Newsweek's Smalley: McCain 'Down & Dirty,' Obama Must Fight Back

Newsweek reporter Suzanne Smalley declared on MSNBC shortly before 1 PM EDT this afternoon that “over the past few weeks, the McCain campaign has really gotten down and dirty. A lot of their ads have been flat-out lies.” So, she pleaded: “Obama needs to really take the steering wheel back. Many Democrats in Washington are worried.”

Smalley was encouraged, however, by how at Thursday night's National Service Forum “McCain gave Obama a present on a silver platter by talking about the fact that he's divorced from the every day challenges that people in America face. So I think Obama is going to be using that in the coming days.”

The September 12 exchange with MSNBC host Contessa Brewer's leading question and Smalley's only comment during the short 12:55 PM EDT segment:
CONTESSA BREWER: We saw at the National Service Forum at Columbia University last night Barack Obama and John McCain taking to the stage. Obama shows up having a national service plan, McCain doesn't have a national service plan. Suzanne, that's a big issue, so why not make a campaign ad about that?

SUZANNE SMALLEY: Well Contessa, I think you have to recognize that over the past few weeks, the McCain campaign has really gotten down and dirty. A lot of their ads have been flat-out lies. And Obama needs to really take the steering wheel back. Many Democrats in Washington are worried. There was a meeting yesterday that several high-placed people in the party had with Obama advisers, lots of hand-wringing. I talked to someone who was there and they said, “Look, you know, we think that Palin gave McCain a jolt, but swing voters in states like Ohio will decide on the difference between McCain and Obama.” And that's how they're trying to re-frame this race. Really last night McCain gave Obama a present on a silver platter by talking about the fact that he's divorced from the every day challenges that people in America face. So I think Obama is going to be using that in the coming days.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center