Obama started with mysogyny, now attacks McCain's age

By Soren Dayton Posted in | Comments (60) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Barack Obama is no stranger to gutter politics. He will tell you for the next 6 months that he is the victim of it. I call BS. Barack Obama plays gutter politics.

Yesterday he said that John McCain was "losing his bearings", an unsubtle attack on McCain's age. I'll get to the McCain campaign's response. But first, I want to point remind you of one of the great un(der)reported stories of the Democratic Primary, Barack Obama's sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton.

Jake Tapper first noted this when Obama said that Hillary was "taking out the claws." At the same time he noted that Obama would use "[l]anguage such as 'when she's feeling down' 'periodically' she 'launches attacks.'" Tapper noted that a number of female reporters and bloggers picked up on this. Later Obama complained that Hillary was "throwing the China" at him. Again, Tapper heard the dog whistle. Tapper noted that this "feeds into the 'harridan' caricature of Clinton."

So when Obama attacks McCain with an age-based smear, it shouldn't be surprising. Mark Salter, one of McCain's senior advisors, nailed it:

First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama's attack today: He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning.

We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is.

Just a typical, small town, white girl...

reliable D vote along with those "uneducated" whites....and he will win IL only...fun times!!!

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

I know all yall'll disagree with me, but I don't think this was an age thing. I think this was something that is more indicative of how the Dems will be attacking McCain, which is the idea of the wheels-coming-off-the-straight-talk-express.

Basically, the idea is that McCain used to be a moderate Maverick, the type who ran honorable campaigns and who you may disagree with but you know where he stands. I think what Obama (and other Dems) are arguing is that he lost his way, that he sold out to the base, and went from moderate maverick to just another conservative/Bush III. And now he does not take principled stands, he takes stands that the base wants him to and/or that will get him elected (I am sure Obama will bring up the gas tax as it worked well vs. Hillary).

So "losing his bearings" means he is losing his grounding in the maverick principled politics he made his name with, and reverting to same-old-same-old (ie, associating Obama with Hamas, being more conservative than voters realize, and wanting to continue with the war).

I don't think yall will agree with that argument, but I think that is the argument he is trying to make.

It is very indicative of the argument the Dems will be making come election time, I think, and so makes much more sense than an argument about age, which fits not-as-well into the overarching "Bush III" narrative.

I'm sure the first thing you thought of is that Aunt Shirley is failing to stay true to the philosophical principles that made her Aunt Shirley in the first place.

There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. - Frank Zappa

The reason that comes to mind is because you say "My Aunt Shirley," emphasis on aunt. In this context you might as well say "My elderly aunt Shitley," because in the absence of anything else that is what "aunt" connotes. Plus, since I don't know anything about Shirley, except that she is older, that is what is likely to come to mind.

To me, these types of things have more credibility if they fit into the larger campaign narrative. Hillary's racial stuff seemed worse because the race was so...racial. Had Hillary said something vaguely referring to Obama's big ears or something nobody woulda noticed, but the racial stuff they do because race was already such a factor.

In this case, I do not expect McCain's age to be a major theme of the campaign. They will mention it once in a while, but not a big part. What is a big part is what I first thought he meant, which is McCain's losing his principled maverick credentials. "Losing his bearings" here to me means "losing his perspective," say. That he is so focused on the prize that he'll jettison the straight talk and become Bush III to be President. That is the major theme, and so that is why that is what I think Obama was getting at.

Obviously I doubt yall agree with the argument, but I think it is the argument Dems will be trying to make.

btw A major part of the Democratic strategy I think will be trying to turn McCain from the "good" Republican, the maverick moderate everyone likes, to just another of the people we have seen for 7 years...in other words, since the Republican brand is weak but McCain's personal brand is strong, paint the Republican brand on McCain. Tatto "REPUBLICAN" in big letters on the side of his bus. Refer to him as a Conservative Republican Bush III the way the Republicans referred to Kerry as "The Liberal Senator from Massachusetts" in 04. etc. This is the groundwork for that.

