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McCain aide suspended over Obama/Wright video.

March 20th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

An aide to John McCain was suspended from the campaign today for blasting out an inflammatory video that raises questions about Barack Obama’s patriotism.

Soren Dayton, who works in McCain’s political department, sent out the YouTube link of “Is Obama Wright?” on twitter at 12:31 today with the tag, “Good video on Obama and Wright.” It has since been taken down.

Twitter is an online device that allows users to send out short messages and links en masse through computers or PDAs.

McCain and his campaign have repeatedly said that they would stay away from personal attacks on Obama, but the temptation has increased as Wright’s words have dominated the race in recent days.

Last week, they included an op-ed that hammered Wright and Obama in their morning clip package emailed to reporters. The same day, a campaign aide they regretted doing so.

Informed that Dayton was circulating the video, McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said he had been suspended and “reprimanded by campaign leadership.”

“We have been very clear on the type of campaign we intend to run and this staffer acted in violation of our policy,” she said.

She declined to say for how long he was suspended.

Previously an independent blogger, Dayton drew the attention and favor of McCain’s campaign with his frequent attacks on Mitt Romney. He was brought onto the campaign earlier this year to help in the political department. An aide said he was doing “low-level political work for [deputy political director] John Yob.”

The video Dayton sent, which includes images of Malcolm X, the black Olympians raising their hands in the black power salute and the rap song “Fight the Power,” has been rapidly spreading in political circles this week.

A few thoughts:

1) This aide should’ve been FIRED, not suspended. The kid links McCain’s campaign positively to a race-baiting, juvenile hate video and he gets SUSPENDED? It’s like they haven’t even noticed the Obama/Wright scandal. What is it with these candidates and their inability to respond appropriately to having detrimental asshats attached to their campaigns?

2) The McCain campaign (at least as it relates to Obama’s candidacy) is wobbly at best at the moment in terms of vision and guidance. Nobody seems to understand what the “rules” are and it’s causing them to continually have to backpedal and apologize for operatives who “go negative” - seemingly without any oversight.

3) (Related to #2) McCain is doing a great job in some areas in terms of leveraging the “time off” between his securing of the GOP nomination and the proper general campaign, but in terms of building a coherent oppositional message and establishing a trustworthy campaign framework nationwide, he’s failing, failing, failing. If he can’t use the next month or two to get a reliable, well-behaved national campaign structure in place, the Democrats are going to steamroll him in terms of organization and execution.


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