Thursday, June 19, 2008

McCain the stealth candidate

John McCain slipped into San Antonio the other day for a private fundraiser at the San Antonio Country Club and raked in a reported $1.3 million.
It never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there who can drop $10,000 in a moment’s notice for something like this. But San Antonio is a big city (7th largest in the U.S.) and all you have to do is drive around some of the ritzy neighborhoods to get an idea about just how much wealth is out there.
So I’m not sure if $1.3 million was a good haul for McCair or if it was just chickenfeed. But one that is sure is that if you couldn’t afford to drop $10,000 in McCain’s hat, then you were probably unaware that he was even in San Antonio. There was no advance notice, no public appearances and the McCain campaign gave short shrift to the local media.
That was evident from the story that ran this morning. It was a fine story considering the reporter had no access to the candidate or any of the people attending the fundraiser. The only person quoted in the piece is John Larson, the Republican county commissioner who is running for Congress against Ciro Rodriguez. At least he respects the power of the local media.
Since the McCain folks wouldn’t acknowledge the local press, they got a crappy story, at least from their perspective it was crappy.
Since the reporter had 25 inches to fill and no one to talk to, she filled it with whatever she could find. That turned out to be a YouTube video blasting McCain for flipflopping on the windfall profits tax and an interview with Democratic State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte blasting McCain for associating with poor old Clayton Williams who is still getting grief over his stupid rape joke 18 years after it blew the tires off of his gubernatorial campaign.
She also took the time to note that McCain’s moronic anti-earmarks stance would leave the San Antonio River Improvements Project high and dry.
I’m sure the McCain people probably weren’t happy with the story, but that’s what you get when you fail to take advantage of the local press. If they had given the reporter just a smidgen of access to the candidate, I’m sure she would have filled the story up with his quotes and the story might have had more prominent play to boot.
Maybe next time they’ll learn.

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