After a series of disclosures forced the resignation of two McCain campaign aides with ties to unsavory regimes, the campaign has decided to scrutinize the background of the entire staff to ferret out connections to lobbyists.
This morning, according to two Republicans with direct knowledge, Rick Davis, the campaign manager, e-mailed to McCain’s entire staff a memo entitled “McCain Campaign Conflicts Policy” — Effective Today” that includes a questionnaire asking about previous professional activities.
I have a suggestion where they could start- on the Straight Talk Express:
Of all the lobbyists involved in the McCain campaign, the most prominent is Black, who has made a lucrative career of shuttling back and forth between presidential politics and big-time Washington lobbying. He has worked for the campaigns of former congressman Jack Kemp (N.Y.), former president George H.W. Bush and former senators Phil Gramm (Tex.) and Robert J. Dole (Kan.), all Republicans.
“I’ve spent a fair amount of my life as a lobbyist, but I’ve spent a majority of my adult life running Republican political campaigns,” Black, 60, said.
His relationship with McCain, for whom he is a senior adviser, goes back more than two decades, from the time McCain first came to Washington. They got to know each other well during Gramm’s 1996 presidential run; Gramm, now an investment banker, is a major supporter and adviser to McCain.
But even as Black provides a private voice and a public face for McCain, he also leads his lobbying firm, which offers corporate interests and foreign governments the promise of access to the most powerful lawmakers. Some of those companies have interests before the Senate and, in particular, the Commerce Committee, of which McCain is a member.
Black said he does a lot of his work by telephone from McCain’s Straight Talk Express bus.
Just an idea.
His campaign is staffed and run by lobbyists… he agrees 100% with the GOP platform… he agrees 100% with Bush’s war and tax policies… he kisses fundie Xian preacher ass…
…and the so-called liberal media still insist on calling him a ‘maverick’.
Davis X. Machina
If you don’t have at least one conflict of interest, then you’re not really a playa.
Who gets into politics for the politics?
Might as well turn all Democrat and go to the Kennedy School or something. What’s the ROI on that.
OT, but John I thought you’d appreciate this. Maybe it’s well-known in WV (I wonder if it’s true or just myth?), but I’d never heard this story before:
Yeah, if you want to find out the true awesomeness of McCain’s ex-strategist, Charlie Black, read all about him in hilzoy’s posts here and here
You might want to make sure the vomitorium is clean before you start.
The Grand Panjandrum
Awesome is the most awesome word in this age of awesomeness.
But it could get more awesome. What if McCain decides to get some Huckmentum.
Now THAT is awesomeness of an awesome magnitude. A VP candidate who believes the Earth was created a thousand years after the Sumerians invented ink. Holy Shit! I think I’m getting aroused. (OK I will admit I think Huckabee is a very decent fellow and I genuinely like the guy, but that won’t stop me from sneering while I point out his flaws.) I can’t imagine he’ll get the nod with his record of pardons in Arkansas. It was so well documented it would be a feeding frenzy in the blogosphere.
Charlie Black and Phil Gramm are despicable criminals who should be given the bastinado. I put them in the same sleaze category as Terry McAuliffe. You have to shower after shaking hands with these rat-bastards.
This is bad news for the Democrats.
Dennis - SGMM
I still wouldn’t rule out the Republicans’ favorite blow-bunny, Joe Lieberman, too soon though.
People keep making fun of Huckabee as a VP nod, and I am wondering what universe they live in because he is far and away the most intelligent choice McCain could make.
Yes, he believes in literal Bible-ism. But he does exactly what McCain needs – he re-energizes the currently depressed fundie base. On top of that he’s scarily good at communicating his beliefs to the wider political audience, and worse he’s just plain likeable and comes across as decent. He nullifies McCain’s age issue because McCain promises to only be President for one term and then step down, leaving Huck as a successor.
Yes, I’m aware of his personal history and how he’s had tantrums in the past, but if you don’t know by now that that won’t matter in the general I’m wondering what country’s politics you’ve been watching for the last eight years. If you think his religious beliefs will disqualify him with voters, guess what – anybody who would disqualify him based on those views was already going to vote for Obama anyway.
In many ways, he’s the right-wing equivalent of Obama. He is exactly the person the Dems want to not see as the Republciian vice-presidential candidate.
So here’s hoping for Mitt Romney! C’mon, Mittmentum!
McCain/Huckabee is a winning ticket. Say goodbye to Appalachia even more convincingly than it is gone right now. Say goodbye to the south (again). Hell, say goodbye to Ohio.
Ah- but could the Republican machine stand it? They don’t like McCain, but Huckabee REALLY pisses them off. Preachers are supposed to sit quietly and vote as instructed and then go home so the real movers and shakers can get back in their damn wetsuits and/or pages.
The fundie wing isn’t supposed to have POWER. Just vote.
