Sunday, November 02, 2008

McCain's November Surprise?


election'08: the race to clean the place
2 days to go

Maybe this is all the McCain camp has left? The Associated Press reported yesterday Sen. Barack Obama's aunt--half sister to his father--is living the U.S. illegally.

With three days left until election day and undecideds seeming to be leaning towards McCain, this story may well stoke moderate voters prone to believe some of the outrageous tall tales attached to Obama.

Within the toxic stew of emails and innuendo, Barack is a Muslim, took the oath on the Quran, his real father is Malcolm X and is trained to hypnotically change the minds of voters with the cadence of his speech, this story, apparently true, just add a great bit realism to this sort of voters minds.

The most troublesome part of the piece has an Obama staffer indicating Auntie Zeituni Onyhago and the senator are not close, yet he once invited her to visit the family in Chicago.

Bloggers on the right are salivating at this story, while The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder does not believe the story will gain traction with anti-immigration groups. What Ambinder fails to see with three days to go, groups of any kind do not have the time or sufficient money to jump on a story like this.

This is a gotcha story that perfectly plays to the radical conservative narrative put forth that targets Obama as the Muslim Manchurian candidate ready to turn the nation towards fundamentalist Islam on Nov. 5.

Sure, the story was triggered by the last days of campaign for the sake of influencing voters. Is it fair game? Yes.

In fact, it's far more fair and far more fresh than the idiotic ad running today in Pennsylvania which featured Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

This story is not a gamechanger, yet polling done up to election day may show a tightening of the race by a point or two because of this disclosure. It may also shore up tight races in North Dakota and Georgia for McCain.

In the whole scope of things, Auntie Zeituni may have saved McCain the humiliation of suffering a humbling electoral landslide.

UPDATE: Nov. 2, 2:00 p.m.- The Boston Herald is now reporting Aunt Zeituni falls within a housing loophole that allows her to stay in the country. Housing Authority officials said they were never notified of any deportation orders for Onyango, giving the impression the AP story yesterday emanated from purely political sources.

Unfortunately, the fact Joe the Plumber neither was a licensed plumber nor able to actually buy a plumbing company, failed to sway significant numbers of conservative voters. The Onyango story does not need facts to resonate with voters tempted by exclusion and xenophobia.

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