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McCain Plays Race Card with Raines/Obama Ad

Bumped and Updated: I've received word that the McCain campaign plans to run this ad in key battleground states beginning Monday.This ad is notable and historic because it is the first time that the McCain campaign has blatantly and deliberately played the race card.

The McCain campaign could have chosen others linked much more closely to Obama to focus on here. Former Fannie Mae CEO and former Obama adviser Jim Johnson (a white man) or Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin (also a white man) are more logical choices because they are actual Obama advisers -- but clearly the McCain campaign wants two black faces up on that TV screen.

The policy link between Raines and Obama is transparently thin, and Raines' skin color is clearly the driving force behind the choice to use Raines instead of one of Obama's real advisers.

Update II: TIME agrees:

When politicians interject race into a campaign, they seldom do it directly. Consider McCain's new ad, which the campaign says it will be airing nationally ...

This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman.

Let me stipulate: Obama's Fannie Mae connections are completely fair game. But this ad doesn't even mention a far more significant tie--that of Jim Johnson, the former Fannie Mae chairman who had to resign as head of Obama's vice presidential search team after it was revealed he got a sweetheart deal on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial. Instead, it relies on a fleeting and tenuous reference in a Washington Post Style section story to suggest that Obama's principal economic adviser is former Fannie Mae Chairman Frank Raines. Why? One reason might be that Johnson is white; Raines is black.

Obama responds:

Obama explained that he met Raines once and talked to him for "maybe 5 minutes" as opposed to the advisory role the McCain campaign alleges. "The guy actually had to send out a letter saying, 'Uh, that's not true. I actually don't really talk to the guy,'" Obama said, possibly referring to an email Raines sent to McCain advisor Carly Fiorina.

The email:

---Original Message---

From: Frank Raines

Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 2:24 PM

To: Carleton S. Fiornia (Carly)

Subject: Fw: IMPORTANT: Carly Fiorina/Obama campaign

Carly: Is this true? I am not an advisor to the Obama campaign.


----Original Message----

From: Mark Fabiani

To: Frank Raines

Sent: Sep 15, 2008 7:30 PM

Subject: IMPORTANT: Carly Fiorina/Obama campaign

Frank, Carly Fiorina is, on behalf of the McCain campaign, criticizing Obama for having you as a housing advisor. The Obama campaign is saying that you are not advising it on housing policy. Will let you know what I hear.


----original post begins here----

McCain's False Accusations About Raines/Obama
originally published September 19, 2008

They're lying again....

Debunked by the Washington Post:

An already nasty presidential election campaign is getting nastier. The meltdown on Wall Street has touched off frantic attempts by both the McCain and Obama camps to secure political advantage and indulge in guilt by association. Over the last 24 hours, both campaigns have issued video press releases (let's not call them ads until they actually air somewhere) attempting to show that the other side's "advisers" are somehow responsible for the crisis. The latest McCain attack is particularly dubious.

Facts below the fold.

The Facts

The McCain video attempts to link Obama to Franklin Raines, the former CEO of the bankrupt mortgage giant, Fannie Mae, who also happens to be African-American. It then shows a photograph of an elderly white woman taxpayer who has supposedly been "stuck with the bill" as a result of the "extensive financial fraud" at Fannie Mae.

The Obama campaign last night issued a statement by Raines insisting, "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters." Obama spokesman Bill Burton went a little further, telling me in an e-mail that the campaign had "neither sought nor received" advice from Raines "on any matter."

So what evidence does the McCain campaign have for the supposed Obama-Raines connection? It is pretty flimsy, but it is not made up completely out of whole cloth. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers points to three items in the Washington Post in July and August. It turns out that the three items (including an editorial) all rely on the same single conversation, between Raines and a Washington Post reporter, Anita Huslin, who wrote a Style section profile of the discredited Fannie Mae boss that appeared on July 16. The profile reported that Raines, who retired from Fannie Mae four years ago, had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

Since this has now become a campaign issue, I asked Huslin to provide the exact circumstances of the quote. She explained that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked "if he was engaged at all with the Democrats' quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said 'oh, general housing, economy issues.' ('Not mortgage/foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific,' I asked, and he said 'no.')"

By Raines's own account, he took a couple of calls from someone on the Obama campaign, and they had some general discussions about economic issues. I have asked both Raines and the Obama people for more details on these calls, and will let you know if I receive a reply.

The Pinocchio Test

The McCain campaign is clearly exaggerating wildly in attempting to depict Franklin Raines as a close adviser to Obama on "housing and mortgage policy." If we are to believe Raines, he did have a couple of telephone conversations with someone in the Obama campaign. But that hardly makes him an adviser to the candidate himself--and certainly not in the way depicted in the McCain video release.

The right wing blogosphere is absolutely apoplectic over this. They've convinced themselves they have Obama in a gotcha! moment but, as usual, the lies and exaggerations of the John McCain campaign are quickly being brought to light, as is the obvious and blatant race card played here.

