Now, its bad enough that this country is dealing with an economic crisis, enveloped in global ramifications, but then, to top it off, you have this Republican GOP yahoo feeding the flames of ignorance and hatred, and it makes one wonder, how BAD can Prince William County look? This article in Time magazine allows us a glimpse into the local strategy of the McCain campaign and it isn’t a pretty sight.
In response to this outrageous comment by Jeff Frederick, John McCain’s tepid response is incredibly disappointing. I wonder, in what “context” would comparing Senator Obama to Osama Bin Laden EVER be acceptable?
If John McCainis as serious as he says about running a “respectful” campaign against an opponent he considers “a decent person,” word hasn’t yet trickled down to his newly opened storefront field office in Gainesville, Virginia.
No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Virginia since 1964, and most election years both campaigns pretty much ignore the state. This time, however, McCain is running behind Barack Obama in statewide polls, thanks in large part to the head start he got on the ground there. “We haven’t seen a race like this in Virginia — ever,” said state GOP Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick. “The last time was 40 years ago, and they didn’t run races like this.”
Indeed, Frederick, a 33-year-old state legislator, hadn’t even been born yet. But earlier this year Frederick unseated a moderate 71-year-old former lieutenant governor (who also happens to be Jenna Bush’s father-in-law) to become head of the Virginia GOP, promising “bold new leadership” for a state party recently on the decline.
The McCain campaign invited me to visit Frederick and the Gainesville operation on Saturday morning, to get a first-hand glimpse of its ground game in Prince William County, Virginia, a fast-growing area about 30 miles from Washington, D.C.
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.