2008 This Is What a Suspended Campaign Looks Like?
posted by September 25 at 17:30 PMon
A Slog tipper with Republican connections sends over a link to images of Cindy McCain’s fundraiser in Washington State yesterday—held well after John McCain announced he was “suspending” his campaign.
The link arrived in my in-box at about the same time as this new memo from the Obama camp. It calls McCain’s “suspension” a pure political stunt.
Make no mistake: John McCain did not “suspend” his campaign. He just turned a national crisis into an occasion to promote his campaign. It’s become just another political stunt, aimed more at shoring up the Senator’s aimed more at shoring up the Senator’s political fortunes than the nation’s economy. And it does nothing to help advance this critical legislation to protect the American people during this time of economic crisis.
The full memo, quite long and full of citations, is in the jump.
TO: Interested Parties
FR: Bill Burton, National Press Secretary
RE: Suspending disbelief, not the McCain campaign
DA: Thursday, September 25, 2008
John McCain sought to change the subject from his out-of-touch response to the economic crisis with a big announcement that he was “suspending” his campaign. But the only thing McCain really wants suspended is the American people’s disbelief. In fact, he’s been in full campaign mode the entire time.
Instead of heading to Washington right away, Senator McCain stuck around in New York to do TV interviews, spend the night, and give a scheduled speech. Though the McCain campaign announced yesterday that they were also “suspending” their attack ads, they continued to run Thursday.
When McCain finally arrived in Washington, almost twenty-four hours after his announcement – and after Congressional leadership announced a deal in principle – he huddled with his lobbyist campaign advisors while his running mate held a political rally and his political spokesmen and surrogates were out in full force, continuing to attack Barack Obama.
So make no mistake: John McCain did not “suspend” his campaign. He just turned a national crisis into an occasion to promote his campaign. It’s become just another political stunt, aimed more at shoring up the Senator’s aimed more at shoring up the Senator’s political fortunes than the nation’s economy. And it does nothing to help advance this critical legislation to protect the American people during this time of economic crisis.
THE FOLLOWING CLIPS TELL THE STORY:
McCain Arrives After Deal Announced by Leadership, Continues to Huddle with Campaign Advisors.
McCain’s “Straight Talk Air” landed at National Airport just after noon, and McCain’s motorcade sped toward the Senate. But by then, senior Democrats and Republicans colleagues were already announcing that a deal in principle had been reached. [WaPo, 9/25/08]
“McCain met with congressional leaders earlier today and has now returned to his Senate office. But it’s increasingly implausible to think that what he’s doing is anything different than he’d be doing on the campaign trail, except he’s in person now instead of on his cell phone. Take this latest pool report below from the Trib’s Jill Zuckman, which basically confirms that he’s conferring with his closest political and policy advisers: Sen. McCain left his lunch in the Capitol at 1:50 pm and returned to his Russell Senate office with Sen. Lieberman and Rick Davis. Your pooler asked him if he was making any progress and he said something I couldn’t hear too well, but seemed friendly and basically nonresponsive. So your pooler said that I would be around all day and if there’s anything he’d like to tell me I’d be happy to hear. That got a laugh from Lieberman and a “thanks, Jilly” from McCain. As I type, Sen. Graham and Doug Holtz-Eakin have entered the Senate office.” [Politico, 9/25/08]
McCain Campaign Surrogates Continue to Attack Obama On Television.
“In the five hours after McCain’s speech, aides Nancy Pfotenhauer, Tucker Bounds, and Mike Duhaime appeared on Fox News and MSNBC five times, frequently criticizing Obama and Democrats.” [Think Progress, 9/25/08]
“Despite McCain’s claim that he’s put his campaign on hold, two of them directly attacked Barack Obama in political terms on television this morning.” [TPM, 9/25/08]
“McCain’s campaign cease-fire apparently doesn’t extend to some surrogates and the Republican National Committee… Adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer, responding to the Obama camp taking credit for the bailout deal adopting some of his suggestions, said on Fox News Channel, ‘This is maybe perhaps part of the pattern that we’ve seen before where Senator Obama would claim that the housing bill came out of his committee — and he didn’t even sit on the committee. or that the stimulus package was his package and even his Democratic leader said that it wasn’t.’ The RNC went after Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden after he said in Greensburg, Pa., today that McCain is ‘proposing the largest tax increase on middle-class taxpayers in American history.’” [Boston Globe, 9/25/08]
“Does a suspension include Nancy Pfotenhauer talking about Biden and Obama’s foreign policy on Fox?” [Politico, 9/25/08]
McCain Television Advertising Continues.
