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Friday, October 10, 2008


posted by on October 10 at 17:10 PM

This, the video companion to Charles’s earlier post, is a disaster for McCain. The key for Republicans, for many many years, has been to keep these sorts of conservatives out of sight—or at least keep them quiet when cameras are around. Now that they know they’re McCain’s only hope, they won’t be silenced:

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three words: LOL!

Posted by Mr Fuzzy | October 10, 2008 5:15 PM

Hey, can I get a glass of water?
My house is on fire.
I think you may need more than a glass of water, sir.
No, I'm just thirsty.

Posted by 4f...sake | October 10, 2008 5:17 PM

Three words indeed. "He's an Arab". Yikes.

I can't say I'm surprised that this happened given the video posted this morning of supporters outside one of McCain's rallies.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 10, 2008 5:17 PM

Dammit, I told them to take Grandma's car keys away!

Posted by smp | October 10, 2008 5:18 PM

Holy crap. This is amazing.

Posted by David Schmader | October 10, 2008 5:18 PM

The upshot is that these people are far too stupid to be able to fill out a voter registration form.

Posted by kebabs | October 10, 2008 5:20 PM

Bless McCain for doing this. Seriously.

The gig is up. He's at least taking the honorable way out.

I just hope that he and Obama aren't slaughtered for their decency.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | October 10, 2008 5:20 PM

McCain's supporters are dumber than they look!

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | October 10, 2008 5:22 PM

WOW. McCain seems like a stronger supporter for Obama now than Bill Clinton. heh

Posted by Psot | October 10, 2008 5:23 PM

God bless John McCain

Posted by mnm | October 10, 2008 5:23 PM

Oh, John, don't you know . . . once you incite the mob, you can't control it.

Plus, what will the mob think of YOU when you say that he IS those things on TV, but denounce them in person?

Posted by Zelbinian | October 10, 2008 5:24 PM

Pride cometh before the Fall.

And they have so very very far to fall - forty years in the wilderness, this is the fate of the apostate Socialist Repubs.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 10, 2008 5:27 PM

wow. i thought that mccain had lost his soul, but i it was just temporary insanity.

i'm glad to see that some other human being in this world managed to grab back his humanity. he should have been the repub nominee in 2000. i wouldn't have voted for him, but he deserved the job. Time passed him by, for being a sincere asshole, because Time only had room for insincere opportunists. fuck the first decade of the 20th century for having more room for dick cheney than for john mccain.

dem 'til i die:}

Posted by cranky | October 10, 2008 5:29 PM

McCain showing a shred of decency. I'm sure his handlers and controllers, the ones who foisted Palin on him, are cringing and screaming. Fuck 'em.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | October 10, 2008 5:30 PM

No, fuck John McCain. Fuck him. Now he has some scruples? Now? Fuck him.

I hope the Secret Service is all over this. Somebody needs to reign it in, and McCain hasn't got what it takes to control these people. He should have known all along he doesn't have what it takes to lead, even lead his own supposed followers.

Posted by elenchos | October 10, 2008 5:31 PM


Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 10, 2008 5:34 PM

Wow, am I the only cynic who thinks McCain was saying this publically under duress, just doing as he was told? Sort of like Bush emerging from his den to mumble some attempt at encouragement as the economy melts down?

Posted by Just Sayin | October 10, 2008 5:34 PM

Yah dude, try and calm your supporters after scaring them all week!

It is truly scary to me that people feel this way.

Posted by Suz | October 10, 2008 5:34 PM

That really needed to happen. Win or lose, this is a scary monster that the Right (who certainly rolled over McCain's first running mate choice, Joe Lieberman) got McCain to let out of its cage. Can it be put back in? I have only seen hate like this from Americans (not this video, the Ohio and West Virginia ones) in the footage of the Little Rock desegregation riots.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | October 10, 2008 5:36 PM

By the way, Mr. Poe IS an Arab.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 10, 2008 5:36 PM

good post Slog, thanks.

And @15--yes.

Fuck McC.


