McCain: Know Him By His Staff

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To know McCain, one must know his staff and who his advisers are. McCain's staff has experienced several shake ups in the last year. When the data show McCain is losing, McCain dumps moderate and independent thinking staff and brings on ever more former George W. Bush staff. What is remarkable is the utter disconnect between what McCain says on the stump, and what his advisers represent policy advocacy. Let's take a look at McCain's staff and what they likely represent in advice to McCain.

The International Herald Tribune has a good article on the latest staff shake up in two months ago. Among the new people brought in:

  • Steve Schmidt - a Karl Rove protege. Recognize the Rovian campaign tactics: take your own weaknesses and project them on to your opponent? McCain campaign now makes Obama responsible for the current economic meltdown. Yet, it was McCain's economic adviser, Phil Gramm who is the one person most singularly responsible for the current financial meltdown in the form of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999.
  • Richard (Rick) H. Davis is the chief executive officer of the John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. An American lobbyist, he is currently on leave from Davis, Manafort & Freedman, a political consulting firm in Alexandria, Virginia, to lead McCain's long term campaign strategy. In 2006, Davis helped set up the encounter between McCain and Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska in Switzerland during an international economic conference. Deripaska's suspected links to anti-democratic and organized-crime figures are so controversial that the U.S. government revoked his entry visa in 2006.
  • Nicolle Wallace was recently added to McCain's campaign. She was communications director for GW Bush in the 2004 campaign (and in his White House) and a 'student' working under Karl Rove. She has joined the campaign as a senior adviser.
  • Greg Jenkins, another veteran of Rove's operation, was added in July. He is a former Fox News producer and director of presidential advance planning in the Bush White House.
  • Robert Adam Mosbacher, Sr. - found a million-dollar field of natural gas in south Texas. Since then, Mosbacher Energy Company has been a lobbyist for oil and gas industry. His son, Robert Mosbacher Jr.is also a political appointee in the George W. Bush Administration. Mosbacher Jr. is the head of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a US government agency designed to assist economic growth by utilizing the private sector.
  • Jill Hazelbaker has been a political campaign spokesperson and campaign staff member for many candidates of the Republican party. An MSNBC online piece listed her as one of eight in McCain's "candidate brain trust," making her one of the candidate's closest and most senior advisers. Hazelbaker's name earlier came to wide public attention in connection with controversies relating to postings on political weblogs and to edits on Wikipedia articles of Tom Kean's opponents. Hazelbaker denied involvement in those activities as press secretary for Tom Kean Jr.'s 2006 campaign for the US Senate.

From the beginning, a number of lobbyists have played roles in McCain's campaign, as a Huffington Post article details in the Summer of 2007. The anti-lobbyist candidate for President is a man who attracts lobbyists to his side to aid and assist him in becoming president. It simply is not possible to believe that this is an accident. But, who among voters pay any attention to who are on the staff of a presidential candidate? Almost no one. So, in the plain light of day, Sen. John McCain winks at his lobbyist advisers while railing against those bloody lobbyists to the sucker voters out there who haven't a clue who is behind John McCain, and what their agendas are.

The Washinton Post has another detailed article on this topic, entitled, The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists. The pertinent and relevant facts voters need to know are out there, and here in this article. But, then, the relevant and pertinent facts about GW Bush's past and record were out there too prior to the 2000 election. But, voters weren't interested in the facts, they were interested in whether they would care to have a beer with the simple talking, English mangling, reformed alcoholic, candidate. And they elected him, not once, but twice. Most now regret that decision, but many are fully prepared to make the wrong decision again in Nov. 2008 for the same questionable reasons.

Then there is Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, former director of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office between 2003 and 2005, who massaged the Bush budget numbers to appear as if we would half the deficit by the end of the Bush's second term in office. When in historical fact, we now see Bush's budgets are the largest in American history, and account for doubling the national debt and tax burden on Americans in just 8 short years. It took 224 years to get the national debt to 5.65 Trillion. Pres. Bush with the help of folks like Holtz-Eakin managed to double it in 8 years. And Sen. John McCain made this man one of his chief policy advisers.

Another of McCain's policy advisers is Kevin Hassett, senior fellow at the think tank American Enterprise Institute touting trickle down economic theory. Hassett regularly appears on Bloomberg Television. He advised President Bush in his campaign. Kevin Hassett is coauthor with James K. Glassman, of Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market. It was published in 1999 before the dot-com bubble burst. The book predicted that the Dow Jones industrials index would rise to 36000 within three to five years--i.e., 2002 or 2004. The Dow barely made it above 14,000 and currently sits at 11,388.44.

There is a pattern here, ladies and gentlemen. A very disturbing pattern. Everything in this article points to a McCain presidency being very much like the Bush presidency of the last 8 years, with a great many of the same players and advisers behind the scenes. Sen. McCain knows one thing, and only one thing, very well. And that is military history. It is the one area of study he has committed himself to throughout his adult life after his Viet Nam POW experience. Which means he will depend heavily, as Pres. Bush has, on his advisers for the direction of policy for our nation. Advisers who have been patently wrong on enormous issues, and whose adherence to failed trickle down economic theory will most certainly cause our fragile economy to fail all the more deeply and faster if allowed to shape American policy.

After the mortgage crisis is abated, the national debt and interest payments on that debt will constitute the greatest threat to our economy and most serious limitation of our options going forward. Yet, John McCain insists that cutting government revenues is the answer to growing debt. It is patently absurd on its face. But, if failure heaped on failure is your cup of tea, Sen. John McCain is your candidate.

He failed to observe ethical standards in the Keating 5 scandal. He failed to remain faithful to his first wife, taking up with Cindy's millions to enhance his stalled and going nowhere career. He failed in his attempts to get true bi-partisan campaign finance reform through Congress, leaving only a failed down payment on that effort which his own Party despises. He failed in his bid for president in 2000. He has failed to select a VP, who the majority of Americans can have confidence in if called upon to be president, and without having been elected to the position. He has failed to build a campaign absent the lobbyists which he yells from the rafters are bad for our government.

We are suffering the consequences of one failed presidency. Do we really want to commit, as a nation, to another failed presidency on November 4? Obama may be iffy. But, McCain is a sure path to failure for our nation.


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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on September 21, 2008 10:59 AM.

Economic Crisis Averted, Temporarily! was the previous entry in this blog.

What's Really Keeping Politicians Up These Nights? is the next entry in this blog.

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