Seriously, this guy’s like the gift that keeps on giving. Now you might be wondering, “Who exactly is Charlie Black, and why’s he like the gift that keeps giving?” That’s a fair question, and here’s one answer:
Charlie Black is one of the chief campaign advisers for Republican Party Presidential candidate John McCain, and for many years he also did a lot of lobbying work for BKSH & Associates. Most recently he served as Chairman of BKSH, and among his clients were some of the world’s worst dictators: mass murderers, terrorists, and tyrants. Black has previously defended working for dictators including Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, insisting that he never worked for foreign clients “without first talking to the State Department and the White House and clearing with them that the work would be in the interest of U.S. foreign policy.” In addition to his work representing dictators, Charlie Black has also been busy lobbying on behalf of big businesses such as AT&T and JP Morgan, and he’s also alleged to have continued his lobbying work even after he started working for the McCain campaign. And hey, did I mention Charlie also did a little work for a firm for a company with ties to Iran? Considering John McCain’s stated position on Iran – if “Bomb, bomb, bomb…bomb Iran” can be considered foreign policy – then this could pose a problem for the McCain campaign.
So that’s a little background on Charlie Black, and here’s a few the best quotes from the Charlie Black quote machine:
“Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”
— Charlie Black on the impact of a terrorist attack on US soil during the campaign on John McCain’s candidacy [Fortune, 6/23/08]
“In terms of being able to distort or mislead people, you’re never running in the clear. Back in the 1970’s, you could say all kinds of outrageous things. Now, in almost any state you go into, you’ve got
at least one, maybe four or five state newspapers that will call your hand. Some of these state capital press corps are tougher than the national guys.” Charlie Black [Washington Post, 1/17/89]
“I’ve got access to just about anybody in the government.”
— Charlie Black [Washington Post, 8/12/89]
“I don’t see a problem in the world with it. People are entitled to exercise their First Amendment right to work in any particular campaign they want.”
— Charlie Black, on the “revolving door” between lobbying and government [Washington Post, 10/8/92]
“Doggett got the endorsement of the big gay PAC in San Antonio. That wasn’t unusual, but then we got onto the fact that the gays had a male strip show at some bar and Doggett takes that money. That became a matter of his judgment, so we rolled it out there.”
— Charlie Black on his role during Phil Gramm’s campaign against Democrat Lloyd Doggett [Washington Post, 4/7/85]
Charlie Black truly is the gift that keeps on giving, and here’s to hoping he continues to put his foot firmly in his big mouth as the presidential campaign wears on.
H/T to Cory at One Wisconsin Now.