McCain advisor: A new terror attack would be “a big advantage to him”

posted at 6:39 pm on June 23, 2008 by Allahpundit

A tin-eared Kinsleyan gaffe, like Harry Reid cooing about the senate seats his party’s going to reap from chaos in Iraq. As an observation of electoral reality it may be true but it’s far too crass to say aloud, as would be true of a lefty acknowledging that a downturn in Iraq would be a big advantage for Obama’s campaign vis-a-vis Maverick’s “100 years” comment (which it would, and which is precisely why Reid’s still pushing the idea of an “intractable civil war” even after the media’s given up on it). Too bad Black doesn’t have the good sense to recognize that.

On national security McCain wins. We saw how that might play out early in the campaign, when one good scare, one timely reminder of the chaos lurking in the world, probably saved McCain in New Hampshire, a state he had to win to save his candidacy – this according to McCain’s chief strategist, Charlie Black. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an “unfortunate event,” says Black. “But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who’s ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us.” As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him,” says Black.

And the obligatory distancing:

“I cannot imagine why he would say it,” McCain said. “It’s not true. I’ve worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America. My record is very clear. The Armed Services Committee, and pieces of legislation. Sponsoring with Joe Lieberman the 9/11 Commission so we could find out the causes and how to fix the challenges that we face to fix the security of our nation. I cannot imagine it. And, uh. So, I would … If he said that, and I do not know the context, I strenuously disagree.”

And just as I’m writing this, here’s the obligatory apology and the obligatory angry statement from Team Barry calling it a “complete disgrace.” Now all we need is a 25-minute special comment from Olby and the circle will be complete.

“Democratic consultants have said similar things to me,” admits Jake Tapper about Black’s comments, and no wonder: They’re just following Hillary Clinton’s lead. I do like McCain’s response, though. Instead of simply rejecting the implication, however unintended, that Americans being killed might provide an “advantage” (which should go without saying), he uses it as an opportunity to remind the public that there haven’t been any new attacks in seven years. Shrewd. Exit prediction: Black’s comment will be seized upon by Truthers as “evidence” that Bush is planning to let an attack happen if McCain trails Obama late into the fall, and slowly but surely the meme will trickle into the mainstream of BDS sufferers until it emerges as October Surprise ’08. I know; too easy.


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Fire him and fire him now.

JeffreyLloyd on June 23, 2008 at 6:41 PM

How vero possumus…

Chudi on June 23, 2008 at 6:43 PM

Distasteful, but true. This is his head strategerist? Unforced error. 3 point penalty. Play ball.

VolMagic on June 23, 2008 at 6:44 PM

That’s probably not the most appropriate remark Black could’ve made to express the advantage McCain clearly has in the area of national security, but is he right? All political correctness and taboo aside, would an attack before the election actually benefit John McCain?

According to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll, McCain vastly outperforms a generic Republican on the issue, leading Barack Obama by double-digits. Any attack on American soil would certainly thrust that winning issue (for McCain) to the frontline.

Now, of course I’m not hoping for a terror attack regardless of who it benefits electorally. I pray daily for God to keep this country safe and would rather lose 10 elections than have a single American hurt/killed by the terrorist scumbags. But Black didn’t say he’s hoping for a terror attack either. He simply noted that one would, in fact, benefit McCain electorally.

Sad, but true.

amerpundit on June 23, 2008 at 6:44 PM

FFS. Are the ads out yet using the quote?

As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him,” says Black.

This guy is certainly stupid for even alluding to something like this out loud, but I wonder what the exact exchange of words was.

reaganaut on June 23, 2008 at 6:48 PM

From the Obama response:

Barack Obama will turn the page on these failed policies and this cynical and divisive brand of politics so that we can unite this nation around a common purpose to finish the fight against al Qaeda

Now, it was AQ that hit us on 9/11 (and several times over the Clinton tenure) but the way the Dems myopically focus on AQ is very disheartening. I am by no means an expert, but even I know that the different (?) terrorist outfits constantly co-mingle, splinter, form bonds, and are generally motivated by the same ideology. Defeating AQ and killing Bin Laden would certainly be important steps in the right direction, but it is by no means the end game in this struggle.