“Readers in Iowa and Wisconsin emailed to say that they saw seen McCain ads on the air this morning, though he’s said he’s taking them down.” [Politico, 9/25/08]
“Aside from the trip to Washington, the suspension seems not to take in fundraising or surrogates attacking Obama on television, and the ads haven’t come down all that speedily. A reader reports seeing on in the Tampa area at 12:45 this afternoon.” [Politico, 9/25/08]
McCain Campaign Offices Continue Normal Campaign Activity.
“The Huffington Post called up 15 McCain-Palin and McCain Victory Committee headquarters in various battleground states. Not one said that it was temporarily halting operations because of the supposed “suspension” in the campaign. Several, in fact, enthusiastically declared the continuation of their work. Others hadn’t even heard that the candidate for whom they were devoting their time had officially stopped campaigning.” [Huffington Post, 9/25/08]
“So, I called as well, and was told specifically that “volunteer activities are still ongoing” and that people are welcome/encouraged to come in and do so.” [Raising Kaine, 9/25/08]
Governor Palin Held a Press Avail and Campaign Rally.
“A local Philadelphia NBC News affiliate was reporting Thursday morning that Mr. McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was to hold a rally at the airport in Philadelphia upon her arrival there this afternoon. The most recent official schedule for Ms. Palin, which the campaign distributed late Tuesday night, did not include an airport event.” [NYT, 9/25/08]
“Although the McCain campaign said Palin was suspending her activities - McCain on Wednesday called a halt to his campaign to deal with the financial markets rescue plan being negotiated by Congress and the Bush administration - Palin was heading to Philadelphia for a rally at the airport.” [AP, 9/25/08]
“On Thursday, despite the McCain-Palin campaign saying they would suspend campaigning until Congress had dealt with the financial crisis, Ms. Palin made a campaign stop at ground zero in Lower Manhattan, and finally “fielded” four questions, according to a reporter in the small pool of journalists assigned to accompany her.” [NYT, 9/25/08]
“The decision to have Palin hold her first avail ever today of all days is either brilliantly cynical or (in my opinion more likely) a sign of how little coordination there is this completely candidate-led campaign. As one senior aide put it recently: “It wouldn’t be a McCain campaign if knew what we were doing.” [Time.com, 9/25/08]
The McCain Campaign Is Still Sending out Top Surrogates For McCain.
“Mitt Romney Campaigning in Michigan TODAY: Romney’s visit appeared to be on track even though McCain on Wednesday challenged Obama to suspend their campaigns, postpone Friday’s debate and work together to deal with the nation’s financial troubles. By Wednesday evening, Obama had rebuffed McCain’s suggestion, saying the debate should be held, but agreeing to go to Washington to meet Thursday with President Bush to discuss the bailout proposal.” [AP, 9/25/08]
McCain Rapid Response Operation Continues to Attack the Obama-Biden Campaign.
“Not suspended: McCain rapid response operation.” [The Atlantic, 9/24/08]
“McCain suspends campaign, but politics still simmer at surface: John McCain may have suspended his presidential campaign as of Thursday morning, but an appearance at President Clinton’s Global Initiative forum and his campaign’s releasing its daily note to reporters gave the Republican candidate a few remaining opportunities to weigh in politically on a proposed Wall Street bailout.” [FOX News, 9/25/08]
The McCain Campaign Continues to Circulate Campaign Press Clips.
“What exactly constitutes a “suspended campaign?” Well, Team McCain is still working away this morning. Joe Pounder, the indefatigable press aide, blasted out his morning email of clips and quips to reporters with just a bit of dissonance.” [Politico, 9/25/08]