This might come to news to those who have been following the recent developments of the presidential campaign, but during the debate spin-war on Tuesday night, McCain aide Nicolle Wallace claimed that "nobody in America" cares about Barack Obama's association with William Ayers and "neither do we."
"[N]obody in America sitting around the kitchen table trying to figure out if they're gonna be able to make the mortgage or worried about the price of groceries or price of gas, nobody cares about Mr. Ayers," Wallace told Fox News. "Neither do we."
Delivered to several news outlets during the spin portion of the night's festivities, Wallace qualified her statement by saying Obama's relationship with the '60s radical - which included a one political event, brief meetings, and appearances on an education-policy board - was important in that the Senator was not being truthful with the public.
"What we care about is that Barack Obama described him as a guy in his neighborhood," she said. "He is more than a guy in his neighborhood."
But Wallace's remarks, nevertheless, contrast greatly with the tenor and the tone of much of the messaging coming from the McCain headquarters during the past several days. This past weekend, Gov. Sarah Palin brought up the Ayers issue in the context of suggesting that Obama himself is somehow anti-American.
"Our opponent," the Alaska Republican said, "is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."
Even earlier, McCain strategist Greg Stimple made the argument to the Associated Press that the campaigns strategy would actually be to divert attention from those "kitchen table" issues that Wallace said were so important, in favor of the more tawdry aspects of Obama's life.
"We are looking for a very aggressive last 30 days," he said. "We are looking forward to turning a page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama's aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans."
The pose that Wallace struck was entirely different. Following her logic, Ayers was brought up as a question of Obama's trustworthiness and, in the end, was not a issue of primary concern to the majority of voters.
"You know I don't think anyone's sitting around the kitchen table or sitting in the TV room tonight watching is gonna tune in and care too much about any of those issues," she later told MSNBC. "On Mr. Ayers, this was raised by Governor Palin as another proof point in Barack Obama's very troubling record of saying one thing and doing another."
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