When Gov. James Douglas announced his joint appearance with Sen. John McCain this morning, the e-mail carried something most people probably haven’t seen yet: a Jim Douglas for Governor ’08 logo.
Looks like the "games" have begun.
Meanwhile, Democrats (who I’m sure are smarting a bit that a Republican presidential candidate is touching down in the state before either of the two major Democratic candidates have) have been quick to hit McCain and Douglas today, many of them highlighting McCain’s support for the Iraq War.
Here’s Vermont Democratic Party Chair Ian Carleton:
Unlike John McCain and Jim Douglas, Vermonters think it’s time for Iraq to take care of Iraq and for America to confront the challenges we face at home and refocus our energies on building a brighter future for all Americans. On the war, SCHIP and tax cuts, McCain is out of touch with Vermonters and the majority of Americans who are demanding a real change in priorities. McCain’s policies offer little more than a third term for President Bush. It is troubling, if not surprising, that Vermont’s governor would put partisan allegiances ahead of the best interests of Vermonters. Why is our governor supporting four more years of the Bush policies that have done real damage to our state?
And Democrat Peter Galbraith (who is sounding more and more like a candidate for governor each day):
Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign rests on the false premise that the surge in Iraq is working. As part of the surge, the Bush Administration began financing Sunni militias called the Awakening. While they have fought al-Qaeda, they consist mainly of unreconstructed supporters of Saddam Hussein. They have no interest in democracy, a supposed American goal in Iraq, and bitterly oppose Iraq’s government. Senator McCain boasts of a drop in violence in Iraq but this may be only temporary. After a brief lull, suicide bomb attacks and sectarian killings are again increasing in Iraq. Senator McCain, who has spoken of a hundred year U.S. presence in Iraq, would have the U.S. continue to support an Iraqi government that is Iran’s closest ally in the world and a Sunni militia filled with supporters of Saddam Hussein as these two groups prepare to fight a civil war against each other. Vermonters sensibly reject President Bush’s disastrous Iraq War that John McCain would continue.
Personally, I’m excited to hear McCain speak again tomorrow. He was the first presidential candidate I met when I was still a college student and interning at a New Hampshire weekly newspaper in 1999. But I’m betting there are some Vermonters less excited about one of the loudest supporters of the Iraq military surge coming to a state where support for that war is scant.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see a protester or ten in Burlington Thursday.