Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More of the McSame

I'm sure we all remember this image of George W. Bush, premarturely celebrating victory in Iraq on May 1, 2003.  Today, we got a sure sign from John McCain that intends to continue this policy of politicizing military affairs.

Yesterday, Dan Balz wrote a piece for The Trail that began with this question:
Why is John McCain in Colombia?
To Dan Balz, this trip just didn't make sense:
Obama's trip makes political sense. McCain's doesn't. McCain's strongest suit already is national security. Virtually every poll shows that Americans regard him as fully experienced on those issues. Voters may disagree with McCain's policies, which means there is an opening for Obama to challenge the presumptive GOP nominee on foreign policy. But demonstrating familiarity with foreign leaders or regional issues won't do much for McCain at this point. People assume he has that.
Today, we get the reason:
Today, we learn that John McCain was briefed on the raid by Colombian officials before the raid on Tuesday evening.  If this was the free-trade trip that John McCain claims it was, why did he take time out of these important discussions for a military operation that he, as a presidential candidate, not a representative of the executive branch, was not involved in.

While McCain does not try to bask in the glory of the raid, his allies and surrogates have not shied away from tying the successful rescue to the GOP presidential candidate:
"I think it was a sign of confidence of President Uribe and the defense minister in Senator McCain — and maybe in the two of us — that they were prepared to share this information last night, which was highly classified, " Lieberman said. "They were quite detailed about what they were trying to do, and thank god they succeeded."
From the Investor's Business Daily:
It's not absurd, however, to also think that FARC let go of its hostages knowing that Colombia was getting support from a fiercely committed potential U.S. president such as McCain, one who cared enough to visit the country and who knew firsthand what it was like to be held hostage in the jungle for many years by brutal communist guerrillas? It raises questions of a McCain Effect.
While John McCain claims the timing of his visit and the raid was coincidental, we know from experience that the Republicans have no qualms about politicizing foreign policy. I think the Boston Globe captured this perfectly:


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