Posted by PC | October 10, 2008 5:37 PM

You almost feel sorry for that lady who says he's an Arab and expects to be hugged or high-fived by McCain. "He's not?" You can hear it in her voice and see it in that shaky head of hers: she's confused. Isn't that what I was supposed to say? Sad.

Posted by Travis | October 10, 2008 5:38 PM

Behold, the toxic little kernel which is all that remains when you whittle away the rest of the neoconservative base.

In a saner world, John McCain would have won the Republican nomination in 2000.

Posted by Eric Arrr | October 10, 2008 5:48 PM

I am certain that the nice men of the Secret Service had a few words with the McCain campaign this afternoon. Something along the lines of 'we may have to arrest someone for inciting the mob, sir.' The question is: will it stick?

We see if there is any interesting video from the next rally where Sarah Palin speaks. If she calms down the retoric I'll be impressed.

But it is nice to get a glimpse of the real John McCain once again.

Posted by Schweighsr | October 10, 2008 5:48 PM

no.. I'M an a-rab

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | October 10, 2008 5:49 PM


No, not fuck McCain. Its true he helped create this monster, but then consider what its like to be running for president for years, be so close, then see it slipping away, and have all you advisors telling you go negative, go negative. The temptation to do whatever you think it takes must be huge. Even Hillary wasn't immune to that. I say bless McCain because this country NEEDS him to try to put the cat back in the bag. In the movie he realizes that there are more important things than the presidency, like his so-called honor, and he remembers that he hates the Republican base anyway, and tells them to fuck off- he's going to debate the economy even though that means he's doomed. In the movie that's how it happens at least.

Posted by mnm | October 10, 2008 5:49 PM

Of course, I'm glad that John McCain is finally acting like a freaking human being. Of course, what he had devolved into was a horrible despicable thing.

But seeing this video just makes me sad. Sad for this country. Sad even for John McCain.

To me, he obviously regrets what he's done. He should. I think he does.

The most decent thing he can do now is campaign honestly until the election is over, which means he would lose in a record landslide. Don't quit now and let the Republican monsters take over completely, but run an actually honest and decent campaign and lose because he is the lesser candidate. That would complete his redemption and truly make him a hero in my eyes.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 10, 2008 6:02 PM

Photo request: at one his rallies today, a guy with an american flag sweater stood behind mccain. there were only like 35 stars on the flag. does anyone have a decent screencap of that shot?

Posted by stinkbug | October 10, 2008 6:02 PM

McCain looks like a child being forced to apologize against his will but not really meaning any of it.

Posted by apres_moi | October 10, 2008 6:04 PM

It's just too little too late, a little too wrong, and I can't waiiiiit, boy you know all the right things to say (you know it's just too little too late)...

(Yes, I sometimes listen to KISS FM *and* I sing along. Don't even pretend like you don't. The KEXP pledge drive gets annoying, right?)

Ahem. I'm really glad to hear him say it. I think this is closer to the real John McCain and it makes me even sadder now that he capitulated to the Lee Atwater Concentrate Drones (now with 50% less integrity!) that have been running his operation. It might have been a decent campaign had he been this man more often.

Now he needs to run some motherfucking ads to this effect and get on TV before Obama's half hour show and declare the same, point by point. Obama is Kenyan American, not "Arab". Obama is a leader. Obama has no terrorist ties. Obama is fully qualified for the presidency. Obama did not vote to cut funding for the troops. Obama voted to support a new planetarium projector for the Adler Planetarium, not to buy an "overhead projector" like you find in a classroom. Say it, John. SAY IT.

Posted by Suze | October 10, 2008 6:04 PM

so in these people's minds Arab=terrorist, Muslim=terrorist. Mccain needs to right this wrong and come out and say that Obama is not a terrorist, he just started to, but I want to see him go all the way, complete the sentence. I want to see him spell it out for his anti-tolerant bigoted supporters who think that this is actually true. It's scary if Mccain wins, but he won't, so he needs to put this fire out NOW. By the way, we all still need to VOTE!! Keep your eyes on the prize.

