David Broder has it all. He has a reputation as a liberal journalist at a liberal newspaper. He’s known as the unofficial head of The Village…the bipartisan permanent Establishment of the Beltway/Georgetown set. He is the foremost proponent of civility and bipartisanship in politics. And he advocates for right-leaning politicians at every opportunity. Watch him fluff John McCain:
McCain, who is 72, is almost but not quite a throwback to the “greatest generation,” the one that survived the Depression, won World War II and built the international architecture of the postwar world. With the McCain family military tradition and the high patriotism forged by his own prisoner-of-war experience, McCain — like the heroes of FDR’s and Truman’s time — disdains partisanship and searches for the national interest, wherever he can find it.
Did Obama’s acceptance speech (flawlessly delivered before 78,000 on the anniverary of Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech) outshine John McCain’s lime-jello Walter Reed disaster?
The acceptance speeches they delivered will not find places in many collections of great campaign oratory.
Obama lacks backbone:
Obama has an exceptional mind when it comes to analyzing and then formulating policy. His methods are reflective and sometimes iconoclastic, but the results are impressive. He has outlined approaches to domestic issues that might enlist support across a broad political spectrum. Still, his skills as a negotiator are largely untested, and he has yet to demonstrate, as McCain has, the backbone to challenge the prevailing interest groups in his own party.
McCain’s famous temper? His horrible relationship with his fellow senators?
McCain, for his part, is far more dependent on others for the detailed working out of policy. His real strength lies in personal relationships; he is at his best when negotiating a deal — and in knowing what it will take to make the deal stick.
I’d like to remind readers that the hatred of John McCain is as bipartisan as David Broder’s most explosive wet dream. This is from January of this year:
Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades, on Wednesday endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
Cochran said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office.
“The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine,” Cochran said about McCain by phone. “He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”
Here’s Harry Reid in May:
“He’s wrong on the war. He’s wrong on the economy,” McCain said. “Everyone knows about his temper, his inability to get along with people.”
Here’s Reid in August:
“I’ve served with the man 26 years,” Reid said. “Do I have the ability to speak with experience about someone who has abused everyone he’s dealt with? Someone who does not have the temperament to be president, who’s wrong on the war, wrong on the economy, wrong on nuclear waste. What am I supposed to do? Walk around talking about what a great guy he is? I don’t believe that. …. “
“There isn’t a Republican serving in the Senate that’s happy he’s the nominee. Now, they’re all supporting him, but I’ll tell you they have told me. I’ve had Republican senators tell me they don’t think they’ll vote for him,” Reid said.
When Ralston asked if Reid thought it would be “dangerous” to let McCain be president, Reid answered: “Well, if you said it, I wouldn’t correct you.”
But David Broder thinks John McCain’s strong suit is ‘personal relationships’ because he once worked with Sen. Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform. Here’s Broder assessing their bureaucratic expertise:
Neither of these men has much experience in managing a large bureaucracy, so there is no way to judge how well they will cope with that aspect of the Washington challenge…One would have to give McCain the edge on both his willingness and ability to confront the demands of a Democratic Congress.
Of course, the country is set to vote for the Democratic Congress for the second cycle in a row. Is it possible that America wants an end to gridlock and that ‘confront[ing] the demands of a Democratic Congress’ is not what they have in mind? Imagine John McCain up there in the White House vetoing every bill and holding up every piece of earmarked legislation for ridicule. Does this piece of rhetoric from McCain’s acceptance speech portend civility and bipartisanship?
I’ve fought the big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, and the first big-spending
pork-barrel earmark bill that comes across my desk, I will veto it. I will make them famous, and you will know their names. You will know
I’m sure that just warms the cockles of Ranking Member of Senate Appropriations Thad Cochran’s heart. John McCain would enter office facing huge Democratic majorities in Congress and with a minority party that hates his guts. I can’t see anything coming out of that scenario but bipartisan rainbows and ponies, can you?
As for John McCain’s decision to pick a totally unqualified running mate…David Broder is totally unconcerned.
Each has acquired a running mate who complements his strengths, and each was bolstered by his convention.
Right. Sarah Palin ‘complements’ John McCain’s foreign policy expertise. Maybe she does. Maybe she is as prescient as John McCain:
“Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.” [CNN, 9/24/02]
“We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. We may have to take out buildings, but we’re not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies.” [CNN, 9/29/02]
“But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” [MSNBC, 1/22/03]
David Broder, ladies and gentleman…a liberal journalist at a liberal newspaper, calling for civility.
“Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
Because her father is Janet Reno.” -John McCain, June 1998.
A model of civility.