The St. Louis Post-Dispatch uses the AB-InBev merger as a springboard to launch a series of “damaging” fatuous questions at John McCain, whose wife owns an AB distributorship.
The head of the Washington Bureau “asks”:
John McCain’s Straight Talk Express is far less talkative when it comes to beer.
McCain’s campaign is unwilling to directly address questions flowing from InBev’s purchase of Anheuser-Busch Cos. in light of his wife, Cindy’s, ownership of a large Anheuser-Busch distributorship in Arizona, Hensley and Co.
— For more than 20 years as a legislator, McCain has abstained from taking positions or voting on measures related to alcohol. As president, would he act on beer-related legislation — or continue to abstain, in effect casting a veto?
— InBev does business in Cuba, designated by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism. As a candidate, McCain has been tough on the Cuban government. Will his wife now sell the products of a company that does business in Cuba — or even expand her business to include InBev’s other products?
McCain’s campaign is unusually tight-lipped on those questions, and wouldn’t say whether the candidate’s wife plans to separate herself from Hensley.
The paper’s really making an effort here to springboard from a rather touchstone local issue into casting aspersions onto McCain’s ethics. Particularly creative is trying to cast his recusing himself from voting on things that would benefit him through his wife’s company and complaining about how a parent company would do business in Cuba. We’re really stretching here.
I mean, for crying out loud, Barack Obama drives a Chrysler 300, and DaimlerChrysler does business in Cuba. Shouldn’t Barack have rented a Ford? And what about his publisher’s parent company, guilty of using Nazi slave labor at one point? Will Barack abstain from signing legislation in favor of slavery or Nazis?
I mean, I’m just a crackpot backwater blog making sarcastic remarks about Obama here, but the story and the leading questions in the paper is from a “credible” periodical with a (declining) metropolitan audience.
Forget this story, Post-Dispatch. If you need to try to gig McCain based on a narrative of local concern, investigate why he’s tight-lipped about trading for a good middle reliever for the Cardinals. Sure, it’s not his job, but you can still blame him for with a couple of bullet points.
(Full disclosure: I am actually a citizen columnist for a sort of sister publication of the Post-Dispatch.)