Joe McCain is not happy with the way things are going.
At 11:27 last night, McCain — the Republican presidential nominee’s little brother — fired off an angry e-mail complaining about the management of his brother’s campaign.
McCain’s long missive, in which he describes himself “as a sailor who sees his ship sailing into shoals,” is just the latest in a series of shots across the bow (to continue the metaphor) of his brother’s campaign. In the e-mail, McCain draws on his previous experience as a reporter and criticizes the lack of access the campaign has given to journalists, writing:
Let us talk to these reporters and tell them of the John McCain we know. Some reporters will get it wrong, most will not get it perfectly, but almost all will appreciate the reopening of the gates of information and reward us for it.
For now they are angry and frustrated — what happened to this John McCain and his legions who would always talk us? Well, they were muzzled by those without the understanding that you cannot control the media by keeping them from information, but you can lose all their good will. They were misled by those who meant well, but who simply don’t know the reality of this aspect of a political race. [I pretend no expertise in campaigning, by (sic) I do understand the press aspect of it, for I was a reporter for several years, and worked in Press in two California campaigns].
Joe McCain has attracted unwanted attention for his brother’s campaign before. Earlier this month, he told a group of Republicans that Northern Virginia was “communist country.” But he has also been a dogged campaigner — he has spent much of the last month standing in front of Virginia crowds, holding up his brother’s Vietnam-era flight jacket and reminding voters of John McCain’s harrowing experiences in the Hanoi Hilton.
Also included in the e-mail is Joe McCain’s proposal for a slightly hackneyed television advertisement starring the flight jacket. “This Naval Flight Jacket was left behind on the carrier USS Oriskany for five-and-a-half years while John McCain was a prisoner in Hanoi,” the suggested spot begins. It ends with John McCain striding onto the screen, grabbing his old jacket and saying, “I’m John McCain … and I lived this message.”
The McCain campaign has thus far not commented on the e-mail.