The Halperin-McCain Buzz

McCain forgetting about the amount of houses he and Cindy own was already pure gold, since it blew to hell the narrative his campaign was trying to construct about Senator Obama being the more “elitist” of the two nominees. As an added bonus, it also started to show the public just how much of a crutch his POW history has become a crutch, since it was all he had to come back with once he got called on it.

Now, along with McCain’s gaffe, the big buzz on the left of the blogosphere is the assertion by Mark Halperin that the Obama campaign is ultimately going to suffer because they jumped all over McCain’s gaffe. Apparently, the McCain campaign wasn’t really getting dirty all this time, but now they are because Sen. Obama’s campaign dared to make fun of St. John. Unfrigginbelievable.

Halperin’s asinine assertion is being ripped just about everywhere one looks. Here’s Digby’s take:

Halperin gets extra points for bringing up Rezko, Wright and Ayers all in one sentence. Mighty efficient. Never mind if there’s little to nothing to these “scandals” — in Halperin’s world, it’s all about what will play and what will stick.It’s interesting how Halperin speaks about McCain and “the way he says he’s going to run this campaign.” It’s as if Halperin hasn’t bothered to watch what the man of honor and his campaign actually have been doing, and remains blissfully unaware of the numerous negative ads they’ve run. Stephanopoulos even brings up McCain’s smear against Obama, that he’d rather lose a war than an election, but Halperin brushes it off. In his world, the macho, aggressive Obama campaign started all this, and it will be their fault when the McCain campaign continues decides to go negative – with great reluctance, I’m sure. Halperin’s always been about the perception game versus the merits of a claim (or heaven forbid, a policy), but it’s a pretty bizarre stance nonetheless. Even Cokie Roberts isn’t buying it.

But apparently, although the main focus has been on Halperin, he’s not the only one to invoke this talking point:

It’s not just Halperin, of course. Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd recently defended McCain on the houses front, with Brokaw citing an e-mail to invoke — you guessed it – the POW defense. I imagine they heard what Halperin heard — John McCain said he’d run a respectful campaign, and John McCain is an honorable man (so are they all, Rick Davis included, honorable men).


I’m not sure why it’s a ringing endorsement that McCain doesn’t know what’s going on in his own campaign. But still, who’s Mark Halperin supposed to believe, the honorable John McCain, or his lying campaign?

I realize there’s a danger of bullshit becoming accepted as CW by the general public if it gets repeated too often (even if said bullshit is being made fun of), but I hope idiots like Halperin get more coverage of this kind nonetheless.

Update: Oh yeah, Steve Benen also does a great job of ripping Mr. Halperin a new one.