I recall Pat Buchanan hurting his last presidential campaign when he drove into Detroit in a Mercedes Benz.
And while John McCain had been losing ground in Washington State to Barack Obama:
This has gotta hurt:
Top current advisers to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign last year lobbied for a European plane maker that beat Boeing to a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract, taking sides in a bidding fight that McCain has tried to referee for more than five years.
Two of the advisers gave up their lobbying work when they joined McCain’s campaign. A third, former Texas Rep. Tom Loeffler, lobbied for the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. while serving as McCain’s national finance chairman.
Just coincidental? McCain the innocent bystander here? Nope.
McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in waiting, has been a key figure in the Pentagon’s yearslong attempt to complete a deal on the tanker. McCain helped block an earlier tanker contract with Boeing and prodded the Pentagon in 2006 to develop bidding procedures that did not exclude Airbus.
[McCain] has also cast himself as a neutral watchdog in the Air Force tanker contract, one of the largest in decades.
“All I asked for in this situation was a fair competition,” he told reporters Monday at Lambert Field in St. Louis, home of a Boeing fighter jet plant…
In December 2006, just weeks before the Air Force was set to release its formal request for proposals, McCain wrote a letter to the incoming defense secretary, Robert Gates, warning that he was “troubled” by the Air Force’s draft request for bids…
“The only reason that they could even bid a low price is because they received a subsidy,” [Rep. Norm] Dicks, (D-Wash) said last week. “And Senator McCain jumped into this and said that (the Air Force) could not look at the subsidy issue — which I think is a big mistake, especially when the U.S. trade representative is bringing a case in the (World Trade Organization) on this very issue.”
EADS’ interest in the tanker deal is evident in the political contributions of its employees. From 2004 to 2006, donations by its employees jumped from $42,500 to $141,931, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. So far this election cycle, company employees have donated $120,350. Of that, McCain’s presidential campaign has received $14,000, the most of any other member of Congress this election cycle.