Posted by Maria | October 10, 2008 6:05 PM

He's an arab?
Well, in light of this new evidence I think I won't be able to vote for the fellow. After all, that why I thought we were in Iraq. Ya know, because there's a bunch of arabs over there.

Posted by Nyima Wimberly | October 10, 2008 6:08 PM

He's pissing on a burning building. Jackass. I used to respect McCain, until he proved what a despicable, fear-mongering lackey he was. It wasn't until he chose Sarah Palin (who scares the Holy Living Christ out of me) that I donated and volunteered for Obama.

Posted by Leslie N. | October 10, 2008 6:12 PM

I think McCain is reaching for his final bounce. It's the bounce that will come with saying "I've run a terrible campaign, the American people deserve better than that and I'm going to run the remainder of this campaign on the merits of my policies. See! I'm a MAVERICK!"

He's still going to lose, but I think it's his best chance.

Posted by John | October 10, 2008 6:24 PM

Holy cow. This is amazing. I can't believe I'm saying this, but good for McCain. You have to be able to strip the man from his political machine sometimes.

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey | October 10, 2008 6:27 PM

"Bless McCain for doing this. Seriously."

I wholeheartedly agree and actually have more respect for him for this.


See you in the losers circle!

Posted by aaa | October 10, 2008 6:38 PM

Nice to see some honor from McCain at this point. But my bleedin' liberal heart would like to live in a country where Arab/Muslim people didn't always get the shit-end of the stick.

Posted by asteria | October 10, 2008 6:47 PM

Watching the clips, you can tell that he's taken aback by what these people are saying and what the crowd's doing. He has the look of a man who finally understands what kinds of demons he's unleashed. Now he reaps what he's sowed.

Posted by Hernandez | October 10, 2008 6:49 PM

Is he doing this simply because it's right, or because the rabble rousing wasn't shifting the poll numbers anyway.

Posted by Beguine | October 10, 2008 7:01 PM

it's a McKKKain rally! yikes.

Posted by brandon | October 10, 2008 7:06 PM

You people who are thinking "good for him" need to watch it again.

He tells the guy that Obama is decent and he doesn't need to be scared, the crowd starts up with a LOT of dissension, he gets flustered that he's turning off the crowd, and goes into "well, I of course would be a hell of a lot better!"

And watch how enthusiastically he's going along with the old lady -- emphatically nodding and agreeing as she says, "I just can't trust him" -- it's not until she gets to the "Arab" part, which obviously he can't endorse or he'd look crazy, that he's anything but happy about her hate.

Posted by Terry | October 10, 2008 7:14 PM

Wow. Gotta give credit where credit is due, that was a pair of stand-up moments. That was mavericky. It would be all the more commendable if he hadn't instigated all this shit to begin with.

Watching him take the mic from #4's grandma, I get the impression that a hard truth has infiltrated his brain: President Obama it will be.

I mentioned this in a post the other day, but you should give "McCain's Brain" a watch or two. It's on Funny or Die. It floors me....

Posted by California | October 10, 2008 7:17 PM

The torches have already been lit and the pitchforks have already been grabbed, John. It's too freakin' late. Rot in hell.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | October 10, 2008 7:22 PM

The point is that THOSE are the only sorts of people that will turn out for a McCain rally these days - these faceless americans with no face and only a back that can't even name the other...
Mais, je dois ajouter que Obama a plus l'air d'un beure q'un arab. C'est danereux de decir une telle choses dans un *newpaper* (ta-gueule) dit- THE STRANGER...

Posted by Albert Camus | October 10, 2008 7:32 PM

Landslide is such a lovely word.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | October 10, 2008 7:33 PM

Salute Old man mccain! good for you.

Posted by SeMe | October 10, 2008 7:38 PM

He truly seems kinda horrified to me. I mean, what would Palin have done? Eek.

But there's that politician in him who doesn't want to say what he should have said, clearly, loudly, to that racist fucker:

"FIRST OF ALL, there's nothing wrong with being an Arab. Second of all, Obama is not an Arab, he's an American citizen. And a damn fine one. We are two worthy candidates with different policies and priorities, and that's what this campaign is about."

