The Trail

Friday, March 21, 2008


McCain Campaign Suspends Aide

The campaign of Sen. John McCain suspended Soren Dayton, a low-level aide, Thursday after he forwarded an inflammatory anti-Barack Obama YouTube video.

Dayton sent a feed -- known as a "tweet" -- to his private Twitter account saying "Good video on Obama and Wright," and linking to the video "Is Obama Wright? -- Pastor Jeremiah Wright & Senator Barack."

Spliced together by a conservative radio hand, the video had been viewed more than 53,000 times by Thursday. It linked Obama and his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah E. Wright Jr., to Malcolm X, and also highlighted statements by Obama that some conservatives say raise doubts about his patriotism.

"We have been very clear on the type of campaign we intend to run and this staffer acted in violation of our policy," McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said. "He has been reprimanded by campaign leadership and suspended from the campaign."

-- Garance Franke-Ruta


McCain Takes Time Off to Cash In

LONDON -- Sen. John McCain took a break from meetings with high-level government officials in Europe and the Middle East on Thursday for a fundraiser in London that cost from $1,000 to $2,300 to attend.

Aides refused to say how much money was raised, and McCain dashed through the rain away from reporters after emerging from the stately event locale, the 18th-century stone palace that once served as a home to the Spencers, of Diana fame. One guest said there were about 100 people at the luncheon.

-- Michael D. Shear


Ferraro Objects to Obama Speech

Former congresswoman and Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro (N.Y.) got the race debate going a few weeks ago with comments in a California newspaper that Sen. Barack Obama had gotten to where he was -- on the verge of knocking off Ferraro's favored candidate, Hillary Clinton -- because he is a black man.

On Thursday, Ferraro surfaced again in the same paper, the Daily Breeze in Torrance, to say that she objected vehemently to passages in Obama's Tuesday speech on race linking her comments and the inflammatory excerpts of sermons by the Rev. Jeremiah E. Wright Jr., Obama's former longtime pastor.

"To equate what I said with what this racist bigot has said from the pulpit is unbelievable," Ferraro told the paper. "He gave a very good speech on race relations, but he did not address the fact that this man is up there spewing hatred."

-- Alec MacGillis

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