VolMagic on June 23, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Sometimes the truth hurts both sides. Blacks words were fact but not subtle enough to pass the test as a campaign repesentative. Just ask Ferraro…

In this case though,Black should stay.After all, he issued a Liberal style apology. ;)

AnthonyK on June 23, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Why to these stupid people keep saying such stupid things? Is there no filter between the brain and the mouth?

ctmom on June 23, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Americans are being killed every single day…by handguns.

Where is the leadership?

Drowning in bribes?

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Now all we need is a 25-minute special comment from Olby

“Need” is not quite the word I would have chosen.

TexasDan on June 23, 2008 at 6:56 PM

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Also by cars. And highways. And little puddles of water. Its a sad world. Better get gubbmint to come save us!

VolMagic on June 23, 2008 at 6:57 PM

Bad McCain advisor. Bad. Bad.

Maxx on June 23, 2008 at 6:58 PM

Now all we need is a 25-minute special comment from Olby

You know it will be coming. God help us…

JeffreyLloyd on June 23, 2008 at 7:00 PM

hoo boy.

Dash on June 23, 2008 at 7:00 PM

I’m actually not so sure this would be a slam-dunk for McCain. If a successful attack occurred, you can bet that the Dems would make absolute hay out of this, with respect to “Bush’s failed policies”, “root causes”, etc, etc.

McCain’s having a hard enough time separating himself from Bush. If a big attack happened, the GAP could really turn on the ‘Pubs, with McCain being the obvious front-and-center target of their wrath.

nukemhill on June 23, 2008 at 7:02 PM

That’s true, Vol.

It’s amazing how the right has milked the least likely cause of death for votes and billions in pork.

Odds of anyone in flyover territory getting killed in a terrorist attack?

Less than zero.

No wonder the Chinese are eating us alive…

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 7:02 PM

VolMagic on June 23, 2008 at 6:57 PM

Snort-worthy.

But you forgot about God (killing people, that is).

omnipotent on June 23, 2008 at 7:02 PM

As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him,” says Black.

He was asked the question, and he answered it. It’s not as if he was sitting around and idly remarked “Hey…you know what would be a big help in October?”

Still, the guy could’ve fielded the question with a bit more finesse.

flipflop on June 23, 2008 at 7:02 PM

No wonder the Chinese are eating us alive…

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 7:02 PM

Yeah, it’s our handguns.

Effin’ idiot.

omnipotent on June 23, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Now all we need is a 25-minute special comment from Olby

Yep, as they tell you at the zoo: Don’t feed the monkeys.

Black should be spending more time there than on the campaign trail.

SteveMG on June 23, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Dude, is he TRYING to lose the election?

No support from the base, all this red meat to the LEFT.

oy, I wish he wasn’t the candidate.

dc84123 on June 23, 2008 at 7:06 PM

No, omni…it’s the stupidity of America that lets the Chinese kick our butts.

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM

alphie,

I suggest you go read you Constitution. I know you lefties love to carry around little copies in you coat pocket! In there, you might find one of the reasons why we citizens agree to be governed by a federal gubbmint. I could die any day (heck, Barack, as a black man, could be shot going to the gas station according to Michelle). But when I go, I don’t want it to be at the hands of some filthy jihadi. and that is one of the precious few things I think the government can and should do something about.

VolMagic on June 23, 2008 at 7:09 PM

No, omni…it’s the stupidity of America that lets the Chinese kick our butts.

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM

One word, UNIONS.

omnipotent on June 23, 2008 at 7:11 PM

Firefox 3 blows.

mylegsareswollen on June 23, 2008 at 7:11 PM

No, omni…it’s the stupidity of America that lets the Chinese kick our butts.

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Ah, shut the hell up you Marxist twit.

doubleplusundead on June 23, 2008 at 7:11 PM

Exit prediction: Black’s comment will be seized upon by Truthers as “evidence” that Bush is planning to let an attack happen if McCain trails Obama late into the fall, and slowly but surely the meme will trickle into the mainstream of BDS sufferers until it emerges as October Surprise ‘08. I know; too easy.

