Saturday's Washington Post reports that the John McCain campaign is preparing an aggressively negative campaign against Barack Obama in a last-ditch effort to squash the Democrat's presidential hopes as Election Day rapidly approaches. With scarcely a month to go until Nov. 4, as the Post's Michael D. Shear reports at length, Republicans "are readying a newly aggressive assault on Sen. Barack Obama's character," including any personal associations they can exploit, believing that to win on Election Day they "have to change the subject" away from the economic concerns which have boosted the Democrats in recent weeks (see also Huffington Post).
"Pit bull" Sarah Palin appears to be leading the charge in this effort. In an interview on Fox News Friday, Palin said that Obama is "reckless" and that some of what Obama has said, "in my world, disqualifies someone from consideration as the next commander in chief." Then at a fundraiser on Saturday, Palin accused Obama of "palling around with terrorists," a reference to Obama's tenuous association with '60s militant William Ayers. Obama "is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect, imperfect enough that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country...," Palin said, "...This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America." Clearly designed to paint Obama as someone who is "outside the American mainstream" (i.e., exotic, foreign, Other, and dangerous), Palin's comments were described as "unsubstantiated" and "racially tinged" by the Associated Press, who observed also that "John McCain himself may come to regret" them.
In view of their total reliance on negative campaigning, it seems clear at this point that John McCain and Sarah Palin have nothing positive to offer.
Mark C. Eades