Friday, September 19, 2008

The Truth About Franklin Raines

In the latest saga of "I call it like I see it and if I don't see it I make it up*," McCain's latest campaign commercial links Obama to former Fannie Mae chairman Franklin Raines as one of Obama's "close economic advisors." The "source" quoted in the ad is from a profile article on Raines written by Anita Huslin of the Washinton Post.

But a fact-check on the ad reveals that the Post article never actually characterized Raines as "close economic advisor" to Obama. That characterization belongs wholly to the McCain campaign. Huslin actually reports that, according to her notes, she brought up the current presidential race and asked if Raines had been contacted by the Democratic nominee for advice. In reply, Raines' exact words were that he "took a couple of phone calls from Obama's campaign." When Huslin queried him on the content of the calls, Raines replied, according to Huslin "oh, general housing, economy issues."

Do two phone calls constitute a "close personal advisor?" And, given the economic advisors John McCain has aligned himself with lately, does he really want to go there?


*apologies to the late George Carlin.

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