Case in point: here is Obama's campaign's response to the response. He hits the main themes: Bush III, McCain promised to be better than this.

accused John McCain of being a push-button killer, I don't think this pathetic bilge you've floated this morning will attract a whole lot of respect or sympathy.

"I believe we must adjourn this meeting to some other place." - The last recorded words of Adam Smith.

I don't think ZF believes the Dem attack against McCain. He is just giving a different view on what the Dems are doing, not what ZF wants.

By the way, I think both the article and ZF are right. That is the beauty (or ugliness) of Obama and his words. Because words are fungible to Dems they mean whatever the listener wants them to mean. "Loosing his bearings" can mean both that McCain is old and that he is no longer a straight-talking maverick. If you accuse Obama of meaning one thing, he will feign insult and suggest he meant the other or even a third thing altogether.

this is why the young and inexperienced are buying into the "hope and change" message --- it sounds so good to each of them because they all harbor an individual idea of what hope and change mean. Also, because Barry is so light on details, they get to fill in the blanks with idealist imagery to their liking. Barry is also so short on experience that he is a blank slate with a very limited track record to conflict with the puffery.

M Penny

...but who cares as long as they *feel* as though they do?

Obama feeds them a steady dose of how mean, uncaring, and delusional we are as a country, then promises to make it all go away with a candy-coated government placebo.

His version of "new politics" is actually "old advertising". People are probably talking about your bad breath, body odor, and receding hairline behind your back. But if you buy a case of Obamalite it will make your breath sweeter, your armpits rosier, and your head hairier.

"We want great men who, when fortune frowns, will not be discouraged." - Colonel Henry Knox

5 nt by Jaded

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

trying--in his sly, sophomoric way--to hit both senility and philosophy in one crack. Harry Reid was on the Mike Gallagher show yesterday, and the topic turned to McCain. Reid made reference to Romney's fatal flip-flopping and said that McCain needs to figure out where he stands if he wants to avoid Romney's fate. Gallagher thought that was weird, and so did I. New talking point, maybe?

FTR, I believe Obama was flipping Hillary off with his middle-finger face scratching, too.

it is a silly proposition to begin with.

If you look at McCain's voting record he is neither a maverick nor a moderate. He's a fairly reliable, mainstream conservative. His "maverick" image is built on a few very public instances in which he took a trip across the street for the sole purpose of ramming his fingers into the eyes of the conservative base.

And, of course, your unstated point here is that hewing to a doctrinaire democrat line is "principled" while Republicans are only principled when they are "mavericks." I think most of us would believe that by and large party discipline is principled. We saw in Joe Lieberman how "maverick" democrats are treated.

"A man does what he can and endures what he must."

I don't mean that he is a maverick or a moderate. I actually agree that he is a reliable, mainstream conservative. I just also think that his popularity with independents and Democrats is helped by that maverick image, and if Democrats can change his image from moderate maverick to reliable, mainstream conservative (which should not be too hard if it is the truth) we will have a better chance of winning against him.

One abysmally ignorant of natsec affairs, by the way. Which is why Hamas so badly wants him to win.

BTW, I'm only 38, so don't bother trying to emulating the Obama by blaming that rather straightforward statement of fact on my age.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

BTW, I'm only 38, so don't bother trying to emulating the Obama by blaming that rather straightforward statement of fact on my age.

I wasn't going to...

But I'm in college, so I do think you're old. Then again, I also think that college seniors are old.

It's actually not so bad; your metabolism will slow to a crawl, and suddenly you get visits from Mr. Hangover over what was really a trivial drinking session followed by a whole three hours' sleep, but it's more than compensated for by all of a sudden being treated a whole lot more seriously by others. By which I explicitly include women. And even if you're doing all right in that regard already.

The increased income ain't shabby, either. Living on 10 grand a year in college doesn't seem too harsh until you're getting 35 grand a year out of it.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!


