Cindy McCain used a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday to launch her most severe attack on Barack Obama to date. McCain, who had previously shown little inclination to use her son's military service as a weapon against the Democratic nominee, suggested that he had let down the McCain boys by voting against funding for the troops.
This is not a new attack against Obama -- John McCain accused him of the same thing during their first debate, and in an ad as well -- but this time the charge was reframed in more emotional terms.
"I'm a blue-star mom, just like Gov. Palin is," Cindy McCain said. "I'm proud of my sons, but let me tell you, the day that Sen. Obama decided to cast a vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body.
"I would suggest that Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day, and see what it means to have a loved one serving in the armed forces, and more importantly, serving in harm's way. I suggest he take a day and go watch our fine young men and women deploy, get on those buses and leave with a smile and a charge."
While the suggestion that Obama try on McCain's heels -- a sartorial decision that might further alienate the fabled "Joe Sixpacks" across America -- cannot reasonably be interpreted as a suggestion that Obama send his young daughters to Iraq, it can certainly be seen as part of the McCain camp's "Obama doesn't understand" offensive.
Unfortunately for the McCain campaign, though, the accusation doesn't hold water. Obama has voted against only one troop funding bill out of the 11 that have come up during his time in the Senate. He did so only after the original bill, which contained an Iraq withdrawal timeline, was vetoed by President Bush.
Over the past two days, Cindy McCain has suddenly been taking a more prominent role in the campaign, and as an attack dog to boot. On Tuesday, she accused Obama of waging "the dirtiest campaign in American history."