John McCain and his surrogates have been attacking Obama’s wife, Michelle, which is something the Republicans tend to do every presidential campaign. But this time, some say it’s not going to work:
Despite all this negative commentary, a recent Gallup poll showed her favorable/unfavorable ratings at a relatively strong 48% favorable, 29% unfavorable (as compared to 39% favorable, 25% unfavorable for Cindy McCain). And like previous spouses, she has an opportunity to improve them over the course of the general election campaign. In April of 1992, shortly after Bill Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton’s Gallup ratings stood at 38% favorable and 39% unfavorable, with the famous “Stand By Your Man” 60 Minutes interview in January of that year probably representing the most enduring image of HRC. By election day, they rebounded to 49% favorable and 30% unfavorable.
These kind of attacks, going after the wife, are always risky. I mean, what kind of man goes after his opponent by hitting the guy’s wife? But, the Republicans are quite accomplished at hitting below the belt, and getting away with it. Just look at John McCain – he used his own scandal-ridden wife to attack Mrs. Obama, and the media didn’t even flinch. The mainstream media “likes” John McCain. The media tolerated, and even promoted, disgusting attacks on John Kerry’s military record – claiming that Kerry’s medals were somehow fake. The media loved to show and reshow the photo of John Kerry throwing away his medals from Vietnam. They never got enough of Bill Clinton protesting the Vietnam war at a US embassy. But that same media won’t touch John McCain’s actual military record, such as when McCain made propaganda tapes for the North Vietnamese, something that would be a never-ending story had Obama done propaganda tapes for, say, Al Qaeda. Yes, at around the same time in history, Bill Clinton attended an anti-Vietnam-war protest, John Kerry gave up his medals from Vietnam, and John McCain made propaganda tapes for the North Vietnamese. Guess which act the mainstream media (and the Republican party) find least offensive and more forgivable.
Then again, the media’s pro-McCain/pro-Republican bias shouldn’t surprise us. Reporters like AP’s Liz Sidoti even bring McCain his coffee and donuts, just the way he likes them. As the Post’s Dana Milbank reported a short while back (Via Jed Report):
So much for the liberal media.
John McCain and Barack Obama both appeared before the nation’s newspaper editors yesterday. The putative Republican presidential nominee was given a box of doughnuts and a standing ovation. The likely Democratic nominee was likened to a terrorist….
“We spend quite a bit of time with you on the back of the Straight Talk Express asking you questions, and what we’ve decided to do today was invite everyone else along on the ride,” Sidoti explained. “We even brought you your favorite treat.”
McCain opened the offering. “Oh, yes, with sprinkles!” he said.
Sidoti passed him a cup. “A little coffee with a little cream and a little sugar,” she said.
With sprinkles! How adorable! You really have to watch the video – Jed has it – Sedoti literally giggles as she’s giving McCain his coffee and donuts. Watch and listen to Jed’s video. Now ask yourself why McCain himself can criticize Obama for not having served in the military (“Sparring between McCain and Obama over the GI Bill got personal last week when McCain said he would not be lectured from someone ‘who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform.’”), but when anyone not even related to the Obama campaign asks legitimate questions about things that actually happened during McCain’s military service, such as the propaganda tapes, the McCain campaign, and the media in tow, treats such questions as out of bounds and “fringe” and “Swift Boating.” That’s my favorite, the Swift Boating charge. Yes, the media that quite literally hand fed you the Swift Boat story for a good year, pretty much putting the nail in the coffin of John Kerry’s presidency, now suddenly cares about our vets and negative campaigning. (Had Obama done propaganda videos for the enemy, the video would be on an endless 24 hour loop on CNN and FOX – speaking of which, where is John McCain’s propaganda tape?). Seems the media only censors itself when the question is about something that actually did happen, and the target is a donut-eating Republican. With sprinkles.