As McCain-running mate Sarah Palin pairs Barack Obama with “domestic terrorists,” the Obama camp is flinging mud right back. The campaign is counteracting the William Ayers-related attacks, while dredging up John McCain’s Keating 5 past.
You may have heard about the new site from the Obama campaign, which houses videos and links to news articles about his rival’s connections to the financial scandal we forgot about: the Savings and Loan crisis. McCain and four other Senators were investigated in ’89 for involvement in improperly intervening on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association at the time.
Google searches for “Keating 5,” “Keating,” and “McCain Keating” all turn up sponsored links to the site, paid for by the Obama campaign.
But where are the McCain sponsored links? There are zero ads linking to official information from the McCain campaign to counteract the negative Keating association. Of course, there is a chance the McCain camp is running ads against these phrases, but targeting them only to battleground states.
Another problem: the McCain site isn’t well optimized when it comes to the issue. None of the organic links on the first page of results for those searches goes to a McCain-affiliated page. In contrast, the Obama camp has used search to refute attacks throughout the election season. A search on “Obama Muslim” turns up a sponsored link that reads “Barack Obama is a Christian. Get the facts at his official site.”
As for the latest connecting Obama to William Ayers of Weather Underground fame, a sponsored Google link in search results for “Obama domestic terrorist” and “Obama Ayers” reads, “Obama Ayers Connection? FightTheSmears.com/Obama Don’t Believe the Lies. Get Facts About Anti-Obama Swift Boating.”
The Republican National Committee is taking up the Ayers attack mantle, though. Those same searches turn up a link to BarackBook.com, a Facebook spoof naming Ayers as a member of Obama’s “Friend Feed.”