"he'll throw us a smelly bone, and the results will be no different than if a democrat were in the white house. NO different."...moijea

The first time my wife got called "Mrs. Lane," she blinked and looked around to see where my mom had shown up unexpectedly.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!


"he'll throw us a smelly bone, and the results will be no different than if a democrat were in the white house. NO different."

My 50th birthday is approaching (yea -- I must be ancient to both of you -- like grandma ancient) and I am thinking about it more than I do most birthdays. Maybe this is my halfway gut check. I always thought I had a clear handle on "things" since my late teens (born from an above average intelligence and early self-supporting independence) and through the years I experienced several epiphanies or “ah ha” moments when the lights came on. But lately, I realized the greatest danger in life is arrogance such as that exhibited by Obama. I find this is essence of Obama’s elitism. Obama must believe that his life story and his skills are so unique that he possesses some saving grace insight unattained by any others or through the general experience of life. I have advice for Obama -- get over yourself son -- you are not all that special or unique. You are just one more horse (or should I say donkey) of a different color.

I will never vote for anyone younger than me. The insights I gain each year increase expotentially by my age. At this rate, I can hardly wait for sixty, seventy, or eighty. Ah -- the peace, the saving grace.

M Penny

"I will never vote for anyone younger than me... the insights i gain each year increase expotentially by my age"
Nice word invention there. Actually, cop-out statements like this show more elitism, arrogance and ignorance than Obama could ever be accused of.
McCain's supporters point to the perceived wisdom imparted by his long years of experience, while blissfully ignoring his actual behavior during this campaign, which includes countless blunders and general inanity. Such as his pitiful joke "I don't know much about economics." Such as his confusion in claiming that Iran is training Al Qaeda operatives, which he had to be corrected by Lieberman, but then he still repeated the misstatement so many times that it was taken as fact by pundits like O'Reilly and Limbaugh. Such as his pursuit of Hagee's support while claiming ignorance of the man's hate speech against Catholics. Such as his recent interview with O'Reilly where he said both that he did and did not vote for Bush in 2000. Such as his claim to want to cut all "earmarks" from the budget while he uses them as campaign stops. Such as using his wife's company's corporate jet for his personal campaign travel while he used to be the "maverick" pushing for campaign finance reform.
Where does the hypocrisy end?? When will McCain supporters be called on his ludicrous assumption that no matter what nonsense a man spouts, his age makes him entitled to be crowned president??

Where does the paragraph end??

For you to even remember that song, you have to be older than dirt.

Doorknob. Hit'ya Split'ya.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

not to insult our intellegence here.
We know darn well what he meant and he is gonna pay the price for those words.
Just a typical, small town, white girl...

The same kind of attacks were consistently made against Ronald Reagan. Personal attacks are common among the left and any response to Obama's lack of respect for other groups, is called racism. It only works if you allow it to and 'feel guilty'. He has been using the race card since he started, so has his wife.

It's politcally acceptable for 95% of blacks to vote for Obama - - but not for whites to vote for someone who is white. It's OK for his church to preach racial hated, but imagine the media response if it had been McCain going to church that called for 'white separatism'.

It's nonsense and frankly I'm no longer buying it.
Equality means disregarding the color of your skin. That's not how Obama and Michelle feel and everyone is supposed to overlook it.

I want someone to represent me and my family and I don't think Obama is capable of that.

Seems to me the attacks from the right are far, far more common... What about the misogynist attacks which pour from Fox News pundits Matthews and O'Reilly? Such as comparing Ariana Huffington to a whore... Such as questioning Hillary's femininity and the whole controversy about her "fake" tears?

Nobody said it's not acceptable for whites to vote for someone who is white, that is ludicrous obviously. What should be unacceptable is to denigrate a candidate for talking openly about confronting the racism in this country. if you look at what Obama said he does say, all the time, that we all need to work together to make the country better no matter what race we are. There's nothing to "buy".

