Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Celebrity: McCain doth protest too much

With all the back and forth on “celebrity” in the presidential campaign ad wars, and with John McCain’s camp continuing to run ads calling Barack Obama “the biggest celebrity in the world” or some permutation thereof, I think you might find this interesting.

I stumbled across a post I had written just ten weeks ago titled “McCain ‘Smitten with the Celebrity of Power’” that takes on new meaning given the current ad cycle. In that piece, I include this excerpt from one of the stories in the New York Times’ series “The Long Run”:

Mr. McCain has often said he decided to run for office because he felt his war injuries would make attaining the same rank as his father and grandfather “impossible.” But Mr. Lehman, now an adviser to the McCain campaign, and two other top Navy officers familiar with Mr. McCain’s file insist that was not the case.

Instead, many who knew him say, Mr. McCain seemed bored by Navy life. “Sitting down with Anwar Sadat or Deng Xiaoping and being treated as an equal — that is pretty heady stuff,” said Rhett Dawson, a former aide to Mr. Tower who is now president of an electronics trade group. “It had opened his eyes to a much broader world.”

Mr. McCain was captivated, recalled Jeffrey Record, then an aide to former Senator Sam Nunn, the hawkish Georgia Democrat. “He thrives on competition, and he thrives on political combat,” Mr. Record said. “He saw the glamour of it. I think he really got smitten with the celebrity of power.”

[emphasis added]

McCain? Smitten with the celebrity? Gosh, ya’ think?

(cross-posted on guy2k, The Seminal, and Daily Kos)

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