The Democratic National Committee knows how to use it’s political dough. With about $4.4 million in the bank – compared to the rival Republicans’ $40 million – the DNC has focussed its campaign energies on short, savvy video shots at John McCain. The party previously took on McCain’s wild claim that we Americans are better off than we were four years ago. They also created a commercial criticizing the infamous “100 more years in Iraq” remarks. That very comment makes its way into the DNC’s latest advertorial endeavor: an attack on McCain’s flippant Iraq-related comment on yesterday’s Today Show:
…Mr. McCain was asked whether, if the troop escalation he had long advocated in Iraq was working, he had “a better estimate of when American forces can come home.”
“No, but that’s not too important,” Mr. McCain replied. He then went on to say, as he has many times, that the most important goal is reducing casualties in Iraq, and that American troops were still in South Korea, Japan and Germany without any fear of harm.
“We will be able to withdraw,” he said. “But the key to it is that we don’t want any more Americans in harm’s way.”
The Democrats have obviously seized on this gaffe, with Obama staffer Susan Davis saying McCain’s remarks suggest a “real confusion and lack of understanding of the situation in Iraq.” Davis also said that McCain has show a “reflective of a pattern of lack of understanding and lack of strategic depth.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid echoed that statement, saying “[The comment is] a crystal clear indicator that he just doesn’t get the grave national security consequences of staying the course.”
Senator Joe Biden also had some tough words: “Sen. McCain’s comment is evidence that he is totally out of touch with the needs of our troops and the national security needs of our nation. I think many of our brave soldiers and their families would disagree that it’s ‘not too important’ when they come home.”
McCain’s supporters, including “Independent Democrat” Joe Lieberman, came to his defense, and specifically took issue with the Democrats’ language. From Lieberman, “I’m disappointed by these reflexive attacks… The part that I find really most outrageous is the suggestion that he’s out of touch with the needs of our troops and insensitive to their families.” ABC News also featured a report questioning wondering if the Democrats are collectively ganging up on McCain’s age, which has been a sore spot during this campaign. Democrats and the Obama campaign deny these claims, of course.
While surely ageism – real or imagined – should have no place in this campaign, we have to say that McCain does seem a bit loopy, with maybe a bit of Ronald Reagan…