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McCain’s Apology for Bill Cunningham

FOXNews.com Article

I heard about this on the radio yesterday, and I wondered what some of you thought. I’m hardly an expert on or even an enthusiastic reader about federal elections, but I do wonder whether some of you think that McCain really means to distance himself from the insult-casting that has characterized so many federal elections. If this were for real I’d be glad for it, but I do wonder whether federal campaign staffs are capable of such restraint.

I listened both to NPR’s Morning Edition account of it and to Sean Hannity’s interview with Cunningham himself, and the whole thing seems unreal–I thought that WWF-style smack-talk was with us until the end of the Internet Age.

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About Nathan Gilmour

Nathan P. Gilmour is a Christian, a husband, a father, and a college English teacher. He tries to do all of that and write something worthwhile on occasion.

Discussion

17 thoughts on “McCain’s Apology for Bill Cunningham

  1. >See, I hadn’t even thought about the middle name thing. I thought McCain was distancing himself from people who referred to Obama as a hack and other such things. That was the name-calling I was referring to; I wonder whether McCain was doing the same. At any rate, for all the talk about the breathless adoration of Obama (I haven’t seen that much, since I work in an English department, the least breathless bunch of people I can imagine being around, and go to church with people more likely to beatify Reagan than anoint Obama), I was genuinely impressed with this move on McCain’s part. For a moment I thought, “Perhaps a Republican really can stand up to the shock jocks.” I think that perhaps the fact that three Senators are running right now has something to do with it–I can see on CSPAN that there’s a Senatorial collegiality that often rises above the AM radio silliness. But then again, perhaps I’m too naive, an analogue with regards to McCain to those too easily impressed by Obama. 😉

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | February 28, 2008, 7:13 pm
  2. >That’s the key Jeff. Hammer hard on the liberal beliefs of Obama and what that will entail but do it without rancor and name-calling. That way will only lead to defeat.

    Posted by Jeff Bailey | February 28, 2008, 7:06 pm
  3. >McCain doesn’t need to track down any of the points I mentioned as far as the Hussein thing, the Somali clothes, etc. If we’re going to use a middle name for Obama lets call him Barack McGovern Obama. He’s McGovern all over again and will be beat as he was. McCain will defeat Obama on the issues just as McGovern, Mondale, and Dukakis all lost with their liberal platforms.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 28, 2008, 6:25 pm
  4. >I think the faster McCain can distance himself from the sophomoric Cunningham types, the better.

    Posted by Jeff Bailey | February 28, 2008, 4:49 pm
  5. >I’m worked up tonight, by the way. Hearing the sound bites from the debate last night and the commentary on it all makes me want to slam my head through the wall.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 28, 2008, 1:15 am
  6. >I wasn’t directing my comments at anybody. Honestly, I barely read the other comments before I left my own. He introduced McCain at a rally? I thought he said them on his radio program. Interesting. I never heard of him until I turned Drudge on one night and he was on there instead. co-heir is right. He’s trying to noticed so he can begin to be mentioned with the big boys. And you’re all racist.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 28, 2008, 1:13 am
  7. > “But don’t point any of these things out. Its racist.” I don’t think anyone is denying any of the charges you mentioned. It is obvious Obama is going to have problems with these issues. Shucks, if I were him I would have changed the name a long time ago. I think it will kill him in the long run (politically, not literally). All of the things you mentioned are true. However, there is a time and a place to discuss these things and a proper way to do it. Screaming like an idiot at a rally when McCain is about to come on stage and be DIRECTLY associated with those remarks is political suicide. So I’m not saying the things Cunningham said aren’t true. I’m just saying Cunningham lacks any tact, political savvy, or discretion. He’s just an overpaid big mouth! And, like many of them (not all) has come to the point where his sensationalism has outdone him. Even overpaid big mouths have to learn some discretion. He cannot expect McCain to endorse his lack of discretion. Talk about that crap on the radio. But don’t associate it with McCain directly. The Dems would eat that up. So Cunningham gets no sympathy here. He just shows the extremist level some of these commentators have gone to and they need to be held accountable. When they screw up they should say they screwed up and quit blaming everything on everyone else!

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 28, 2008, 1:08 am
  8. >Some things never change. I used to hear Cunningham occasionally when we lived in Cincinnati, and he would make outrageous statements all the time just to get people to listen

    Posted by co_heir | February 28, 2008, 12:25 am
  9. >Of course McCain will distance himself from it as Hillary did with the picture of Obama in the Muslim garb. What’s interesting is that the bad guys in all this are the people who are referring to reality. Obama’s middle name really is Hussein. He really did dress up in that get-up. He really did buy his mansion for 300K less than the market value and had it financed by a crooked Iraqi businessman. (What other shady business dealings does he have in the Middle East?) He really does go to a church with a racist hate-mongering pastor. But don’t point any of these things out. Its racist.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 28, 2008, 12:25 am
  10. >Here’s the thing. Hussein isn’t Barack’s only ‘ethnic’ name. His name is Barrack Hussein Obama. Should people not say Obama anymore because it sounds too much like Osama. I mean the name thing is silly I think. It only becomes a big deal if people make it a big deal.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 27, 2008, 11:40 pm
  11. >Dwight, I think you’re right my friend!