That’s nuthin’. Wait till bin Laden’s head goes up on a pole on the WH lawn in mid-October. They’ll seize up, froth, and stagger aimlessly. I can’t wait.

a capella on June 23, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Exit prediction: Black’s comment will be seized upon by Truthers as “evidence” that Bush is planning to let an attack happen if McCain trails Obama late into the fall, and slowly but surely the meme will trickle into the mainstream of BDS sufferers until it emerges as October Surprise ‘08. I know; too easy.

Yeah, way too easy. Damned Truthers are tenacious little bastards, took me about a week and two bannings to finally get rid of one I had.

doubleplusundead on June 23, 2008 at 7:17 PM

What a fu**ing stupid thing to say. It may or may not be the truth, but hell, have a filter, man. Black’s gotta be fired immediately.

And yes – there will be an over the top Olbermeltdown in 5…4…3…

Dave Rywall on June 23, 2008 at 7:17 PM

If McCain’s WoT policy is similar to Bush’s, and like he said we haven’t been attacked here since 9/11, wouldn’t another attack be harmful to McCain’s candidacy?

Eh, it’s like I’ve always said…the Lefties will seize on anything they can get, blow it out of proportion, and milk it for all they can. We ain’t seen nothing yet.

JetBoy on June 23, 2008 at 7:19 PM

The gang that couldn’t shoot straight!

What a bunch of clowns, and I’m supposed to vote for this idiot over the Muslim-Marxist practicing “Taqiyah”?

Yikes!

He’s already down 15 points in the polls, the “Right” can’t stand him, and yet, he’s the only thing that stands between us, and the total annihilation that the Marxist-Muslim Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Leftist (TM) Administration that would be ObamaCON.

I’m totally Areligious, but its time to start praying, we’re screwed!

Dale in Atlanta on June 23, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Where is the leadership?

Drowning in bribes?

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 6:53 PM

I know. How about that Countrywide thing? Sickening, huh?

a capella on June 23, 2008 at 7:20 PM

He’s already down 15 points in the polls, the “Right” can’t stand him, and yet, he’s the only thing that stands between us, and the total annihilation that the Marxist-Muslim Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Leftist (TM) Administration that would be ObamaCON.

Dale in Atlanta on June 23, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Hopefully you are not referencing the Newsweek poll that almost everyone, even those on the left, have said is an outlier. Every other poll out shows McCain in a competitive race with Obama.

Complete7 on June 23, 2008 at 7:26 PM

No, omni…it’s the stupidity of America that lets the Chinese kick our butts.

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Hey alphie, the Americans who aren’t stupid aren’t getting their butts kicked by the Chinese.

Cicero43 on June 23, 2008 at 7:26 PM

No, omni…it’s the stupidity of America that lets the Chinese kick our butts.

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM

What should we do….pay workers pocket change, make them live at the factories they work at, and adopt a communist government?

JetBoy on June 23, 2008 at 7:33 PM

I dunno, another attack might actually mobilize a write-in campaign for Fred!.

NTWR on June 23, 2008 at 7:34 PM

What? Was it something I said. Oops. Ok, well, ahem, I sincerely apologize if anyone was offended by that last comment and I hope that any such person(s) understand that it is not the policy of this poster to try to offend anyone.

NTWR on June 23, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Vinegar with a heap of rancid bacon grease thown in.

This will be played out all the way to November. Yes it was a gaff etc, etc, but it will be in the Dem keynote speech at the convention and probably Barak’s speech too.

Only Barry could blunt this by saying something even more tacky (which isn’t past the realm of possibility).

Limerick on June 23, 2008 at 7:44 PM

Note to morons like this jackass! SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

Gatordoug on June 23, 2008 at 7:54 PM

Americans are being killed every single day…by handguns.

Where is the leadership?

Drowning in bribes?

alphie on June 23, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Yeah, Americans are being killed by cars every day too. We should outlaw them, huh? Don’t answer that, lefty.

