Straight Talk And All That Jazz

April 11, 2008 12:56 p.m.

We’ve mentioned this before but it remains an interesting dynamic to watch.

You’ve got the John McCain of lore — the maverick riding the Straight Talk Express who flirted with caucusing with the Democrats, if not running with Sen. John Kerry on the Democratic ticket in 2004 — hitching his star to the right-wing noise machine, and the wingnuts hitching their star to him.

It makes for strange bedfellows and for trainwrecks just like this one.

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis sent out a fund-raising letter this week trying to raise money off of George Soros’ funding of indy Dem groups: “He and his group of billionaire left-wing Democrats have pledged $40 million dollars of soft money to smear John McCain in a national television ad campaign,” Davis wrote in the letter.

The problem for McCain is that Soros has also funded groups like the Reform Institute, an advocate of campaign-finance reform that Davis himself served as president of from 2001-05 and for which McCain was honorary co-chairman. As TPM Election Central reports, Soros gave $150,000 to the McCain-Davis outfit back in 2003.

We’re hearing that McCain also benefited indirectly from Soros money that was used for litigation defending the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.

More on that shortly.

Late Update: Apropos of this discussion, the NYT Magazine interviews Grover Norquist, who is now actively supporting McCain:

Norquist now admits that calling McCain a “gun-grabbing, tax-increasing Bolshevik” was “an overstatement.” At the same 2005 College Republicans gathering he referred to McCain as “the nut-job from Arizona.”

But they’re buds now.

Later Update: TPM Election Central has the details now on the Soros connection to McCain-Feingold.

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