It's not a smear if it's true.
This is where politicians' pasts catch up with them and make life hot and sweaty for the remainder of the campaign. Folks are bored, apparently, with "issues" already and so we move into the character assassination phase of the election cycle. McCain will be taking hits both for his involvement with the "Keating Five," as well as his relatively advanced age. Obama, for his part, will more or less deflect direct shots on his involvement with some still-toxic radicals throughout his adult life.
I say "deflect" because even Tom Brokaw is carrying water for the Golden Boy. He has downgraded Bill Ayers from full-fledged radical terrrorist to a mere "school reformer."
Hey, it's not like Ayers has gone out of his way to disabuse us of the notion that he hates the United States of America. Except, you know, for those who tend to accept his radical "communism with a small 'c'" brand of "community organization." This man is repentant in the same way Hussein was repentant when he was led to the gallows.
Obama, of course, claims that the "smears" are McCain's attempt to deflect attention away from the economy, which is admittedly not his strong suit. Doug Ross (via American Digest) points out that McCain, at least, has a ready-made solution to his economic shortcomings: simply announce his intention to name Mitt Romney as Secretary of the Treasury. This would tend to take most of the teeth out of Obama's argument that McCain doesn't have the economic savvy to run the country. So long as he was willing to listen to Romney's advice on the most critical matters we face, such a selection would go a long way toward pacifying those of us on the right who believe McCain is currently taking the coward's way out of the immediate crisis.
I also find charges that McCain has an "erratic" nature, largely due to his advanced age, as being somewhat trite. The man is 72. My Dad was 72 when he passed away, and he was a much bigger curmudgeon than McCain can ever lay claim to being. Old guys tend to think of crotchetiness as something of a badge of honor. The man still has young adults at home. He's gonna be crotchety on occasion.
As I've said before, this is all pretty much business as usual in every election to which I've paid attention. Candidates don't like each other. They also have to persuade large sectors of population that the other guy is completely untrustworthy, and they will look for any charge, no matter how flimsy, to sell it. I only expect to see more of this over the next four weeks.
Boy, will it be a relief to get this over with.
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