It doesn't matter to them that they are lying again -- they just don't care - the truth doesn't matter to the Republicans any longer. They are in full-boat lie and smear mode - and it's worked in past elections for them, and they are hopeful it'll work again.

Related: Race could cost Obama the election - AP

Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks -- many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

The poll suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 -- about 2½ percentage points.

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Comments (18)


Obamma only took a lot of money from Raines/Fannie Mae. Raines and Fannie Mae didn't get anything back.....Apparently just another bad investment by Raines that the taxpayers are going to pay for.


It seems Obama, in less than 3 years, received more than $120,000 in campaign donations from Freddie/Fannie; second only to Chris Dodd and just above 3rd place John Kerry, who have both been in Congress for decades. Since these 3 democrats have accepted close to $400,000 from these "companies", it's obvious it was the republicans who were shielding them from public scrutiny and regulation.


Interesting how the Post is giving McCain 2 Pinnochios for relying upon information reported by the Post, and not just from the Style section, but from an editorial as well.

"Two members of Mr. Obama's political circle, James A. Johnson and Franklin D. Raines, are former chief executives of Fannie Mae."

Washington Post, August 28, 2008; Page A18

Was the Post wrong on August 28? If so, it should issue an apology to the McCain campaign for sloppy reporting and also for portraying him as having exaggerated when in fact, he was relying upon statements from the Post.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

No - no apology needed - this is just another instance of lying John McCain stretching the truth and bullshitting the American public.

As the Post states above:

If we are to believe Raines, he did have a couple of telephone conversations with someone in the Obama campaign. But that hardly makes him an adviser to the candidate himself--and certainly not in the way depicted in the McCain video release.

You see - everyone is catching on to the repeated lies and misinformation spread by the desperate McCain/Palin team of losers.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"So who was that saying Trig was the daughter's baby?"

Not Barack Obama or Joe Biden, so how is this relevant when discussing the lies told directly by John McCain and Sarah Palin?

"And tell me again, Who was it that said that Sarah Palin paid "up to $35,000.00" for a tanning bed? "

Gee, I haven't heard that one - but I'm sure it wasn't Barack Obama or Joe Biden, so how is this relevant when discussing the lies told directly by John McCain and Sarah Palin?

"could you remind me, who said he really didn't hear any of that stuff when he went to that church? And one more thing, who was it that really isn't a good friend of an admittedly guilty domestic terrorist?"

DO you have any proof that he did hear those things in church? Wingnuts have been pouring over those videos for months trying to find Obama in the audience... no luck.

and "a really good friend" is bullshit - just plain bullshit. Do you have any proof of that claim? Nope.

And yet we have John McCain and Sarah Palin standing before the American people and lying right to their faces.

Shameful, as is your suggestion that I'm lying...

"Don't look at what I'm doing, look at them"

Are you suggesting that I'm lying, Chad? Feel free to back up that claim as well...

Leads Online:

This does not suprise me at all that Obama has another close "friend" that is SO STINKING CORRUPT and bad for this country! Now Raines, it was Jim Johnson, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and the America hating Rev. Wright.

Americans need to wake up and see the Kool-aid the Barry Obama camp is pooring for them. Pure garbage.

Nobama....Keep the Change

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"And his association with Ayers only became "he was just some guy in my neighborhood" after he became a political liability."

Feel free to start linking to any actually proof you have ot made up crap anytime, Chad.

Obama served on non-profit board, was a neighbor, and was a guest of honor at a neighborhood meeting Ayers held to support Obama's Illiois State Senate campaign.

You've claimed that Obama and Ayers are "good friends" and yet you've shown nothing to support that lie. Show some proof or quit repeating these lies.

And I'm supposed to prove to you that Obama didn't hear something Wright said. Prove a negative? That's impossible..

No, the world is waiting for the GOP and thugs like you to show that Obama was in the audience when Wright went off on a rant -- and you can't.

You can't.

You can't.

So here again, when you have some proof to support your lies post it. Right here - post it.

You can't.


Wow, this is hilarious how desperate you gus are geting. McCain tells the tuth, so he's "playing the race card." Even with evidence, you turkeys are putting your hands over your ears and chanting "LALALALA!!" Obama tries to make "truth" whatever he says NOW... case in point, him claiming McCain lied about him voting 4 times to not protect abortion survivors, and attacking an abortion survivor. Even when the FACTS show what Obama did, he says, "Oh no, that's a lie!" and you desperate liberals are all "THE OBAMESSIAH HAS SPOKEN!" If you want to see lies, then take your brain off auto-liberal and look at the repeated smears of the left. They have no fact- they have twisted broken lies, they have threats, they have name-calling, and that's about it.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"McCain tells the tuth, so he's "playing the race card."

Feel free to explain where McCain "told the tuth", Joseph.

There are about 500 words in the post above describing exactly how McCain lied -- and you write a comment declaring he told the "tuth" without explaining why.