That is NOT what he said. So, you know, fuck him and his redneck pandering.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | October 10, 2008 7:42 PM

The idea that John McCain can pretend to act is insulting to all our intelligence. I truly believe he is seeing what a bunch of crackerjacks his supporters are at this point.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 10, 2008 7:52 PM

Maybe it's because I'm a cynic, and have all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories but I'm not buying this.

All week his campaign plays up the fact that Obama "pals around with terrorists" and now suddenly he doesn't support that kind of talk?

I kind of think this was staged. Think about it, McCain comes off looking like a good guy for standing up for Obama, but at the end of the day all the rest of the country is going to remember are the comments from those "average Americans" claiming their outright fear of Obama. They might just be hoping that sways some people.

Again, maybe that's just me but that's how I saw it. I don't have much faith in the McCain camp doing ANYTHING positive at this point; and although I was never a McCain supporter, I certainly did not loathe him before the last few months.

Posted by Craig | October 10, 2008 7:58 PM

God Bless John McCain? Are you serious? What makes you think he's doing this out of altruism?

I'll believe it when he pulls the fucking ads he's been running that all but say the same thing these people are saying.

Until then he's full of shit.

Posted by paul in kirkland | October 10, 2008 8:00 PM

he's still a big puffy albino cunt.

Posted by unPC | October 10, 2008 8:01 PM

Sounds like The People don't want a cheap trick like Obama shoved down their throats by the Establishment.

Posted by John Bailo | October 10, 2008 8:03 PM

If he keeps this up the Secret Service better keep an eye on Palin. She's not going out with dignity, this is her one shot.

Posted by Mikeblanco | October 10, 2008 8:16 PM

I agree with others that this isn't the real McCain. I think what may have happened is that someone in his campaign looked at the unbridled blood lust his ads have fostered and thought oh, sh&t, what if one of our supporters goes after Obama? do we get blamed for it? do we go to jail for it? Because, really, he's been leading them to this rabid hatred and if something does happen to Obama, who's going to get the blame (even if he doesn't do the time)? His jaw's too tight when he's saying pretty things about his opponent -- I don't believe he believes what he's saying.

Posted by Calpete | October 10, 2008 8:44 PM

CYA, too little too late. He's already run a dirtier campaign than the one ran against him in 2000 so he has no moral high ground.

Posted by monkey | October 10, 2008 9:01 PM

There have been times in this campaign when I was adamantly opposed to John McCain. Times where I hated his guts.

Now I just feel a profound sense of sadness for the old man.

Surely he would not have gone the disgusting attack route without the advice of some shitty campaign strategist. I know, it is his fault for surrounding himself with such degenerates.

Now, however, I can only see McCain as losing this election in crushing defeat and slinking back to the Democratically-controlled Senate, falling out of public awareness and quietly dying in a handful of years.

And this awful, awful campaign will become a glaring scar on this decorated man's storied career.

I have to wonder, though: will his best (possibly final) accomplishment be getting Obama into office? Would Barack have fared as well against Mitt or Rudy?

Posted by Keith | October 10, 2008 9:11 PM

Bless him? Puh-leeze. Watch this ad, and then tell me you seriously think McCain is taking the high road:

Posted by oscar | October 10, 2008 9:33 PM

keith at 56:
two things;
1) Bush
2) like the market correcting itself, maybe the electorate will do the same.

variations and progress happen, and it's fine that the McCain Ideal is left to where it should be... the tail end of too much failed colonialism.

Posted by point X point synposis | October 10, 2008 9:45 PM

Check out some of the Free Republic threads.
Not only do some of the people think that it's Obama's people doing the racial yelling and screaming (WTF?) as a way to make McCain look bad, but others are *furious* with McCain for telling them to be respectful. You see, those that believe the commie-socialist-Muslim-Manchurian-ACORN stuff believe that Obama is a threat to every good Christian unborn baby and white woman in America, so when McCain says, "Be respectful," he's "giving in," "giving up," and "not fighting for America." These people can't process it both ways. They've swallowed the foreigner/threat narrative, so when McCain gets up there and says, "Be Nice," McCain is essentially selling out the country, as far as they're concerned. He's telling them all to "be respectful" to The Enemy Among Us. They're not happy.

