REPEATING THE TELEPROMPTER LIE…. Over the last several days, the McCain campaign’s biggest problem has been the growing realization that it lies a lot. Given this, one assumes the Republican campaign would go out of its way to stop telling tall tales, at least for a little while, so as to avoid keeping the narrative going.
But, no. This is one campaign that just can’t help itself. Yesterday afternoon, Sarah Palin repeated the already-exposed Bridge to Nowhere lie. Soon after, she repeated the teleprompter lie at an Ohio country club.
As recorded by a reporter allowed to observe the 35-minute fundraiser appearance, this was the first time Gov. Palin herself relayed the story of how a fouled-up teleprompter forced her to ad-lib big swaths of her acclaimed acceptance speech at the Republican Convention Sept. 3.
But that story has been largely debunked. Reporters who saw the equipment that night say — and the party has not denied — that any teleprompter issue was minor at most. In the days after the event it was touted — on a hush-hush, off the record basis — by top Republicans as a way to show how swift-thinking is their newest star, despite her avoidance of any and all unscripted moments on the trail.
Gov. Palin’s telling was a Canton crowd-pleaser: “There Ohio was right out in front, right in front of me. The teleprompter got messed up, I couldn’t follow it, and I just decided I’d just talk to the people in front of me,” she said. “It was Ohio.”
Like the Alaska jet put on eBay and her pit-bull opposition to pork like the Bridge to Nowhere, the T.T. of the T.T. is great theater, but not quite, not entirely, true.
I realize, in the grand scheme of things, that inconsequential lies like these seem trivial. Indeed, taken in isolation, they are.
But then there’s the context. The McCain campaign lied about Palin having been to Iraq. And their crowd sizes. And the jet on eBay. And the Bridge to Nowhere. And earmarks in general. And “national security” being one of Palin’s “primary responsibilities” as governor. The list goes on and on.
Lying about a teleprompter is minor, but when added to the ever-growing list, it points to a campaign that lies when the truth is nearly as good — in other words, a Republican ticket that lies even when it doesn’t have to.
The Obama campaign asked over the weekend, “Americans are starting to wonder, is there anything the McCain campaign isn’t lying about?”
The question seems more and more relevant all the time.