Furthermore, let's clarify a few points about the candidates' church supporters. Obama's former preacher Rev. Wright DID NOT preach racial hatred but merely pointed out economic injustice that is going on in our, yes, white-dominated country, and furthermore Obama has disavowed him for outlandish claims such as that HIV is a CIA conspiracy. McCain, for his part, associates with bigots like Hagy, who said that Katrina was God's punishment for a planned gay parade in New Orleans, and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who said that the 9/11 attacks were God's punishment for this country's tolerance of homosexuality. But somehow McCain never gets criticized or called upon to repudiate these people.

If you want to vote for someone who represents you and your family you must look at their values. If you listen to what the candidates have been saying i think you'll find three things. McCain shows that his values are for sale and that he is afraid to make a stand for what he once believed in. Hillary shows that her values are whatever she thinks people want to hear at any given moment. Obama shows that his values truly are about listening to Americans and trying to come up with new laws that will benefit society such as by reforming our energy policy, by reducing involvement in Iraq and by implementing a plan for universal health coverage.


gutless liberal
singing cooks acquiesce, stress
incontinent skunk

Wait, WHat? Mathews is not on Fox,

and do you have any citation that anyone on fox ever called Huffington a whore?

No, I didn't think so,

Any citation that OReilly attacked Mrs. Clinton's femininty?

No, didn't think so.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"

I mean just look lately they have been coming over here sputtering forth vacuous arguments truly full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. They do nothing to upset and usually provoke either laughter pity or a mild revulsion.

In their own hearts they know they have to find someone to deal with the pain of the gap between the world in their heads and reality. So they come hear and let forth their screams.

Just look at them and remain thankful that you aren't in their hideous position.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

guns and religion? Obama should have been born a Russian. He would have been much more comfortable in that socialist paradise. You might try putting your Obama Koolaid down. Nobody here is going to buy it. He will be crushed in a 42 state landslide in November. America will not support a candidate who consorts with America hating domestic terrorists. You can take that to the bank.
Tim Schieferecke

Or words to that effect -- Obama got in trouble for it once, already.

If you think that in these major advertising campaigns, which is what they are, that words with double meaning are chosen randomly & arbitrarily, then you're just naive.

And nobody said Aunt Shirley was older -- that was your inference. You got the meaning without explicitly being told, which is sort of the point of a "lost his bearings" type comment -- it gets the point across while maintaining (im)plausible deniability for the candidate.

There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. - Frank Zappa

There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. - Frank Zappa

What I mean is that, if you said "Shirley is losing her bearings" then I wouldn't know what you were talking about, but when you say "My Aunt Shirley is losing her bearings" it paints a different picture, and I do assume you are talking about an older person.

whatevs...I'll agree to disagree, in the interest of me being tired ( I have been up all night studying for finals...)

Everyone knows McCain.

Everybody knows McCain is old.

Nobody knows Shirley.

Let me tell you, she is old.

And boy, is she "losing her bearings".

When the democrat war machine really starts rolling, there won't be much of mccain left, especially if mccain and the republicans don't have the guts to put up a fight (and they don't).

...we should just fold up our tent this year and save ourselves the embarrassment. Actually, we should just give up entirely.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

Although I'm not quite sure he ever was.

Now also found at The Minority Report

Obama taking digs at McCain's age takes me back many years to the conversation I overhead from the teenage girls standing in line behind me at a fast food establishment.

There was an elderly couple carefully carrying their tray of drinks and food over to a table.

The conversation went like this:

Girl One: Oh ma Gawd, look at those old people, like what are they doing here?
Girl Two: For sure, like you know like old people like so bug me.
Girl Three: Like yea, I like hope I don't get like old.
Girl One & Two: Like ya, for sure.

Me: (turning around to face them) If the world is lucky you won't.

So Senator Obama, at the risk of being investigated by the Secret Service, I offer you the same --- may we all be so blessed that you don't age anymore for fear you might lose your bearings.

And while we are on the subject of "bearings" Barry --- can you tell me more about those moments of your life that formed yours?

Aren't bearings fair game now that Obama brought them up?

M Penny

That is hilarious.

"If the world is lucky you won't."


