Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo nails John McCain for the latest smear campaign:
The McCain campaign has been throwing around so much mud and smears in recent weeks that it's easy to miss just how ugly and shameful their character assassination of Rashid Khalidi is. This is an entirely respectable, highly respected scholar. To go further into making a case for him would only be to enable and indulge McCain's sordid appeal to racism. For McCain, personally, to compare Khalidi to a neo-nazi, it's just an offense McCain should never be forgiven for. It's right down in the gutter with Joe McCarthy and the worst of the worst. Khalidi is in this new McCain set piece for one reason -- as a generic Arab, to spur the idea that Obama is foreign, friendly with terrorists and possibly Muslim.
The story McCain is trying to pitch is that Khalidi was a spokesman for the PLO and as evidence that he and Obama are superfirends is a supposedly "suppressed" videotape of Obama attending a dinner in Khalidi's honor that may have included some unfriendly words about Israel. Oh, did I mention that Bill Ayers might have been there too? Yeah, that "washed up old terrorist" that McCain says he couldn't care less about, but can't stop name-dropping.
According to WAPO:
It turns out that McCain is treading on tricky ground when he cites the Khalidi case as an example of Obama consorting with terrorist sympathizers. The Obama campaign was quick to point out that an organization co-founded by Khalidi has received large sums of grant money from the International Republican Institute, chaired by McCain since 1993. One such grant was for $448,873 in 1998 to assist the Center for Palestine Research and Studies in its work in the West Bank.
So, nevermind that Khalidi was NOT a spokesman for the PLO. Also disregard the fact that McCain himself funded Khalidid's group. Just know that he has a strange Arab name that should make you nervous. That's all you need to know.