Saturday, August 16, 2008

McCain campaign re-defines ‘lockstep’

Steve Benen, Crooks and Liars: The Obama campaign unveiled a solid new ad recently, which, among other things, goes after McCain for having voted with George W. Bush 95% of the time last year.

Soon after, the McCain campaign responded by — I kid you not — telling reporters, “In the Senate, Barack Obama has voted in lockstep with President George W. Bush nearly half the time.”
I generally find McCain campaign talking points more annoying than amusing, but this is hysterical. Let’s consider some of the reasons this is an unusually dumb thing to say:
1. If the McCain campaign wants to make the presidential race about which candidate voted with Bush more, McCain might as well deliver his concession speech now.
2. “Nearly half” is not “in lockstep.” Many Bush administration pronouncements are not controversial, so every senator is going to vote with the White House line at least some of the time.
3. The McCain gang certainly knew this criticism was coming, and had plenty of time to prepare. This is the best they could come up with.
4. The McCain campaign argues that Obama is the Senate’s biggest liberal. The McCain campaign argues that Obama has “voted in lockstep” with Bush. Oddly enough, they’re making both arguments at the same time.
Go ahead, Tucker Bounds, tell us another one.

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