The Washington Times - August 14, 2008, 11:24AM

Republicans have taken to calling Sen. Barack Obama’s plane “O Force One,” following one news report about the remodeled campaign plane.

 

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Some reporters prefer the snarkier “Air Hope,” while others nicknamed it “Sally.”

 

But along with the GOP mocking about the fancy additions to the plane installed last month comes another viral rumor.

 

Conservative blogs and YouTube accounts are buzzing that Team Obama removed the American flag from the plane’s tail as part of the remodel.

 

The noise was loud enough that the plane is now a new entry over at the Obama “Fight the Smears” site battling false rumors about his faith and wife.

 

Lie:

Barack Obama has been attacked for not having an American Flag on his campaign airplane.

Truth:

Barack Obama does indeed have an American flag displayed on the outside of this campaign airplane.

 

But as Snopes points out, the remodel did replace the large flag design on the tail with the “O” logo.

 

The Fight the Smears site provides photo evidence below, and notes that “both the McCain and Obama campaign planes have flags on their planes in almost the same spot and campaign logos on the [tail] of the plane.”

 

 

 

 

The blogs and videos freaking out about the flag don’t note that McCain’s plane has only the small flag seen above, the same way those pushing the lapel pin “controversy” never pointed out that McCain doesn’t wear a flag pin. Neither did Hillary Clinton.

 

Speaking of “smears,” former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland penned a fundraising note for the DSCC this week about “The whispering” that’s being used to attack Obama. He said:

 

Our opponents put my picture next to Osama bin Laden and said I wouldn’t keep America safe.  They told us to ignore John Kerry’s combat medals.  And now, they’re whispering about Barack Obama.

You and I know this kind of garbage is coming soon to Senate races around the country.  It’s despicable, but it sometimes works.  This is what’s standing in the way of a filibuster-proof Senate majority that will help Barack Obama change this country.  The DSCC and their nationwide network of committed activists are the ones fighting against it.


I know we all want to put an end to this kind of gutter politics.  Everywhere I go, I meet people who are thirsting for sweeping change in this country.

What really matters to the Democratic Party is helping people who need it and tackling the big problems.  If we give Barack Obama that filibuster-proof majority, the Republicans won’t be able to stop us from changing policy in Iraq, reducing gas prices by diversifying our energy policy, or dramatically expanding access to health care in this country.

If we succeed in deflecting the attacks, we’ll win.  And after we win, there’s no telling what we can do.

I’m not going to take their smears or their lies anymore.  Neither should you. Please, join our growing campaign for change today.

Sincerely,
Max Cleland

 

Sen. John Kerry also has started a new project to beat down the new anti-Obama book, authored by the same guy who wrote a book about him in 2004. He tells supporters:

 

Pick up the New York Times this morning and read the headline: “Book on Obama Hopes to Repeat Anti-Kerry Feat.”

Yes, Jerome Corsi, the right wing fringe author who made his bones smearing the Catholic Church and lying about my military record, is back atop the best seller list with an anti-Obama book chock full of lies.

And it’s not just Barack: up and down the ticket and all across the country, the rightwing smear machine is ramping up attacks on Democrats.

We’ve seen this movie before. The Republicans, without ideas, start running a negative campaign filled with personal attacks and misleading ads. The attacks get condemned, but they get lots of attention and get played on TV endlessly.


TruthFightsBack.com

We’re launching a new website that empowers you to fight back across the country in ways no campaign has attempted. It’s called TruthFightsBack.com, and we can use all the help you can give.

By signing up, you’ll stay on top of what the rightwing is doing and help fight for the truth. And you can report smears when you see them to keep us on track on what the smear machine is up to at every moment. You will be our eyes and ears.

We know the game, we’ve learned some things, and we have a fired up movement of activists like no party has had in decades, all networked together with great Internet tools.

You can’t just play defense against smears, pointing out how they aren’t true. You’ve got to play offense, too, exposing the whole cynical game for what it is: an attempt to keep us from talking about the real issues and ultimately changing our country for the better.

The Republicans have nothing to run on, no ideas to push, no solutions for America. They’ll run a campaign of laughable gimmicks and outright distortions and lies. But we can fight back with the truth - and the truth can win this time.

Let’s do it.

Thanks,

John Kerry

 

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times

 

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