The main story of this campaign so far is that McCain and Palin are lying their heads off and hoping that the press won’t dare mention it and the swing voters won’t notice. So far, the polling suggests it’s been a winning bet. But the risk for Steve Schmidt, and the hope for the country, was always that the press would start reporting that as the story: not charge-and-response, but McCain’s insanely reckless contempt for the difference between truth and falsehood.
That seems to be starting to happen. Here’s the headline and opening paragraphs of a story just posted by Charles Babington of AP:
Analysis: McCain’s claims skirt facts, test voters
By CHARLES BABINGTON —
WASHINGTON (AP) — The “Straight Talk Express” has detoured into doublespeak.
Republican presidential nominee John McCain, a self-proclaimed tell-it-like-it-is maverick, keeps saying his running mate, Sarah Palin, killed the federally funded Bridge to Nowhere when, in fact, she pulled her support only after the project became a political embarrassment. He accuses Democrat Barack Obama of calling Palin a pig, which did not happen. He says Obama would raise nearly everyone’s taxes, when independent groups say 80 percent of families would get tax cuts instead.
Even in a political culture accustomed to truth-stretching, McCain’s skirting of facts has stood out this week. It has infuriated and flustered Obama’s campaign, and campaign pros are watching to see how much voters disregard news reports noting factual holes in the claims.
Kudos to Babington, who’s no Democratic partisan: he was the one who did the dimwit “analysis” of Obama’s acceptance speech.
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