A Couple Things Senators McCain and Obama Have In Common

One recent Wednesday morning, Sen. John Sidney McCain III of Arizona wrote a one-page letter. It arrived in an envelope that said in red: “EMERGENCY NOTICE.” 

Sen. McCain begins: 

“We’ve reached a critical juncture in the campaign. The Obama Democrats and their left-wing special interest allies have come together in a united front, combining their enormous fund-raising arsenal. Meanwhile, the national Democrats led by Chairman Howard Dean are stepping up their cynical campaign of distortions and outright lies, and with the help of their cronies like MoveOn.org, are raising staggering amounts of money.” 

Sen. McCain’s missive may be a reaction to an earlier, four-page letter from his opponent, Sen. Barack Hussein Obama. 

After a lengthy recitation of the greatness of America — “This is the country that made it possible for my mother – a single parent who had to go on food stamps at one point in her life – to send my sister and me to college on a combination of work and scholarships” – Obama says America “can’t afford to give John McCain the chance to serve out George Bush’s third term.” 

(Editor’s Note: The underlining, bold face and italics are those of Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama, not California’s Capitol. Except in this Editor’s Note, of course.) 

While Sen. Obama’s fourth paragraph urges the reader to become a supporter of “Obama for America” today, it isn’t until the penultimate paragraph on the fourth page in which Sen. Obama puts the bite on the reader hoping they will “rush a generous contribution – of $50, $100, $250 or even more if you can – to Obama for America today.” 

Perhaps because he is so busy campaigning he only had time to dash off a one-page missive, Sen. McCain is way more direct saying in his fourth paragraph: “Please send in a generous Emergency Membership Contribution of $35, $50, $100, $500 or even more if you can afford it.” 

Sen. McCain appears a bit more desperate. He’s willing to take $35; Sen. Obama’s threshold is $50. Of course, Sen. McCain skips from $100 and goes right to $500 whereas Sen. Obama’s top bracket is $250. In one instance of political commnality, both agree that they wouldn’t mind if a bigger check came through. 

Sen. McCain says that the Republican National Committee has set a “daunting” fundraising goal of $30 million in the next 15 days. “But together we can – we must – meet this challenge.” 

Perhaps Sen. McCain needs this money because he is running an “expensive, negative campaign,” as Sen. Obama characterizes it. “Each day brings a desperate new set of attacks.” 

That probably is expensive – having to come up with a whole new set of desperate attacks every single day and twice on Sundays.  To his credit, Sen. McCain concedes this: 

“Our national grassroots campaign is a massive undertaking – we are all aware of the Democrats’ financial advantage at this stage of the battle – that is why we must fight to keep the playing field as even as possible.” 

(Editor’s Note: At least he didn’t want to level the playing field.) 

Whether it adds to the expense of Sen. McCain’s negative national grassroots campaign and its daily set of desperate attacks is unclear but Sen. Obama insists the Republicans are “mocking the desire of millions of Americans to step up and take ownership of the political process.” 

Sen. McCain says he wouldn’t be hitting people up for bucks “if the circumstances were not so dire.” He notes that the “weeks and days ahead will be the most important yet in our battle to defeat the Democrats and their flawed policies that embrace higher taxes, more government spending, socialized medicine and surrender in Iraq.”

Sen. McCain isn’t shy about highlighting the need for money pronto. 

“In order to get our message of truth to all Americans, register historic numbers of voters and remain competitive in every state and every district we must match the Democrats’ fundraising efforts. And we cannot do this – we cannot fight back against the Democrats and their liberal allies – without your immediate help.” 

(Editor’s Note: Taking Sen. McCain at his word, if this mountain of $35 checks he seeks is designed to make Republicans competitive in every state, why does neither he nor Sen. Obama bother campaigning in California? Shoot, we’ve moved our presidential primary up and down and back and forth pretty much a zillion times to try to make ourselves politically relevant nationally and yet some cynics insist both candidates have written off the Golden State: Obama as a win; McCain as a loss. And, those cynics add, besides the two candidates’ willingness to accept bigger checks, the only political view they share is a perception of California as one giant ATM. But that’s just yapping from those darn cynics. Maybe we should tell them to sit in the corner with all the darn mockers.) 

Sen. Obama isn’t terribly flattering in his assessment of Sen. McCain. On page two of his letter, Sen. Obama catalogues quite a litany of political crimes-against-humanity committed by his GOP opponent. But, in sum: 

“This year’s Republican primary was a contest to see which candidate could outdo the other in promising to continue George W. bush’s failed policies on the war in Iraq, the economy, the environment and health – and that’s a contest that John McCain won.” 

(Editor’s Note: An excellent underlining, italics opportunity missed.) 

Both candidates offer postscripts. 

“My faith in the decency and honesty and generosity of the American people is not based on false hope or blind optimism,” Sen. Obama writes, “but on what I’ve lived in my life and what I’ve seen in this campaign.” 

That’s just throat clearing. He continues: 

“At so many decisive moments in our history we’ve seen one person stand up – and then another, and another still – until a movement was formed that could bring about change. And, now, this movement needs your voice and your help. Please help us continue building this movement until it reaches all the way to the White House. Thank you.” 

Sen. McCain is more succinct and prosaic: 

“I’m counting on your immediate help to strengthen our Republican Party efforts in the critical days ahead. Please make an Emergency Membership Contribution of at least $35, $50, $100 or $500 and rush it back to RNC Victory 2008 today. Thank you.” 

Sen. Obama encloses a contribution form that features his smiling visage and the words “Dear Barack, I agree!” across the top. 

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for… we are the change we seek. You can count on me to support you and our movement for change all the way to the White House.” 

Trumping Sen. McCain’ $500 suggestion, Sen. Obama includes a box to check for a $1,000 contribution. 

Sen. McCain does not include a photo of himself on his 2008 EMERGENCY MEMBERSHIP STATEMENT. He does say however that the money is due by October 20. 

He also takes the liberty of writing a “Dear John” letter to himself from the contributor. 

“Dear John, I realize that it is absolutely essential to our party’s success for us to raise at least $30 million in the next 15 days to battle back against the Democrats’ massive and limitless fundraising machine. I have included my Emergency Membership contribution of $500, $100, $50 or $35 to ensure RNC Victory meets its critical fundraising goal as we move into the final days leading up to the elections.” 

In a glaring lack of fundraising vision, neither candidate offers speedy contributors a fabulous set of Ginsu knives absolutely free if they just call this 1-800 number before midnight tonight.

But wait – there’s more! 



Filed under: Venting


  1. I guess if Senator McCain were a little more savvy about the E-mail thingy, he’d have less need to catch up and beg in an emergency capacity.

    Comment by Robyn Boyer — 10.16.2008 @ 6:14 pm

  2. he is going to lose the election !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by alyssa — 10.27.2008 @ 4:26 pm

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