Typical White Person:

I think John McCain is resorting to Chicago style politics because he has too. I know what kind of man he is, so I say go for it. I just hope he doesn't hurt himself in the process. The chatter gets really loud when he makes a preceived mistake. But, let's face it, Obama surrogates have a script and I don't care what they are asked they all make the same statements to try and tie McCain to Bush as fast and loud as possible. Neil Cavuto is the only one that I have noticed just shuts them down and forces them into a conversation. When he can't do that, he just talks as loud as they do. I'll be glad when this is over. I hope that Chicago wakes up and never elects this guy again; however, he's just move to another state, probably one that he really needs to win an election when he runs for President again. Obama has even outted the Hollywood Republicans.........that's how bad is really is.

Typical White Person:

No different than Obama's Ad's. Like I said earlier, when your fighting the Chicago style politicians (just like Louisianna) you have to get down and dirty or you lose. Personally, I don't want McCain to lose. I just hope he is careful. There is a whole lot of dirt out there on Obama, like Ayers, and when he REALLY met him, and how they met, and their continuing relationship.

Typical White Person:

Obama Ayers Wright Woods Foundation
Failed radical education project
give the guys a chance, this information is coming out in pieces.

$1M earmark to Michelle's boss
$200K plus raise to Michelle after

$93,000,000 in earmarks, 143 days in Senate
$125,000 plus in donations for Fannie Freddie, again 143 days in Senate

Met Ayers in the 80's.

20 years under Rev Wright

Relationship with Farrahkan either personal with wife Obama or both. Doesn't matter, just knowing him is bad enough.

Endorsed by Sharpton........liar extradinare

etc. etc. etc.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Lies, lies lies... and more lies.

There was no $1M earmark to Michelle's boss.

The request was not ultimately included when Congress passed spending legislation that year, according to the Obama campaign.

Obama Ayers Wright Woods Foundation
Failed radical education project
give the guys a chance, this information is coming out in pieces.

Total made-up bullshit. There is nothing linking Wright to the Woods Foundation, and both Ayers and Obama served on the board - so what? This association between Ayers and Obama has been knows and in the public eye for a year now. Nothing about that fact has been shown to be anything worth crowing about.

Wait? Wait until people like you make up more bullshit? Why?

etc. etc. etc - is the only thing that wasn't bullcrap in that comment.


I guess you go to the same ear doctor that The Messiah does, since you also "didn't hear that" stuff Chad was referencing. Democrats: the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil", at least about The One. By the way, Lee, have you heard that Democrats and Independents suffer from racism? Ane here I thought that was only a Republican disease. Amazin'.....

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I'm still waiting to "hear" some facts, and not just opinions and unsubstantiated allegations.

Facts -- cough up some facts, and we can debate the issues surrounding those facts.

Lie -- or repeat the lies of others -- as Chad did -- without any factual basis or links to quotes or proof, and there's nothing to talk about.

So here's my rebuttal to the "facts" that you wrote in your comment, codekeyguy.

Couldn't find any facts there either.

It's just like McCain and Palin - just make up crap that has no factual basis and then challenge someone to prove that the unsubstantiated made-up crap you just wrote/said is not true.

You guys are pathetic....

El Carlangas The Greato:

I've got some unfortunate news, there IS a video of Obama when Wright was raving against his own country, but it wont be seen until October.

It shouldn't be surprising that many in business community have been giving donations to the Democrats considering the dismal Bush Administration's handling of the economy. It is of course nonsense for McCain to suggest that because an African-American executive made some political contributions from his own salary that it had any relationship to the mortgage industry crisis, home foreclosures or the bad economy. But it is just this sort of idiot reasoning that the McCain Campaign seems to rely on.

Back in 1989, John McCain had an opportunity to prove how he would respond to a savings and loan where the CEO was actually stealing massive funds. McCain accepted nine jet trips from Charles Keating to a Bahamas resort he built with the funds. McCain's wife Cindy and her father invested nearly $400,000 in a shopping mall Keating was building. And McCain accepted over #113,000 in about five years from Keating in political donations before talking to federal banking regulators urging them not to investigate Keating before it led to the $161 billion dollar Lincoln Savings & Loan collapse and a $124 billion dollar taxpayer bailout which McCain largely help to cause. And the John McCain Campaign has the nerve to run ads that falsely link some former African-American CEO of Fannie Mae with the current large scale economic problems of the housing industry that Obama had no relationship unlike the collapse of the savings and loan industry that McCain was involved with. Are some John McCain supporters even bright?


"Are some John McCain supporters even bright?"

No, it's the dumb vote they're going for. Dumb rural communities tend to vote right and intelligent urban communities tend to vote left.

That's why most rednecks hate NYC/LA and vice versa.

If anyone disagrees, I'll be happy to link to several intelligence surveys of urban vs rural towns. And you will lose.

Obama 08 - the lesser of two evils.


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