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Monday, July 21, 2008

McCain's rejoinder to Obama's NYT editorial was rejected by Times op-ed editor David Shipley:
It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece...I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written.

So what did McCain write? Here's a sample:
I am dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it... if we don't win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president.

If Obama wins, the terrorists win. Yeah, yeah - old material. What's the newest latest?
Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. 'I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,' he said on January 10, 2007. 'In fact, I think it will do the reverse.

Surge, splurge. (It hasn't worked, by the way.) Seriously, Senator - nothing new?

Nope, just additional whining:

A top McCain source claims the paper simply does not agree with the senator's Iraq policy, and wants him to change it, not "re-work the draft."

(Why did I expect more?)


  • Daniel Finkelstein:
    Here's how I would have dealt with the two articles if I had been been given them as Comment (OpEd) Editor here at what the Americans insist on calling the London Times.

    First, having run an Obama piece on Iraq I would be keen on having a matching McCain piece. Keen but not desperate. Over time it is good to have balance, but it is not necessary to have tit for tat pieces every time.

    Second, the job of a Comment Editor is to provide readers with an insight into the political debate. One is not part of the official machinery - required to provide space for rebuttal. If that was a requirement, President Bush would be able to commandeer half a page every day in order to reply to his critics.

    So there is no absolute requirement for the NYT to run a McCain piece. Naturally, however, the Editor should want his readers to know what McCain thinks on such a big question. And this might be a good moment to have a piece by him. So why not run it?

    Well, political pieces by elected officials or candidates can often be very boring - safe, unrevealing and tediously partisan. In general I required such pieces to jump over a pretty high importance barrier before I ran them.

    Obama's piece vaulted that hurdle. It outlined his views, pretty much avoided point scoring, and dealt with the issue.

    McCain's piece, on the other hand, knocked the hurdle over. It wasn't about Iraq. It was about Obama. If I received it I would have done exactly what the NYT did - send it back and ask them to redraft it so that it was about Iraq and was more, well, interesting.



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