TV Crush

McCain's Glass House: Gordon Liddy, Top Google Search Term

10/18/2008 10:10 AM

John McCain may rue the day he agreed to kiss-and-make-up with David Letterman.  Cornering McCain on the campaign’s Bill Ayers guilt-by-association tactic, Letterman turned the tables.  He threw a few rocks at McCain’s glass house - the GOP candidate’s affiliation with convicted and unrepentant Watergate burglar, Gordon Liddy. 

A lot of viewers caught the exchange.  6.53 million tuned-in, giving Letterman his highest rating since the December 1, 2005 Oprah appearance.

Subsequently, the search term "Gordon Liddy" shot to the top of Google.  Thursday, Google rated the term beyond hot into "volcanic."

Here’s what Washington Monthly has to say about Liddy.

Despite this scandalous past, McCain has accepted thousands of dollars in contributions from Liddy, attended a fundraiser in his honor at Liddy’s home, and told Liddy that he’s "proud of" him….

As of last night, McCain is "not in any was [sic] embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy." I have a follow-up question: Why not? And one more: what does it say about McCain’s character that he pals around with an unrepentant convicted felon who’s talked openly about killing federal officials?

And, in fact, in a side-by-side comparison (if the Obama campaign really wanted to go there, but they have chosen not to) McCain’s association with Liddy is far more scandalous than Obama’s links to Ayers - which have been proven to be weak and insubstantial. 

This is a lesson in the downside of negative campaigning.  We all live in glass houses to some extent. Rock throwing invariably leads to tit-for-tat.  And McCain, who is older, with a long Senate history and a not-so-storied past in many ways, is far more vulnerable in this regard.

For the REAL Obama-Ayers story, read this Chicago Sun Times piece on Ayers and GOP smear tactics.  The MSM has a real obligation: from here until election day, it’s critical that we challenge outright fallacies, especially the GOP drumbeat that Obama’s career was "launched in Ayers living room." 

It’s simply. not. true. 

On national television, the drumbeat went unchallenged on yesterday’s edition of Chris Matthews’ Hardball after Minnesota GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann parroted the GOP smear.

Per the Chicago Sun Times: Obama’s formal kick-off to announce his run for state senate was at the Hyde Park Ramada Inn on Sept. 19, 1995. Obama was introduced by Palmer in a room filled with supporters at the Ramada, fronting Lake Michigan on South Lake Shore Drive, a stroll from the Museum of Science and Industry.

Google chart for the term "Gordon Liddy"

The Letterman/McCain exchange on Ayers and Gordon Liddy: