100 dollars a barrel, and all that entails with his commitment which when after he was captured, he stated categorically that he would acquire weapons of mass destruction, and he would use them wherever he could. Now, Iraq–”

“But he had nothing to do with 9/11,” the hosted interjected.

“He had a lot to do with invading his neighbor Kuwait, and we had to go to war and fight there,” McCain replied. “He had a lot to do with using weapons of mass destruction, he used them previously, so there’s no doubt about his commitment to get them.”

Creating a rhetorical but false link like this worked for Bush in 2004, but it won’t work now. Invoking 9/11 didn’t even work for Giuliani, so McCain must be feeling pretty awful about his so-called foreign policy credentials right now. He hasn’t (of course) managed to close pandora’s box either:

With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.” It is also not exactly true — though that distorted reference to Obama’s controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. “And he won’t salute the flag,” one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, “We don’t even know where Senator Obama was really born.” Actually, we do; it’s Hawaii.

Bill Kristol is actually right when he suggests:

At Wednesday night’s debate at Hofstra, McCain might want to volunteer a mild mea culpa about the extent to which the presidential race has degenerated into a shouting match. And then he can pledge to the voters that the last three weeks will feature a contest worthy of this moment in our history.

He’d enjoy it. And he might even win it.

I agree, but I honestly believe McCain’s so completely lost it he won’t even manage that.


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