As you plant, so shall you reap

Even Republican ringers ask McCain question that turn out to be embarrassing for him to answer.

It seems that the Ohio resident who asked John McCain at a town hall meeting about the loss of Ohio jobs due to the pending closure of a cargo airport was in fact one of the organizers of the event. (See comments 6 and 7.)

Republican use of “ringers” impersonating ordinary citizens at town hall meetings is nothing new. What’s bizarre here is that McCain then brought the ringer out again to complain (slightly incoherently) about his opponent’s reaction. And what’s at least equally bizarre is that McCain doesn’t seem to have been prepared to answer the question the ringer asked.

So it seems likely that Houghtaling was trying to help the campaign but her question hadn’t been arranged in advance. She didn’t know that McCain had helped push the deal through, or that Davis had been the lobbyist for the deal, and that the question was a hot potato for McCain.

This is technically known as “sloppy advance work,” or “getting what you had coming to you.”

Footnote Good work by Prup, aka Jim Benton.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: