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By Cliff Schecter - February 13

We--the humble folks trying to give you an accurate view of The Real McCain--summarize, because you're just too darn busy to keep up with every McCain flip-flop, sell out or new principle:

* John McCain's new best friend is Trent Lott. Mind you, McCain is "in favor of racial equality," even though he lets a man send out emails on his campaign's behalf who thinks that Strom Thurmond would have been a fantastic president back in 1948. Oval Office addresses delivered in a white sheet and the African-American female staffers all running for cover. Yup, that sounds like the America we all want to live in.

* An Iraq War veteran, Leonard Clark, has filed papers in Arizona to have McCain recalled. He is taking this step because he is sick of his comrades-in-arms getting killed because of McCain's political considerations. As Clark put it, this is "John McCain's attempt to fight Vietnam over again."

* John McCain decided that Jerry Falwell is just too damn liberal. He needed to take things a step further. So he is now sucking up to the beyond-insane Revererends Richard Land and John Hagee. The former spends much of his day thinking about how to target homosexuals for discrimination in every facet of their lives, and the latter openly wishes for nuclear Armageddon in the Middle East. Ahh, Double-Talk McCain, you "principled maverick," you!

* Wouldn't you know it, John McCain is a hypocrite when it comes to his signature issue of campaign finance reform. He has taken money from people who bankroll the very independent expenditure groups he claimed were evil, from lobbyists with business before the Commerce Committee--on which he sits--and he will likely opt out of public matching funds for the presidential race. So he can spend as much money as it takes. But then again, what would we expect from someone who was knee-deep in The Keating Five affair?

We hope you've enjoyed The Weekly Worst In McCain. If we can make any promise to you, knowing John McCain's willingness to do anything to become president, it's that we'll be back next week!

For more on this and other stories, go to


Fernando said:

He will make a fabulous keynote speaker for the creationists.

February 13, 2007 10:54 AM

r€nato said:

How can McCain be recalled? In Arizona we can recall state officials, but St. McCain is a federal officeholder. I'm no lawyer but this layman understands that state recall laws cannot be applied to federal officeholders.

February 13, 2007 11:01 AM

Basheert said:

That's true - we're stuck with him until at least 2008 (he's up for re-elec then). Although he'll win here in AZ by a landslide...many many people think he's simply wonderful.

Goes to show you...fool me once ...sorry!

February 13, 2007 11:09 AM

r€nato said:

Actually I believe McCain was re-elected in 2004, so his term is up in 2010. If he loses in 2008, he can run again in 2010. His likely opponent will be Gov. Janet Napolitano, whose is term-limited and her term - conveniently - is up in 2010.

February 13, 2007 11:24 AM

r€nato said:

...of course McCain will be 77 or 78 years old by 2010. Would he run again? Probably, health permitting, but that's too far down the road to know for sure. They kept Strom Thurmond in til he was 100, and McCain's predecessor Barry Goldwater wasn't really all there for his last term.

Go Janet! Kick McCain to the curb!

February 13, 2007 11:27 AM

Cliff Schecter said:

Hey folks. I know what you're saying about the recall. But it is a serious PR black eye if we blow it up. And it shows McCain is not supported by people who should theoretically be in his base.

An Iraq vet calling for McCain's recall for putting his buddies in harm's way on a fool's errand.

Just think about it...

February 13, 2007 12:21 PM

trifecta said:

Totally off topic, but Cliff you have to get somebody to change diapers for an afternoon and get on MSNBC to yell at Bill Donohue for 5 to 7 minutes. Please?

February 13, 2007 4:18 PM

pendragon said:

McCain is making my head spin. Creationists now?
Streetwalking prostitutes are more honest than this man. I smell the smelly smell of last chance political desperation here. He wants to be President so badly his mind is starting to go. He's for all the things he used to be against. Add to this sorry situation his recent Tet Offensive flashback. Getting his wars mixed up. Now the Delusion (sorry, Discovery) Institute. In case you forgot McIdiot, it's called separation of church and state!

On behalf of Thomas Jefferson, I'm tsk tsking you. You know you're reading this John, so think about it!

February 13, 2007 5:54 PM

Basheert said:

You're so verrrrry right about St. McCain. (by the way, I love the "McIdiot" handle!

He turns 70 in 2008 - so although that certainly isn't classed as old by today's standards, his health is not good and frankly, even if I could stand the guy, I'd worry about a diagnosis of malignant melanoma. Especially in his face - with a possibility of metastases to the brain.

He looks awful (not to indicate that is a reason to not support someone) but it's from a health standpoint.

He's also become a flip flopping liar who is pandering after anyone just to get the nomination. I would question whether he actually HAS any values at all? Because I don't think he knows half the time what he is saying or doing...he's simply reacting to people noticing that his position changes approximately every 47 seconds.

He certainly doesn't represent me, or any of our friends. Anyone who believes that being held prisoner qualifies them for a high office is simply overinflating the value of torture.

His hideous affiliation with Lieberman is simply one example of what he has morphed into....I don't believe John McCain knows who or what he is. He certainly has NO moral values and is looking daily like a warmongering idiot.

February 13, 2007 9:29 PM

Cliff Schecter said:

Thanks trifecta. I will be on CNN next week nighttime. Will let you know more...

February 13, 2007 9:39 PM

dave™© said:

Hey, Cliff, glad to hear you're getting back in the TV saddle... we were just discussing your lack of recent tubetime over at Atrios' place. Looking forward to it!

