Last Monday when John McCain declared, “There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today,” anyone could see what would come next. Reporters and soldiers in Iraq called McCain’s statement “way off base” or just laughed at him. Some asked which neighborhood exactly McCain had in mind.
Already stung by the news that he would have switched parties in 2001 if not for Jim Jeffords, John McCain’s place as the goat of the ’08 pres race seemed guaranteed (where’s Joe Biden?). Any serious candidate for president would have no choice but to either eat his words or step up.
A group of Republican politicians from the United States has used a shopping trip in Baghdad to argue that security is improving in the Iraqi capital.
White House hopeful John McCain and fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham have been gushing about their hour spent shopping at a Baghdad market.
Take that, Michael Ware! Or maybe not. NBC Nightly News reports that McCain, wearing body armor, made his shopping trip escorted by 100 soldiers, three Blackhawk helicopters and two Apache gunships. Thirty minutes after McCain’s press conference in the Green zone insurgents peppered the site with a half dozen mortars.
Kevin Drum muses:
Seriously, just how stupid does McCain think we are? Doesn’t he realize that this kind of thing just draws attention to exactly how dangerous Baghdad still is? He’s accomplished the exact opposite of what he set out to do.
Methinks Kevin has forgotten H.L. Mencken’s quip about poverty, intelligence and the American people. News junkies like us will see through McCain’s antics, sure. But unless Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall plan on voting in the Republican primary, John McCain doesn’t really care what they think. Does anybody think that FOX News and Rush Limbaugh will choose to NBC’s report when they talk about McCain’s trip? Seriously? Significant numbers of the FOX/Limbaugh/Hannity demographic still think that Saddam played a role in 9/11, that Saddam had a nuclear program.
McCain’s trip was an April Fool’s joke, sure. I have a hard time seeing that as a bad thing when he’s catering to a base of April fools.