McCain-Palin play "the cocky card"

Desperate, with time running out, McCain-Palin try to paint Obama as overconfident.

By Thomas Schaller
Published October 27, 2008 1:44PM (EDT)

When you're running out of time and arguments, your last resort is to play the "cocky card," which is exactly what John McCain and Sarah Palin are attempting to do now. At a Sunday rally in Tampa Palin said:

And you know that elections -- they're not decided until the votes are counted. But our opponent, he sure seems, once again to be getting out a little bit ahead of himself. Just yesterday, the New York Times reported that Barack Obama's inaugural address is already written. Nine days out from the election, nine days out, and yet it's already written ...

And you know, Barack Obama and I, we both have spent quite some time on the basketball court. But where I come from, you have to win the game before you start cutting down the nets.

Obviously, this line of attack is coordinated, because John McCain was pushing it in New Mexico over the weekend as well. "Well, my friends, when I pull this thing off I have a request for my opponent. I want him to save that manuscript of his inaugural address and donate it to the Smithsonian and put it right next to the Chicago paper that said, 'Dewey Defeats Truman.'"

The problem is, there is no such prepared inaugural speech. Palin and McCain are citing a book written and published last summer by John Podesta, who is managing Obama's transition, that includes a hypothetical speech Podesta, not the campaign, wrote.

Of course, facts have never really got in the way for this above-the-fray, owns-more-homes-than-he-can-count maverick and his folksy, humble, $3,000-outfit-wearing hockey mom running mate.

Update: Palin also claimed, again falsely, that Obama rented out a stadium for some election night party. Wow: The level of desperation has ratched up from mere kitchen sink levels to whole Home Depot warehouses full of kitchen sinks, hasn't it?

Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz. Sarah Palin