February 13, 2007 9:52 PM

ellroon said:

I am anxious to report a startling similarity in the photos I've posted:

Awaiting instructions....

February 13, 2007 11:37 PM

Basheert said:

RE: McCain Recall

The recall requires 381,696 valid petition signatures by 6/13 in order to force a statewide vote. That is 25% of all votes cast in the 2004 Senate election.


Today's AZ Republic.

February 14, 2007 10:55 AM

Rich Miles said:

Basheert, re: your 10:55am from today - another opportunity for a McCain flip-flop! If this recall petition is completed and filed, and his "voluntary pledge" is thrust in his face, he'll merely flip-flop his way out of it, too.

Am I right or am I wrong?

February 14, 2007 12:26 PM

Cliff Schecter said:

Thanks Dave. It's been tougher lately to get on tv. But I will have additional time starting next week, when I will no longer be on almost full time baby duty.

So CNN nighttime is a start (and will have more viewers than daytime MSNBC). But I long to mix it up in back and forth, hand-to-hand combat with the gorgons of the right.

February 14, 2007 12:31 PM

r€nato said:

I only get the dead tree version of the Arizona Republic on Sundays - I assume this ran in it:

I am still gobsmacked to find out that there was such a thing as the voluntary pledge to resign if recalled, which McCain signed.

February 14, 2007 2:49 PM

pendragon said:

Hey Cliff, just a note to tell you how much I am also looking forward to your return to tv.

You pretty much cut through the crap (lies) the right wing spinners try to weave. They're doing a lot of spinning these days. I'm looking forward to watching you. The Democrats in Congress could take a page from you and start displaying some spine. Maybe I'm impatient after six years of neocon insanity but they could ratchet up the discussion.

February 14, 2007 3:15 PM

Basheert said:

I hate the paper - it's VERY (of course) biased (surprise!!) but I did find that there this morning and let Cliff know.
Bloody McCain will try and weasel out. I'm going to contact the guy that's doing it because I definitely want to help AND sign the petition!

By the way, Cliff was complaining about the COLD ... poor guy!

February 14, 2007 3:27 PM

nate said:

Like the there a similar one for Romney?

February 14, 2007 3:54 PM

Mike_NYC said:

I detest hard right wing nuts, but McCain is NOT one of those guys. So why the smear campaign against him using VERY misleading sound bites? Is it because you see him as the main impediment to an ultra left wing radical president whose main policy goals would be gay marriage, socialized medicine and unrestricted immigration to create a permanent Democrat party majority? McCain has more guts then any elected official since FDR. Sure, he now has to pander to the right, just as Hillary has had to pander to moderates. But he is NO hard right wing kook. Maybe the idea is to destroy Mccain to pave the road for that phony Edwards or the ultra liberal Obama? You question McCain's honesty? You should look in the mirror Mr. Schecter. Your lack of concern for truth is truly astounding.

February 14, 2007 5:17 PM

Basheert said:

excuse me???
A smear campaign???

Having the misfortune to live in Bloody McCain's state, I do have a right to an opinion and have no problem stating it.
Old Bloody McCain is a piece of trash. He is a total right wing kook, if it will get him the nomination. Fortunately most intelligent people are able to see through his lying, obfuscating and just flat out deception no matter what he is discussing.
He is also perceived as the "one who got away" in the Keating 5. He should be rotting in jail for his part bilking thousands of people out of their savings in the Savings and Loan scandal.
He does not deserve his present office.
He certainly does not deserve the nomination to the PIG party. He isn't even decent or honest enough to represent them.
I do not believe that because you were a POW, that qualifies you to be President. Especially when you simply choose to trade on torture.
He's a fake and a phony.
He lies through his teeth.
My opinion ... and a constituent.

February 14, 2007 9:29 PM

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About Cliff Schecter

Cliff Schecter Cliff Schecter is a veteran campaign strategist and political commentator. Schecter is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and was a guest columnist for United Press International from 2002-2004. His work has been featured in a variety of publications including The Miami Herald, The American Prospect, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Fordham Urban Law Journal, The Washington Monthly and He blogs at and writes a weekly satirical column each Friday called "Cliff's Corner," summarizing the week's most ridiculous events, for AMERICAblog. Surprisingly, Tom DeLay gets mentioned a lot.

During the 2004 election cycle, Schecter worked as the "liberal" pundit for The Sinclair Broadcast Group, where he debated conservative Armstrong Williams -- for significantly less cost to the White House. He has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, NPR FoxNews and the Canadian Broadcast Channel. Recently, Schecter has been a regular contributor to MSNBC, where his debates against Republicans have become some of the most popular videos on YouTube, garnering as many as 125,000 viewings. Additionally, Schecter has provided analysis on American politics for international diplomats, journalists, students and politicians as part of The State Department Bureau of International Information Programs.

Schecter, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, holds an MA in International Affairs from the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and is receiving his Ph.D. in American History as a Dean's Honors Fellow at American University.

Schecter was a pollster for the successful reelection of President Bill Clinton in 1996 and fundraiser for former Governor of Virginia Mark Warner in 2001. He has also provided initial opposition research for the Ned Lamont campaign's unprecedented victory over sitting senator Joe Lieberman in the 2006 primary race in Connecticut, and has consulted for the DNC, DCCC and candidates he won't mention here because they lost.


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