WASHINGTON -- Yes, you can read his election-night broadside against “rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas” as a response to Barack Obama, John McCain acknowledged this morning at a Capitol Hill press conference
“I've not observed every speech he's given, obviously, but they are singularly lacking in specifics,” McCain said.
But even though he never named Obama, McCain’s speech after Tuesday’s victories in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia was a direct rebuttal of the Illinois Democrat’s stump speech. McCain dismissed the “promise of hope” as a “platitude,” twisted the backwards-looking title of Obama’s first memoir to focus instead on “the dreams we all dream for our children,” and closed with an ironic invocation Obama's “Fired up, ready to go!” mantra.
Mark Salter, the McCain aide who drafts the senator’s election-night speeches, said the assault on a potential rival’s rhetoric was provoked in large part by Obama salvos against McCain for saying that American troops may be in Iraq for 100 years. But what really inspired Salter to respond was a Los Angeles comedy troupe’s release of an online video that -- in parodying a star-studded celebration of Obama’s “Yes We Can” uplift -- mocks a McCain statement that he wouldn’t be “concerned” if the U.S. presence lasted 10,000 years.
Despite its influence on his election-night speech, Salter said yesterday that McCain has yet to see the much watched, ninety-second clip that puts candidate’s dark, belligerent words to music. “I might show it to him,” Salter said. “He’ll probably laugh at it.”