Under the heading "Double Talk Express," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann reported on Monday that Sen. John McCain has twice crossed ethical guidelines laid down by his own campaign. "He's such a maverick, he not only doesn't play by other people's rules, he doesn't even play by his own rules," stated Olbermann mockingly.
McCain has made an issue of Barack Obama's former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, even after saying he would not do so. He also promised last year that he would not draw on his wife's inherited fortune for his campaign, but it has now come out that he has enjoyed the use of her corporate jet at bargain rates, thanks to a loophole in a campaign reform law which he supported.
"What are the risks for McCain of trying to play Good Cop Bad Cop the Solitaire Version?" Olbermann asked Rachel Maddow of Air America.
"I think there's kind of two risks," Maddow replied. She explained that "the first is that his political identity evaporates. ... if he becomes known as a flip-flopper," but that even worse for McCain would be if Obama turns the tactic of guilt by association against him. "That's not something that I think he wants to invite scrutiny on," she stated.
Maddow suggested that if Obama wanted to go after McCain more aggressively than he has up to this point, he could easily say something like "I have no political alliance with Jeremiah Wright, I disavow his political views, he disavows my political views -- but John McCain has made political associations ... with extremist political figures like John Hagee and Rod Parsley."
Maddow also found it odd that McCain has accused Obama for being out of touch with the poor because he rejects the idea of a summer gas tax holiday -- which Obama argues would save the average American only about $25 while cutting the funding which maintains our national infrastrature and putting construction workers out of work.
"Who has the foresight to write into campaign finance legislation a loophole that exempts your personal family corporate jet?" Maddow commented. "I don't know if this puts him more in touch with the poor. It does establish his rich-guy cojones like nothing else I have seen."
This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast April 28, 2008.