And doctors. Doctors kill people every day.

And time. Time kills people every day. We should definitely outlaw time. Especially since time equals money, and we all know how eeevil money is.

Oh, and drilling won’t help. I mean, drilling in American territory won’t help. Drilling in Saudi Arabia will help.

misterpeasea on June 23, 2008 at 7:58 PM

Perhaps it’s my partisanship taking over here, but I honestly can’t see the problem here, other than tact… and even that wasn’t that bad. This is no where near being on the level of Democrat House Whip Clyburn saying that good news in Iraq was bad news for Dems, or the other points you mention in the post. It’s simply true – McCain is (according to every poll, and common sense) better on national security, ipso facto, an attack would be to his advantage. That doesn’t mean he wants one or would even think about that as an issue to campaign on. It simply means that one of his people was asked about it, and he answered with the obvious answer – of course McCain holds the advantage on this issue.

Again, perhaps this is my blind partisanship, but I’m not seeing it. I do however certainly see the fun the media will be (and is already) having with this.

RightWinged on June 23, 2008 at 7:59 PM

Allah-

As an observation of electoral reality it may be true but it’s far too crass to say aloud…

You know, I’ve never understood this line of thinking. I would think that it would reiterate Obama’s stance that the Iraq war hasn’t made us safer, and that the “fight them over there” and “follow us home” rhetoric is total fallacy (which I’ve argued from day one anyway). I mean, what would the electorate expect McCain to jump in and do? Invade another country that had nothing to do with it?

But you’re right, Hillary gave the idea credence last year, for some reason. In a sane world, another attack would be bad for every American, but especially the GOP. In a sane world…

ChenZhen on June 23, 2008 at 8:03 PM

Sometimes you need to know when to shut up. Any gaffe no matter how harmless will be amplified 10 fold.

tomas on June 23, 2008 at 8:30 PM

Is he sure about that? An open, pourous southern border does little to help McCain.

SouthernGent on June 23, 2008 at 8:41 PM

of course another attack would help McC, but you can’t SAY that OUTLOUD, duh

TheCulturalist on June 23, 2008 at 8:42 PM

He might have mused a little further and speculated on the lead a nuke going off at an Obama speech in Boston would give.

Hillary speculated on assassination slowing the Messiah down and so she was hanging around to catch the falling flag from his cold dead hands. I suppose that doesn’t count now.

BL@KBIRD on June 23, 2008 at 9:01 PM

Why to these stupid people keep saying such stupid things? Is there no filter between the brain and the mouth?

ctmom on June 23, 2008 at 6:52 PM

McCain must be throwing the election. He just does not want to win??

gxpgxp on June 23, 2008 at 9:04 PM

Charlie Black, you are a flaming idiot. Please resign immediately.

Zorro on June 23, 2008 at 9:06 PM


McCain advisor: A new terror attack would be “a big advantage to him”

Not any more!

infidelpride on June 23, 2008 at 9:23 PM

True but a damn stupid thing to say.

KBird on June 23, 2008 at 9:57 PM

*Sigh*

Did McCain decide to go out and get some Kerry Advisors? What the heck is this idiot thinking, sure he makes sense that it would help McCain, BUT WHY SAY IT, your just calling for the Paulnuts to come sit on your doorstep and say we made 9/11. Time for McCain to throw this putz under the jet.

Rbastid on June 24, 2008 at 12:35 AM

Remember all that stuff we were saying about what Obama’s associations say about his personal judgement and character?

SuperCool on June 24, 2008 at 1:52 AM

Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him,” says Black.

This was a trap question along the lines of, “Would another terrorist attack on U.S. soil between now and the election give Mcain a political advantage?”

The guy answered truthfully… without realising he was being set up.

Compare and contrast the media recation to this and to BHOs many gaffes (none of which got headlined on the BBC world service like this just was).

SimonBarnett on June 24, 2008 at 7:41 AM

Silence is golden.

OldEnglish on June 24, 2008 at 8:26 AM