Posted: 5/19/2012 8:17:56 PM
By Bill Liesse
Joe Ricketts' political action plans should give us all a greater appreciation of John McCain.
Mr. Ricketts unwittingly rocked the political world Thursday when the New York Times revealed his super PAC's plans
to effectively sabotage the Democratic National Convention in
September. At the center of the plan – yet to be finalized and
ultimately subject to Mr. Ricketts' approval – are television ads
revisiting President Obama's relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
It's virtually impossible to count the strategic holes in “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.” Let's just say the Chicago Cubs' bullpen looks like a Wrigley Field brick wall by comparison.
Ricketts, of course, is the patriarch of the family that owns the Cubs.
That the family includes daughter Laura, a key fund-raising figure in
the Obama re-election campaign, is but a small irony here, a seeing-eye
single amid a barrage of extra-base inconsistencies and hypocritical
The big blow, of course, is that Mr. Ricketts is
going after Chicago's favorite son while his family asks Chicagoans to
pony up for improvements to Wrigley. Crain's columnist Greg Hinz outlined the project's costs, and the family's bond and tax-break requests, late last month.
you're not confusing things. The Ricketts family wants you to help fix
Wrigley, and to do so requires the blessing of former Obama Chief of
Staff Rahm Emanuel. And the family patriarch has a super PAC called
Ending Spending Action Fund, and its proposal says, effectively, America
doesn't hate President Obama enough.
Thursday's Times story, the 53-page document “lament(s) that voters
‘still aren't ready to hate this president,' " and Mr. Ricketts is upset
with Mr. McCain for nixing an inflammatory Wright ad in 2008. “If the
nation had seen that ad,” the Times quotes Mr. Ricketts as saying in the
proposal, “they'd never have elected Barack Obama.”
we conclude that Mr. Ricketts is this wantonly tone-deaf or arrogant, he
did react quickly Thursday to the massive strategic blunder that is
this document's leak. Mr. Ricketts retreated via a statement from his camp that said, in part, “(this proposal) reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects.”
According to CNN, the statement concluded that the idea to run the Rev. Wright ads has been rejected.
brings us back to Mr. McCain. Maybe the 2008 Republican nominee isn't
“a crusty old politician who often seemed confused,” as the super PAC's
attack plan indicated.
Maybe the longtime Arizona senator
had the foresight and political acumen to know what it took an
embarrassing leak for Mr. Ricketts to see: That attacks on character, on
either side, do little but lather up voters you already have locked up.
And they can have a reverse effect, causing resentment among those of
us in the forgotten political middle.
And just maybe, the
nation's interests were better served before the Citizens United ruling
by the Supreme Court in 2010, which overturned much of the Bipartisan
Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Bill.
maybe, just maybe, unfettered spending by the founder and former CEO of
TD Ameritrade has more to do with enabling the privatization of Social
Security than it has to do with Jeremiah Wright's views on race.
is a sports blogger and the former sports editor of the Arizona Daily
Sun, Las Vegas Sun and Peoria Journal Star. His journalism awards
include the Journal Star being named Illinois' best sports section in
2009. The 1987 University of Illinois graduate resides in Peoria with
his wife, Leaann, and their four children.