Keith's final Campaign Comment imagines an alternative, parallel reality where Barack Obama made the verbal gaffes that McCain has made and poses the question, would Obama be considered a realistic candidate for the office? And if not, why should anyone consider McCain a realistic candidate?
We all know exactly what would be happening tonight if Senator Obama had made all those mistakes, contradictions, gaffes, Freudian slips, and hypocritical pronouncements. He would have long since ceased to be taken seriously by any measurable part of the voting public, as a viable, responsible, self-aware, mentally vigorous, non-dangerous, non-risk. We'd all be going home to our beds well before midnight tomorrow night.
But while all that is hypothetical, this is not: This cascade of incompetence and irresponsibility I have enumerated tonight -- all the sound bites, all the foot-in-mouth moments, all the no-brainers-gone-wrong - all these, John McCain has said. No hyperbole and no hypotheses are required.
This is who John McCain has showed us he is.
Transcripts below the fold:
I ask you to imagine an alternative universe where the candidates are the same, but what each has said and done, has been reversed.
What would be happening tonight if Senator Obama had stumbled, over everything from arcane details, to sweeping policies of the utmost importance, and not just once or twice, but endlessly?
What if Senator Obama couldn't tell Iran from Iraq?
Iraq from Afghanistan?
Sunni from Shi'a?
Somalia from Sudan?
What if Senator Obama had gotten up before a crowd and started off by saying "You know, I think you may have noticed that Senator McCain's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately."
And who finished by saying…
VIDEO OF BARACK OBAMA: I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. I COULD NOT DISAGREE WITH HIM MORE. BUT I COULD NOT AGREE MORE WITH THE EXPLANATION SENATOR MCCAIN OFFERED A FEW WEEKS AGO.
What would we be asking ourselves about his capabilities, if it had been Senator Obama who had identified General David Petraeus as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?
And Vladimir Putin as the President of Germany?
And Spain as a country in Latin America?
What if it had been Senator Obama who not only used his POW experience at every turn, but wrote of giving to his captors, not the names of his fellow servicemen, but of the offensive line of the Green Bay Packers football team - only to, when he spoke in Western Pennsylvania, change the story so that he gave to his captors, the names of the offensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team?
What if it had been Senator Obama who, out of nowhere, had blurted out an inexplicable, perhaps Freudian, slip, while intending to say "My Fellow Americans"?
VIDEO OF BARACK OBAMA:TO CHAIRMAN DEAN AND THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS DICK DURBIN, AND TO MY FELLOW PRISONERS I ACCEPT YOUR NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
And what would be happening tonight in the minds of tens of millions of voters if it had been Senator Obama who had his people negotiate, behind the scenes and off the record, to force favorable coverage of his campaign at three television networks?
Or if it had been Senator Obama repeatedly mocking a research study on the DNA of bears… until he was suddenly reminded he had voted for it?
Or if Senator Obama had an advisor who claimed that Senator Obama's work on a sub-committee had led to the invention of the blackberry?
Or if Senator Obama had tried to get one of the presidential debates postponed or cancelled… and threatened to boycott another one, the Town Hall, because he didn't like the network the moderator worked for, all the while complaining that the other guy wouldn't debate him or agree to ten… Town Halls.
What would be happening tonight in the souls of a nation, if after all that, at the first debate, it had been Senator Obama who would not as much as look at Senator McCain, and then finally addressed him, at the second one, in a weird and cryptic manner?
VIDEO OF BARACK OBAMA: IF WE COULD HAVE INTERVENED IN THE HOLOCAUST, WHO AMONG US WOULD SAY THAT WE HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION NOT TO GO IN? THAT ONE.
What would a country heading into the most important vote in its modern history be thinking tonight, if it had been Senator Obama who viewed a collapsing economy and insisted that if in office, he would fire the head of the SEC (even though a president cannot) - and then the next day tried to correct himself by calling on the head of the FEC to resign?
What if it had been Senator Obama who, on September 24th, had quote "suspended" his campaign so he could focus only on the "cratering" economy… just nine days after having insisted that there was little wrong?
VIDEO OF BARACK OBAMA: THE TRUTH IS, THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ECONOMY ARE STRONG. WE ARE JUST SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL RECESSION, YOU NATION OF WHINERS.
Where would America's collective head be tonight, if it had been, in the middle of a campaign in part focused on elitism and celebrity and personal wealth, Senator Obama who couldn't remember - or wouldn't admit - how many houses he owned?
VIDEO: HOW MANY HOUSES DO YOU HAVE? BARACK OBAMA UH, YOU KNOW I THINK THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION TO ADDRESS TO MY STAFF...AH AH AH, I MEAN, YOU'D HAVE TO ASK MY STAFF.
What if Senator Obama had deflected all serious questions about the troubled finances of a worried nation, by virtually concocting a preposterous every-man, a fictional character, a plumber without a license, a small businessman who owned no business, an average Joe who had a lawyer, a book agent, a publicist, and maybe a recording contract?
VIDEO OF BARACK OBAMA: I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE NEXT THREE WEEKS DEVOTED TO TALKING ABOUT JOE THE PLUMBER WHO IS AN AMERICAN HERO
JOHN MCCAIN: NO, HE'S NOT
BARACK OBAMA: YES,HE IS.
What would the national psyche be like tonight if it had been Senator Obama who had sung a mocking song about "bombing Iran"?
What would be happening if Senator Obama had accepted the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee, or Pastor Rod Parsley, or had a running mate who attributed their big break in politics to the laying on of hands by a minister who began his career in -- Kenya -- by slandering a woman as a "witch" and hounding her out of her home?
What would we be thinking if it had been Senator Obama who, at a critical moment, exaggerated a public claim about the "suspension" of his campaign, and lied to a national television figure about it?
And what if it had been Senator Obama who had been somehow nominated by his party, months and months ago, even though it had been he who had not reproached the use of the rankest of sexist terms - in public - about Senator Hillary Clinton?
VIDEO OF BARACK OBAMA:LET'S GO TO THIS LADY HERE. LADY: HOW DO WE BEAT THE BITCH ? THAT'S WHY I HAVE THAT STICK!
We all know exactly what would be happening tonight if Senator Obama had made all those mistakes, contradictions, gaffes, Freudian slips, and hypocritical pronouncements.
He would have long since ceased to be taken seriously by any measurable part of the voting public, as a viable, responsible, self-aware, mentally vigorous, non-dangerous, non-risk.
We'd all be going home to our beds well before midnight tomorrow night.
But while all that is hypothetical, this is not:
This cascade of incompetence and irresponsibility I have enumerated tonight -- all the sound bites, all the foot-in-mouth moments, all the no-brainers-gone-wrong - all these, John McCain has said.
No hyperbole and no hypotheses are required.
This... is who John McCain has showed us... he is.