Has McCain fired Charlie Black yet? Or is McCain tacitly accepting the idea that dead Americans make good politics for him?

There really is no way McCain can distance himself from the remarks of Charlie Black. They are right out of the Bush/Rove playbook. No doubt, the pundits will try to give McCain yet another pass, but this one is too much. McCain has to fire Black. There is no other option. Otherwise, McCain is basically owning Black’s words:

A top adviser to Sen. John McCain said that a terrorist attack in the United States would be a political benefit to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a comment that was immediately disputed by the candidate and denounced by his Democratic rival.

Charlie Black, one of McCain’s most senior political advisers, said in an interview with Fortune magazine that a fresh terrorist attack “certainly would be a big advantage to him.” He also said that the December assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, while “unfortunate,” helped McCain win the Republican primary by focusing attention on national security.

“His knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who’s ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us,” Black told the magazine in its upcoming issue.

The comment reinjected the fear of terrorism into the campaign as both candidates had been shifting their conversation to the economy and $4-per-gallon gasoline. It also vividly recalled the 2004 contest between President Bush and Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry, in which Republicans repeatedly questioned Kerry’s ability to protect the country from terrorists.

The comments also returned the political spotlight to McCain’s advisers and, in particular, to Black, who has drawn criticism for his long lobbying career and his representation of controversial foreign governments. McCain has been criticized for surrounding himself with top advisers who were lobbyists.

Black earlier this year severed ties to the lobbying firm he founded. Records show that his firm had represented the Pakistan People’s Party, which Bhutto led until her death.

Again, the punditry is going try to let this one slide. But, remember, Samantha Powers got canned after a media outcry over far less. She made a catty comment about another candidate. Charlie Black, on behalf of McCain and the GOP, basically said that if Americans were killed by terrorists, it would be a “big advantage” for McCain and the GOP. That’s so 2004. And, it’s so wrong.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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