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 27, 2008, 11:28 pm
  12. >Perhaps this is my aristocratic conservatism coming out here, but I frankly don’t believe that the majority of Americans employ anything resembling discernment in political matters. They are sheep that are manipulated by soundbytes and that often includes fear-mongering. With the anxious and suspicious eye that our nation casts upon radical Islam (and rightly so!), there is no doubt that Cunningham’s use of Obama’s middle name was intended to elicit those same feelings of anxiety and suspicion in voters. Now, one could argue that this deliberate use of the name is warranted, or at the very least an acceptable part of partisan politics. However, it is difficult to find support for the idea that in this situation a name is a trivial matter.

    Posted by Dwight | February 27, 2008, 10:28 pm
  13. > “it’s up to us to use discernment and decide it it really matters or not.” Well put, Wizzle. I guess when you think about it it really doesn’t matter that much. However, my main point was that Cunningham was clearly in the wrong, McCain was wise to distance himself from it, and the talk show circuit is stupid for trying to take up for Cunningham. He should just admit what he did and move on. Or better yet, maybe he should just move on and not try to justify himself through his cronies.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 27, 2008, 8:52 pm
  14. >I see the difference, but a person’s name is a trivial thing in either case. It doesn’t really bother me when these types of things happen. I’m sure in the future we’ll be seeing stories attacking/making fun of McCain about something as equally meaningless as their names. Campaigns or their over-enthusiastic supporters will use anything to attack the opposition…it’s up to us to use discernment and decide it it really matters or not.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 27, 2008, 7:42 pm
  15. >Wizzle, surely you see the difference between drawing focus to an odd name like “Millhouse” and exploiting a clearly politically charged name like “Hussein.” If the leader of North Vietnam had been named Ho Chi Millhouse, you’d better believe that the name would have hurt Nixon.

    Posted by Dwight | February 27, 2008, 7:20 pm
  16. >I honestly don’t think that McCain wants to be associated with this and I think he meant it when he said it has no place in campaigns. Cunningham is now saying that McCain threw him under the bus and for that reason he is now supporting Hillary Clinton. I guess he want to be like Ann Coulter. With that said, I actually don’t care that they refer to Barack Obama as Barack Huessin Obama. It’s his name. Back when Nixon was running people often made fun of him because his middle name was Milhouse.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 27, 2008, 7:12 pm
  17. >”‘but I do wonder whether some of you think that McCain really means to distance himself from the insult-casting that has characterized so many federal elections.”I honestly think McCain is as crass as the next guy, but what Cunningham did was the typical conservative talk show host rhetoric that has plagued this election and will hurt McCain in the general election. Rush, Hannity, and others are trying to make it out that Cunningham meant nothing by continually using Obama’s middle name Hussein. But that is an insult to my intelligence and it should be to yours as well. Anybody with half a brain knows better. If he meant to malign the guy because of his name, which is exactly what happened, he should just have the balls to say so now that he’s done it! I’m sure he’s afraid of the consequences after certain talk show hosts were made to resign over idiotic statements. I think it is odd that one of our presidential candidates has a Muslim name. And I think it will work against him in the long run. But ‘m not sure it should be handled as poorly as Cunningham handled it. Now I don’t think Obama is a Muslim, I also don’t think he’s a Christian, but to use it in the way Cunningham did was harmful to McCain’s presidential bid.Remember, McCain does not want this to slip out of his hand. He is very nervous. And he has watched Barack Obama demolish Hillary by playing a positive role. Sure he has played politics, but not like the idiotic rampage Cunningham pulled off (or not). Now Cunningham claims the campaign leaders wanted him to get the crowd fired up and wanted him to give them “red meat.” But he needed to use a bit more restraint. When the media gets hold of this kind of thing it can be used against McCain. I’m sure if we knew McCain personally and sat down to have a beer with him on the back porch he would say all kind of off colored things. He just seems like that kind of guy to me and I think it’s quite normal. But he’s trying to win an election and to distance himself from the radical extremist far right wing talk show circuit that has come to think they can do and say anything and get away with it is wise. These guys (and gals) are over the top. They think they are the epitome of conservatism and anyone who doesn’t line up with them is just out the door. To prove it, Cunningham has started the same BS as Coulter by saying he is voting for Hillary. My point is, when you’re wrong say you’re wrong. This is something the conservative talk show hosts refuse to do. And Cunningham was clearly wrong. Now, because John McCain didn’t like his style of humor and is trying to win an election by using tact and integrity, he’s not a conservative. This is the same old mantra from these idiots. If someone speaks against them, if someone disagrees with them, if someone doesn’t do what they want, they’re not a conservative. Well, as I’ve said before, anyone who claims to be a conservative and says they will vote for Hillary is showing their true colors. It’s not about conservatism with them, it’s about ego. And Cunningham got his stepped on, so McCain is not a conservative and Hillary should now be president. This is a childish game!Well, I wanted to write a post on this but I have too much work to do on my dissertation. Yet here I am, suckered into this conversation by Nathan! Thanks!

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 27, 2008, 6:43 pm

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