A Meme is Born

  • On a conference call with reporters just now, senior Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice argued that there is “a pattern here of recklessness” when it comes to McCain’s approach to various national security issues. (TPM, August 20)
  • Rice says the Republican’s “tendency is to shoot first and to ask questions later,” saying he “cheerled Bush’s decision to take our eye off the ball and start a war in Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11.” (Time, August 20)
  • [Richard] Clarke compared McCain to “extreme neo-conservative” policy types because of his early support for the Iraq war and suggested he was “reckless” and “trigger happy.” (MSNBC, August 20)
  • Democratic Congressman Adam Smith of Washington, sitting in the audience, rose to ask [former Navy Secretary Richard] Danzig for advice on how Democrats can deliver a tough foreign-policy message that will be credible to voters. When Danzig started to back euphemistically into the question, Smith — a proponent of tougher Obama campaign tactics generally — jumped back up. “Don’t be subtle!” he implored. “Just hit! Just say, ‘John McCain does not have an even temper, and how is that going to factor into national security?”
    At that, Danzig played ball.

    “I think John McCain is well-known for ‘losing it’ in a variety of circumstances,” he said — something which has potential policy implications. (TNR, August 26)

  • “He has a huge anger problem,” [Barbara] Boxer said. “And he never hid that… I have seen it happen on the Senate floor many, many times… He has exploded at me a couple times.” (Politico, August 26)
  • If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have. (Barack Obama, Thursday night)
Senator Hothead [Washington Monthly, August 27]
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