Raising the level of political dialogue

Back on January 9, 2008, Sen. John McCain, fresh off his New Hampshire primary victory, sat for an interview, during which he stated a clear desire to raise the level of political dialogue in America:

“I’m going to raise the level of political dialog in America,” McCain, R-Ariz., said at a campaign rally in central Michigan, “and I’m going to treat my opponents with respect and demand that they treat me with respect.”

Now if there was any ambiguity in Sen. McCain’s statement, he went on to say:

“It’s time we did away with a lot of this political rhetoric at the level we’re at, including these negative ads. Nobody likes these negative ads. You want to know what we’re for, not who we’re against.”

Here’s McCain talking about his disdain for negative attack ads in 2000:

So wait…I’m confused. John McCain circa 2000 said, “If all you run is negative attack ads, you don’t have much of a vision for the future or you’re not ready to articulate it,” but John McCain circa 2008 seems to be perfectly content running negative attack ads, with some estimating his campaign is spending 100% of its media buy on negative attack ads. Does that mean John McCain doesn’t have much of a vision for the future, or is he just not ready to articulate it?

What’s more, given Sen. McCain’s stated desire to do away with negative ads and to treat his opponents with respect, it strikes me as more than a little hypocritical that John McCain would flip-flop and start the smear campaign once the deck was stacked against him. Once again, John McCain has proven he’s not above saying or doing anything to get elected.


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