A little over a week ago (8/18/08) I wrote this to Andrew Sullivan in response to a pair of links he’d provided to separate pieces by Megan Mcardle and Dean Barnett, chiding the likes of Sullivan for harping on the ‘cross in the dirt’ story, suggesting it played to McCain’s advantage to draw attention to his time in the HH. McCardle and Barnett, I wrote,
‘should recall the Giuliani campaign. Was a time it would have been unthinkable that his connection to 9/11 could actually work against him as a candidate. But it did. Amazingly, 9/11 and Giuliani, juxtaposed, became a punchline, and it ultimately killed him.
...We should not assume the same couldn't happen to McCain-as-POW. ...if his campaign continues to double-down on his time in the HH, and uses it to try to deflect every single complaint against him - and there's no question that they will - it could easily begin work against him. One deft, viral YouTube rapid-firing the shamelessness with which McCain exploits that one chapter of his history - and a little help from Jon Stewart - could turn the words 'Viet Nam' into an embarrassing albatross for McCain.
A lot of people are already beginning to roll their eyes, and it's August.'