Saturday, July 26, 2008

In the darkest hour...

One enduring thought that always sticks in my mind: A person's character is defined by what s/he does in her/his darkest hour.

While the last week was not John McCain's darkest hour by any stretch, it was dark. Obama's foreign tour - prompted by repeated criticisms by McCain! - was successful by all counts, beginning with Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki's endorsement of Obama's Iraq plan, and continuing through a 200,000-crowd in Berlin to hear Obama speak. All this while, McCain had to struggle to gain any good press (though he also escaped bad press given his continuing gaffes). So in a sense, it was a dark hour for McCain - how does he fight back against the avalanche of good news* for Obama?

With allegations that Obama is unpatriotic, and would put his personal ambitions before the country. With a negative ad that even Mark Halperin had to admit was an attack ad (via Swampland). Less vile, but equally disingenuous - accusing Obama of traveling abroad and giving political speeches in foreign countries while ignoring pressing concerns back home, even though McCain himself had suggested the trip and given such speeches outside the US. Last but not the least, adopting Obama's plans for Iraq and Afghanistan, while continuing to say Obama was wrong for proposing the very same ideas.

Almost 40 years ago, Senator McCain was a prisoner-of-war, and in his darkest hour, stuck it out for over five years at the Hanoi Hilton despite the possibility of early release as an Admiral's son. And yet, today at a time of much lesser travails, he uses deception so easily just to win a media cycle.

[*Not good press - WaPo's editorial board revealed its anti-Obama bias quite clearly this week.]

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