Andrea Mitchell to McCain's campaign manager: How come you keep calling Obama that "C-word"?

The “C-word” in question being — gasp — celebrity. It comes at around 10:45, but to get a fuller flavor of the exchange you should watch the first three or four minutes before skipping ahead to that point and then letting it play out. In Mitchell’s defense, Davis never quite gets to the crux of the “celebrity” jab; for that, see Lindsey Graham’s succinct description of the ad as being about “the idea of fame without portfolio.” Precisely. Or better still, go watch the old clips of Hannity playing stump the band with Democratic focus groups. The point isn’t that Obama is spectacularly famous, it’s that his fame is out of all proportion to his actual accomplishments. It’s 95% image, a fact implicitly recognized in how easily his fans lapse into creepy iconography. But since McCain can’t call Obamamania what it really is — a benign cult of personality — he reached for the nearest, most innocuous synonym he could find. At the very least, “celebrity” is closer to the truth than, say, “statesman.”

As I say, watch the first few minutes (if only to see her play dumb about the race card) and the last few, when she wonders why the campaign is so interested in petty details about Obama’s shopping habits even as the nutroots obsess about the price of McCain’s shoes. Her contempt really shines through in the last 20 seconds, so at least don’t miss that. Exit question: Davis doesn’t seriously think the Obama campaign is feeding lefty bloggers disingenuous demagogic talking points on race, does he? Why on earth would they need to?

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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023