Posted by torrentprime | October 10, 2008 10:11 PM

@ 29 and 54 - I thought the exact same thing...
"Now Johnny, you go and tell the crowd that Barack is a nice man, not like what you've been saying these last few days."

Posted by Madashell | October 10, 2008 10:50 PM

I think this is the real John McCain. This is what he would be like if he threw off his handlers.

I am coming to the conclusion that too many politicians pay too much attention to campaign "advisers" and focus groups, and loose all sense of self. Look back on Gore's 2000 campaign, and how stiff and boring he was, compared to how charismatic, animated, and passionate he is when speaking freely about the environment. It's almost like two different people. Or look at Kerry speaking to congress as a young man shortly after his return from Vietnam compared to the wooden stuffed shirt he was during his presidential campaign.

That's one reason why McCain's so bad with a teleprompter, and so good (usually) in a town hall setting. When he's reciting a script written by someone else, it isn't him, and he doesn't fake it well. When he's speaking extemporaneously off-script at a town hall, that is closer to the real him, and he's much better at it. I wouldn't vote for him, but I think the real McCain, behind all the campaign bullshit, isn't that bad of a guy. And I can at least respect that he recognizes that some of these people have gone too far, and is calling them on it, even to the detriment of his campaign. That is at least a glimpse the honor that he once displayed... before he got smothered by his campaign advisers.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | October 10, 2008 10:59 PM

every word was scripted.

Posted by by a poor playwright | October 11, 2008 12:00 AM

"I'm scared of Barack Obama... he's an Arab terrorist..."

I didn't hear her say "terrorist", but someone in the blogosphere added it because it's the first word that comes to mind?
Google the quote...not that I care about McCain supporters. It's just funny to see them squirm like they love to us squirm when we say something stupid.
(Or they SAY we said something stupid.)

Posted by chokedUp | October 11, 2008 12:28 AM

Let me be clear, I'm not letting McCain off the hook. He ultimately bears the responsibility for riling up hatred in his party. But he stood up to his own partisans. At his own campaign rally. That takes balls, and I think he deserves our applause for it. If he continues a dirty campaign I will take it all back, but when I watched that video all I could think of was Dr. Frankenstein as he faced his monster, thinking "My God, what plague upon humanity have I created?"

Posted by mnm | October 11, 2008 4:24 AM

I don't buy that his handlers are entirely responsible for the mob baiting. Look at McCain's life story. Throughout it, John McCain has only looked out for one person, John McCain. He sees anyone who opposes him as pretty much evil, even when that opposition is a reasonable disagreement on issues, such as in a political campaign. I think he set out to destroy Obama, is seeing what the effect is (that it isn't helping him but is on the verge of instigating riots), and is only now trying to stop it.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 11, 2008 12:19 PM

I agree with @61.

I can't picture McCain himself editing an attack ad against Obama. He's got bigger fish to fry than get wrapped up in the minutiae of producing TV ads.

Did he know they were going negative? Attacking Obama's judgment? Sure, yes to both questions.

But, did he intend to stir up every crackpot racist into taking civil rights discourse backwards 50 years? I strongly doubt it.

At this point, McCain knows he is probably going to lose, and is trying to do the honorable thing. The only real question in my mind is would McCain be doing the same thing if he had a slight lead in the polls?

Posted by Mahtli69 | October 11, 2008 1:54 PM

How about this sense of optimism, and some kudos to McCain. As much as he WANTS to be president, he doesn't feel that his party deserves the presidency.

Especially when he ... finds himself defending Obama from bigoted remarks. This is HIS party. It's got to be disheartening.

Posted by formerly OR Matt | October 12, 2008 9:50 PM

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