For Halloween I stopped by the John McCain office in Pompano Beach, Florida, with Josh Bearman from the LA Weekly and Benjy Sarlin from the Daily Beast. There was a security guard at the door but he didn't seem to be doing much. We asked a woman at the front desk about the McCain rally in Miami earlier this week where two Obama supporters were attacked. She said, "There were a lot of hispanics there and it was good to hear them sing the Star Spangled Banner."
Then we spoke with Tim McClellan, Broward NE Regional Manager. We asked about Governor Charlie Crist extending the early voting. It's estimated that 40% of Florida votes will be cast early. "We expect to lose in early voting," he said. "That has been the plan." He was mixed on Crist's decision. "I can't say we're thrilled about it. But the decision had to be made. We want everybody to vote."
He blamed the mainstream media for Obama's lead in the polls. "The mainstream media is very liberal." We asked about Fox News. "Fox is mainstream media but they're a lot more fair than other stations." He also talked about Obama's fundraising advantage. "You can't buy the presidency." We asked if the government should finance the elections. He didn't think that was a good idea either. "You can raise money but when you allow too much money to be raised, that's a problem. (Obama) raised 200 million last month and a lot of that money came from overseas."
Tim estimates that, ten percent of employees from places with with 20 or more employees will lose their jobs because of health care costs under Obama.
The most surprising statement was something we've been hearing from McCain supporters but not from anyone actually on the McCain or RNC payroll. "I have strong concerns that Obama is not a citizen. I suspect the U.S. Supreme Court will prove that Obama's not a citizen," Tim continued. "Did he go to Indonesia and become an Indonesian citizen, and if so, did he take steps to regain his (U.S.) citizenship? There's no seal on his birth certificate and the font is wrong."
The idea that Obama is not a citizen was begun by Pennsylvania resident and 9/11 truth advocate Philip J. Berg. It's a theory readily taken up by many McCain supporters, and like the Ashley Todd story, points to a certain wishful thinking, a willful suspension of disbelief. Ashley Todd who claimed to be attacked by an Obama supporter in Pennsylvania who then carved a backward B in her cheek. Todd is often referred to as a "McCain volunteer" but in fact was an employee of the College Republican National Committee. Now Todd has been released to a probation program with mandatory mental counseling, and the question not being asked is who hired Ashley to begin with? If she was so obviously disturbed, why wasn't she fired before she carved a backward B in her cheek and filed a police report stating she was attacked by a 6'4" black Obama supporter? And the answer is that she probably didn't stick out as particularly strange in the current Republican climate.
I should state that I liked Tim McClellan as soon as I met him. He's open and honest in his views, which is rare among political operatives. Obama's citizenship is easily proven, but if your source of information is Fox News and the Drudge Report you're not going to find out much.
On George W. Bush Tim said, "I think Bush did what he had to do. He's not getting the credit that history will award him. I do think he's run his course. I don't think he could accomplish more than he has. We've gained valuable assets in the Middle East. There's been plenty of other countries with terrorist attacks but we haven't had any more, and that says a lot."
Saturday, November 1, 2008
From Stephen Elliot on HuffPo