June 22, 2008

As Silent Patriot blogged earlier, Charlie Black, the lobbyist who now serves as the McCain campaign’s top strategist, told Fortune magazine with “startling candor” that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil before the election would help give his candidate a boost. “Certainly it would be a big advantage to [McCain],” Black said.

It was an odd thing to say. Black wasn’t literally hoping for a terrorist attack, but his concession was nevertheless inappropriate. When asked if a terrorist attack would benefit one candidate over another, the tasteful response is to say electoral considerations pale in comparison to the seriousness of terrorism. Instead, McCain’s chief campaign strategist effectively said, “Yep, terrorism would be good for us.” It’s a politically-tone deaf remark. And not dissimilar to one McCain made regarding Benazir Bhutto on the day of her assassination. Ironically, Charlie Black was Bhutto's lobbyist in Washington during the final year of her life.

At a press conference this afternoon, John McCain quickly moved in the other direction.

Good. Black was foolish to make such a comment in the first place.

UPDATE (Nicole): Obama gives his response to Black's comments.

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