Now also found at The Minority Report

...the reaction of our well-mannered, thoughtful, kind, intellectualy deep, Brittany Spears wanna be Valley Girls was..... :-)

I always dream about making rapier-like comments like yours. I just either never think of them at the time, or choose to avoid the whole confrontation thing.

Kudos to your wit and courage! :-)

"All that need be done for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

The teen-age girls just gave me a blank stare as they the insult sailed over. Proving the JT Physics Theorem #8 Insults cannot exist very long in a vacuum.

My looks are deceiving -- I've never been that sugary sweet, kind and tactful person people often expect, so the wicked wit and the tendency to take a nuke to a nerf ball fight can be unsettling. (Do the still make nerf balls?)

I couldn't have been ten years older than them at the time -- but I have always disliked most teen-age girls and liberals --they have too much in common with each other.

M Penny

" the tendency to take a nuke to a nerf ball fight can be unsettling."

I aint messin with her...Carry on

I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience.

— Ronald Reagan

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

I think tying Obama's attack on McCain's age and reminding women that he also attacked Hillary's gender is a good way to remind women why they were not voting for Obama in the primary. I haven't heard this from the McCain campaign to date. I haven't heard any really strong plays for disenfranchised Hillary supporters. McCain needs to praise Hillary's strength, toughness ect. to try and claim those votes quickly

My wife (who is conservative in thinking but a Dem by family heritage) doesn't like Hillary or Obama, but when I bring up McCain her answer is usually "He's too old". She said the same thing about Fred so at least she's consistent.

Reagan had to deal with this same issue and was able to deflect it with the promise not to use his opponent's youth and inexperience against him. It was probably the one comment that got him re-elected in the largest landslide in history (his opponent's promises to tax and spend more helped too).

The point is, McCain will need to come up with a convincing way to deflect the same argument.

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

is the wife in her thirties and obsessing about her own aging?

M Penny

We're dealing with a parent in advanced stages of dementia who is only a few years old than McCain.

Again, it's something McCain will have to deal with hopefully as well as Reagan did.

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

the only indicator of dementia/Alzheimers. We have an early AF buddies whose father started at 48. He was gone by 60. And one of my dearest friend's father started his downturn at 56. He is hanging on still at 64, but it is hard. Both cases are definitely on the young end, but it does happen.
FWIW, McCain's mother is 90+ and sharp as a tack.
That ought to count for something.
Just a typical, small town, white girl...

She doesn't have as much interest in politics as I do and is probably more typical of our country's electorate in that regard.

I'll get her to support McCain before November. 8*)

Our neighbor's father also had very early onset Alzheimer's so that may be a good way to respond. I was fortunate that my grandmother and great grandmother were also in their 90s and remained mentally sharp. I've mention these things before and I'll be using them to counter her reaction (and that of others who bring it up).

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

I know what you are doing is not easy stuff.
Just a typical, small town, white girl...

One of McCain's main campaign themes should be to use Obama's youth and inexperience against him.

For example,

"how naieve and inexperienced must you be to think you can sit down and negotatiate rationally with a tyrant like Amanijhad?"

"How naive and inexperienced must you be to think that you can rachet up a massive tax increase as the economy is coming out of a downcycle and not have it lead to a major recession?"

"How naive and inexperienced must you be to think we can just pack up and blow out of Iraq in 90 days without doing massive damage to our own strategic interests, our military, our relationships with our allies and the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians?"

I'm sure we could come up with lots more, but this should definately be a McCain campaign theme- "How naive and inexperineced must you be to think ...."

to the last open thread...? Someone must have complained?...

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

I don't remember any open threads disappearing.

Now also found at The Minority Report

clips of a movie w/Hitler, and had it apply to HRC's current problems.

It was pretty funny..

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

Dem attacks on Dan Quayle's youth and inexperience.

I think John McCain's mom needs to call out Obama...yea that's the ticket.

She can challenge him to a game of horse...no a few frames of bowling...yea that's the ticket.

Proud member of the Barry Goldwater wing of the party !

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