Scott Horton explains that the McCain camp and Bill Kristol are in such a tiff because McCain’s loyalists are pissed at Kristol for sticking them with Palin.

SH: Right. And if you look just in the news cycle from the last 48 hours, I would say the anger and irritation between a number of the senior people in the McCain camp and Bill Kristol has become really acute. I mean, it’s flashed and Kristol again, saying basically that the entire campaign team should be fired, and they respond in kind criticizing him, saying he was mouthing Obama talking points, and so on. What is the touchiness that underlies all of that? They view this man as the guy who gave them this albatross, Sarah Palin. I think there’s a lot of real anger about it. There’s also recognition that it’s too late to do anything. They can’t replace her, they can’t drop her, they’re stuck with her right now. And there’s also some suspicion, as one of the McCain advisors raised with me yesterday, there’s some suspicion that they had dumped McCain, that basically they’re now just proceeding to develop Palin as their candidate, as somebody they want to bring up in 2012, as the neo-con favored Republican. And I think that really has some of the McCain old school advisors bristling right now. [my emphasis]

I have a hard time feeling sorry for these people. After all, even I knew that Palin had an abuse of power scandal about to burst, and I hadn’t claimed to vet her.

Plus, they’re about to make the same mistake again. 

The Toledo Blade is reporting that Joe the Plumber is actually not licensed. But that, combined with his apparent tax lien, isn’t lessening McCain’s ardor.


“I’m probably going to call him this morning," McCain said. "I thought he would probably be up late. I heard that his — that his phone lines were pretty well flooded. But I think we’re going to be spending some time together.”

So let’s review.

Joe the Plumber is not actually a plumber.

He lied when he said he would be making enough to have his taxes raised under Obama’s plan. 

He’s prone to racist statements.

He claimed to be uncommitted, though he’s a Republican who registered to be able to vote in this spring’s primary.

According to the rules Republicans would like followed, Joe the Plumber would be forced to cast a provisional ballot, since his name is misspelled in the voter rolls. 

He’s related to Charles Keating’s son-in-law.

And he’s a tax cheat.

Yet McCain wants to campaign with this guy.

Update: Sully says it more succinctly than me.

Like Sarah Palin, a great concept. But the McCain campaign needs to be able to vet its hood ornaments.

I don’t think McCain will be able to blame this one on Bill Kristol. 



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.