Sarah Palin continued her smear campaign against Barack Obama today by campaigning on the Ayers-Obama relationship while in Florida, and she told conservative columnist Bill Kristol that she plans on bringing up Rev. Wright. Every day that the McCain campaign wastes on smears is another day that they come closer to defeat.
Here is what Palin said today in Florida, “Turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers. And according to The New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, “launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. Wow. And there’s even more to the story. Barack Obama said Ayers was just someone in the neighborhood. But that’s less than truthful. His own top advisor said they were, quote, “certainly friendly.” In fact, Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers’s home. And they’ve worked together on various projects in Chicago.”
This is what she said to Kristol about Rev. Wright, “To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.”
Apparently, Palin is undaunted by the backlash over her smear campaign on Obama. The Ayers thing won’t work. People don’t believe that Obama has anything to do with something that happened when he was eight years old. Frankly, the only person who still cares about the 1960s is John McCain. His entire campaign is based on his experience then. Palin’s comments make me wonder if she was paying attention to her own campaign before she was added to the ticket.
The McCain campaign has tried to bring up Rev. Wright a few times in advertising, and it is another attack that has gone nowhere. The Wright story was covered so exhaustively during the primaries that the American people know all they need to know, and by reviving it Palin is risking a severe backlash against the ticket. The McCain campaign is so out of step that it refuses to talk about the issues, in a year when people are craving change and new policy.
The biggest problem Palin faces is that in order for these Swiftboat attacks to work, there has to be something new to them. There is nothing new here. We have heard it all already. I have written this before, and I’ll write it again, you can’t beat Obama on character. Hillary Clinton made her comeback against Obama when she started talking about specific issues. Obama is a big picture thinker who can be picked apart on the specifics, but since McCain/Palin won’t talk about specifics, they are giving Obama an easy ride.
I don’t think it is very smart for Palin to bring up Rev. Wright when she has her own questionable pastor, and the whole witchcraft thing in her past. If she really wants to open up that door, there are plenty of groups out there who will be more than willing to explore Palin’s own radical pastor and her beliefs. These attacks are the last ditch desperate stabs of a dying campaign. The only thing that can save McCain now is an Obama scandal, which is what Palin is trying to create.