[Disclosure: I live in Chicago, and have financially supported Obama already.]
The first note is about the organization that McCain cited at the beginning of his speech, Citizens Against Government Waste. The one he was using as his citation for the 900-million-dollar figure he was hanging around Obama’s neck. They’ve are a lobbying organization, which has the following accusations against it:
- Astroturfing for Microsoft, against the anti-trust actions in the late 90s.
- Astroturfing for Phillip-Morris, to label a public health campaign that was showing results in reducing smoking “government waste,” and for a tobacco-industry supported anti-tobacco bill.
- Labelling the YMCA “government waste” after taking contributions from private health clubs.
And perhaps most damning:
- Laundering money for Jack Abramoff
That’s who McCain was using as his source when he obliquely accused Obama of corruption.
Also worth noting was Obama’s description of the practice of supporting friendly dictators the product of “a 20th century mindset.” A brilliant statement, in no small part because Obama knows how to get your mind going in the direction he wants it to go. The rest of the debate I had the recurring sensation that McCain sounded like a throwback to the late 1980s—great for ironic, trashy, britpop. For a U.S. President? Not so much.