Bush just endorsed McCain as the GOP candidate. Obviously that was going to happen to the winner of the primaries, but its just so… schmoozy… that you really have to wonder if GWB the dishonest used car salesman is trying to sell you another lemon like he did on Iraq… ‘I’m reti’rin but meet the new boss Honest John!’ Except now pretty much everyone is wise to his tricks. I seriously wonder if pictures like this will be popping up everywhere once the Dem candidate is settled on. (Update: and lines like “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” or ‘four more years’ [Update March 31: I note a graphic that very cleverly uses what is clearly an upside-down “W” for an “M”. I suggest that all Dem posters should use that when referencing McCain ;])
John McCain increasingly is looking like the hapless Hubert H. Humphrey of 1968. Captive to his own partisan support for a disastrous war; too timid to stake out an agenda for change; passively permitting an unpopular president to embrace him as heir; squandering what little was left of his good repute in shabby political maneuvering. It’s Humphrey all over again. McCain is busy tying a dead weight around his shoulders that he imagines is the mantle of the presidency. The endorsement today by Bush went a long way toward sealing his fate. During the rest of the campaign the president’s embrace will become painful, paralyzing and toxic, just as it did for HHH. The press conference today gave a glimpse of what it will look like.
Update 3: Something else to mention in this post…
hardly a whisper has been heard about a Congressional hearing in Washington last week on a topic that could have been drawn, in all its tragic monstrosity, from the theater of the absurd. The war in Iraq will ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers not hundreds of billions of dollars, but an astonishing $2 trillion, and perhaps more. There has been very little in the way of public conversation, even in the presidential campaigns, about the consequences of these costs, which are like a cancer inside the American economy. On Thursday, the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Schumer, conducted a public examination of the costs of the war. The witnesses included the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz (who believes the overall costs of the war — not just the cost to taxpayers — will reach $3 trillion), and Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International. […] The Bush administration has tried its best to conceal the horrendous costs of the war. It has bypassed the normal budgetary process, financing the war almost entirely through “emergency” appropriations that get far less scrutiny. Even the most basic wartime information is difficult to come by.
Oh and if you check the numbers, US dead in Iraq are almost at 4K and wounded (from enemy attack) almost 29K.