Thursday, June 12, 2008

Campaign Disruption 101

So far, McCain’s people are following the Republican playbook right down the line. Brushing off the fact that McCain’s staff was, and still is, rife with lobbyists and ex-lobbyists, McCain’s people and surrogates like the Wall Street Journal, are checking into the backgrounds of anyone who has any position of current importance in the Obama campaign.

They successfully got Obama to throw his VP vetter, Jim Johnson under the bus yesterday with revelations that Johnson took sweetheart deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., a mortgage lender with business ties to Fannie Mae, a federal home loan corporation to which Johnson was formerly attached.

They are now bearing their sights down on former Deputy Attorney General Mark Holder, who had something to do with some of the more eyebrow-raising presidential pardons that Bill Clinton signed in the last days of his presidency.

Obama is not taking this lying down however. McCain lead VP vetter, Arthur Culvahouse, a prominent Republican lawyer, was a lobbyist for Johnson’s former company, Fannie Mae, and has known affiliations to convicted felon, former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling (who, it is reported, may be on the verge of being sprung from his prison cell by the 5th Circuit Court).

Another possible target is former Hewlett Packard executive Carly Fiorina who got on the corporate gravy train then bailed from the company, taking $21 million of HP’s stockholder’s money plus a big fat “mortgage assistance loan”.

The trouble with all of this is that none of this seems very dire. All we can say is that the people in power, and the ones who are chosen to do these high-profile jobs without pay are rich and they got there by one irregular device or another.

My one main worry is that the Democrats have been so efficient in rooting out Republican criminals and putting them in jail, that there are few left over that McCain can ask to volunteer their time. Witness this monster list of Republicans either incarcerated or indicted (thanks, Susan).

More to the point, the absence of all these people from the mainstream of society may well explain why McCain is having trouble raising money for his campaign.

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