howarddean.jpgLots of folks are noting that John McCain’s calls for the North Carolina’s GOP to pull its Obama/Wright ad allow him to look like he’s taking the high road even as he benefits from the ad, since the North Carolina Republican Party is refusing to heed his calls. (See here and here).
Echoing this line, the Democratic National Committee alleges that McCain is shedding crocadile tears:

While the McCain campaign made a show of protesting the ad, McCain made no mention of the fact that key officials in the North Carolina GOP are members of McCain’s state steering committee and McCain donors. Nor did he mention the fact that the state chair who is bucking his leadership is a member of the arrangements committee of the Republican National Convention. Given his ties to state Republican leaders, if McCain is serious about making sure this ad never airs, he should have no trouble making it happen. If not, McCain should return their contributions, remove them from his campaign committees, and strip the state chair from her role on the GOP’s convention committee.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement calling on McCain to exercise real leadership and pull the plug on this ad:
“This is a test of leadership for John McCain. If he can’t pick up the phone and make members of his own party stop airing a television ad he claims to oppose, how can he lead our country through an economic crisis or the war in Iraq? After shifting his positions on gun control, immigration and tax cuts throughout this campaign, McCain should not equivocate on this issue. Making a show of releasing your emails to the press is not leadership. If he is serious, he will get this ad pulled.”

So who’s taking the bigger risk? The GOP, which could incur blowback for producing a racially-charged negative ad–or Democrats, who could be damaged by the ad’s contents? God-o-Meter thinks the GOP clearly has the upper hand here, politically speaking. The simple fact is that those explosive Wright sermons are a huge turnoff for most voters.


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