If you think so, what would you say about this?
Senator John McCain’s campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say.
Mr. McCain, the Republican candidate for president, has recently begun campaigning as a critic of the two companies and the lobbying army that helped them evade greater regulation as they began buying riskier mortgages with implicit federal backing. He and his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, have donors and advisers who are tied to the companies.
But last week the McCain campaign stepped up a running battle of guilt by association when it began broadcasting commercials trying to link Mr. Obama directly to the government bailout of the mortgage giants this month by charging that he takes advice from Fannie Mae’s former chief executive, Franklin Raines, an assertion both Mr. Raines and the Obama campaign dispute.
Incensed by the advertisements, several current and former executives of the companies came forward to discuss the role that Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager and longtime adviser, played in helping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac beat back regulatory challenges when he served as president of their advocacy group, the Homeownership Alliance, formed in the summer of 2000.
The story isn’t that McCain has a campaign manager who was dedicated to deregulating one of the lynchpins in this crisis. The story is McCain’s sanctimonious and unbelievably hypocritical finger-pointing at Obama for his ties to Fannie Mae, the “tie” being that the leader of Obama’s VP search was head of the quasi-governmental organization. If that’s reason to link Obama to the Fannie Mae disaster, which was years in the making, then what does today’s revelation do to McCain? McCain chose to play guilt by association, and based on his own rules he’s looking very guilty.
Just one more example of McCain’s descent from being (or appearing to be) the tell-it-like-it-is “maverick” to a nasty, hypocritical, quick-to-smear liar. He’s my senator; I’m ashamed of him. You should be, too.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.