From the AP:
The McCain folks criticized:
Sen. Barack Obama scrapped plans to visit wounded members of the armed forces in Germany as part of his overseas trip, a decision his campaign said was made because the Democratic presidential candidate thought it would be inappropriate on a campaign-funded journey.
A campaign adviser said the U.S. military saw the visit as a campaign stop.
"Barack Obama is wrong. It is never inappropriate to visit our men and women in the military," said Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the Republican contender.Turns out that it was the DOD's rules that precluded Senator Obama from visiting with his campaign staff. From TPM Election Central:
Note the spin from the McCain folks. They conveniently left out the "campaign" part of the "inappropriate" stuff.
A Pentagon spokesperson confirms...that because of longstanding Department of Defense regulations, Pentagon officials told Obama aides that he couldn't visit the base with campaign staff. This left Obama with little choice but to cancel the trip, since the plan to visit with campaign aides had been in the works for weeks.
The Obama campaign yesterday announced that it had decided to cancel the visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, saying that it would be "inappropriate" to make such a visit as part of a campaign trip.
But it's not like the McCain folks didn't know about the rules. Via Huffingtonpost, here's CNN:
They follow the rules? Really? Double Standard #1.
With Department of Defense rules prohibiting political campaigning on military bases, it was determined that in some cases McCain could visit the installations as a senator but could not engage in any political activity or have news media present.
McCain campaign officials said Thursday they intentionally did not campaign on military property.
"We follow the rules," said senior McCain adviser Steve Schmidt.
Moving on. I read with some mild interest this story about that huge rally in Berlin:
The U.S. Embassy in Berlin has instructed Foreign Service personnel stationed there not to attend Sen. Barack Obama's public rally today, which the State Department this week labeled a "partisan political activity" prohibited under its regulations for those serving overseas.
Government employees serving in the United States are permitted to attend such events under the Hatch Act, which bars other partisan activity, such as contributing money or working in behalf of a candidate.
But "we always maintain that no U.S. government Foreign Service person overseas should be seen to be advocating one side or the other," State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy said, adding that "it has nothing to do with who" the candidate is.
But remember when I wrote about McCain's speech to the Canadian Economic Club? Take a look at this from Thinkprogress.org:
The event was reportedly organized in part by U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins, whom President Bush appointed in 2005. But more than that, the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa confirmed to ThinkProgress that Wilkins also attended the event.So it "has nothing to do with who" the candidate is.
Unless it does.
Double Standard #2