I’ve always regretted that no-one has hit on the fact that McCain’s campaign wasn’t just staffed by lobbyists, in the sense that you could describe its staff members as being lobbyists – for over a year it was literally staffed by a lobbying firm. Charlie Black was paid by his lobbying firm while he was working on McCain’s campaign, and only took unpaid leave fairly recently.
The Republican Machine just waved goodbye to a +10 Republican district in Mississippi. They can stand any ticket that remotely might stand a chance of giving them something that even rhymes with the Presidency.
This is still a feasible victory.
A great post *and* the Claude Rains reference. I swoon.
That was true during the primary and I hope that they still feel that way. Huckabee would pull in a lot of votes that McCain probably wouldn’t get on his own.
He’s the only likable Republican of national prominence left in the country. I’d call that ‘maverick’ish.
He’d be a VP. That gives him all the political power of a wet fart if McCain wants to lock him out. Sure, he becomes heir to the throne, but even then I don’t think McCain is looking that far ahead. If Huckabee will bring him closer to victory, McCain will take the preacher’s hand in a heartbeat. John wasn’t exactly the first pick for the original nomination, so I don’t think he has a great deal of respect for the core of the party anyway. And, the scary thing is, Huckabee’s populism and McCain’s faux-maverick aura are the keys to a Republican resurgence in the near future. If they can sell that, they can rebuild the party long before their alotted 40 years in the desert.
Bring on the Huckmentum and his families love of pets and tasty mountain cuisine.
Maybe this is a dumb question, but why would Huckabee want to tie his political wagon to McCain? It seems that those two would find each other pretty loathesome. Huckabee would know that McCain would sideline him as soon as the election was over and move nothing of importance to Huckabee. His willingness to speak up for Rev. Wright when not even the Dems were doing so and his recent truthy visit to punditland (as reported on the intertubes) suggest that he’s perfectly happy to tweak the Republican machine now that he’s out of the running. Much better for him to be a contrarian outsider, political leader of the evangelical wing of the party, rather than co-opted and neutralized under McCain.
So McCain is going to sack all his campaign staff effective tomorrow? You’re not going to convince me that you can find Republicans without dodgy connections these days. If you find one, the shit just hasn’t come to light yet.
And he is such an awesome experienced leader that he, uh, hasn’t vetted his staff before he hired them? What about all these hidden islamofacistcommieenvironmetalists he now surely has on board?
As they say, fixed.
If my fellow Americans look at 8 years of Bush Jr. Republican rule and decide that they then want 4 more years of McCain / Huckabee, f*** ’em.
Let ’em god-d*** live with the consequences.
And don’t let anyone near me dare mention all the problems in foreign policy and the economy because my entire response will be “F*** you, you will get what you get and you’ll f***ing like it.”
If you want to sh*t your country down the drain ’cause you had a-nuff a damn ‘Hussein’ and you don’ truss a-nuther damn race and you heard he uz a damn Muslim blah blah blah, then f*** you and shut your f***ing pie-hole.
Peggy Noonan is out with another hand-wringing session.
What happens to the Republicans in 2008 will likely be dictated by what didn’t happen in 2005, and ’06, and ’07. The moment when the party could have broken, on principle, with the administration – over the thinking behind and the carrying out of the war, over immigration, spending and the size of government – has passed. What two years ago would have been honorable and wise will now look craven. They’re stuck.
Mr. Bush has squandered the hard-built paternity of 40 years. But so has the party, and so have its leaders. If they had pushed away for serious reasons, they could have separated the party’s fortunes from the president’s. This would have left a painfully broken party, but they wouldn’t be left with a ruined “brand,” as they all say, speaking the language of marketing. And they speak that language because they are marketers, not thinkers. Not serious about policy. Not serious about ideas. And not serious about leadership, only followership.
Goddammit! At least have the decency to swear properly.
McCain may want the Huck, but I suspect that the Huck doesn’t want McCain. Other than hoping that McCain drops dead, there’s nothing in it for him. He’ll have no influence on the issues he cares about (e.g., poverty) and he has no base in the Village to work with either.
Why be the next Quayle? He’d be better off rolling the dice that GOP is viable in 2012.
No, only someone truly desperate would fit the bill, and if that doesn’t describe Mittens, I don’t know what does.
Dennis - SGMM
You’re right about Mitt’s desperate desire to be on the national stage. The only problem I see is the contrast in their appearance. Although McCain is only eleven years older than Romney he looks old enough to be his father. With McCain’s age already an issue for some voters I wonder if he’d choose a VP who makes him look ancient by contrast. Practically speaking, Romney doesn’t seem to put any states into play for McCain.
Shark like. Peggy whines like nobody’s business. When directed at Republican fucktards, it is sweet music to my ears.
I hope for 40 more years of her laments.