With less than two weeks until election day, if you still haven’t decided how to vote, the McCain campaign has some advice: base your choice on al Qaeda’s choice.
If you’re convinced al Qa’eda wants McCain to win, vote Obama. If you think they want Obama, vote McCain.
That, it would seem, is the thinking that forced Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s top foreign-policy adviser, and James Woolsey to push back so vigorously against a Washington Post report that al Qaeda supports McCain.
No, no, no! Scheunemann and Woolsey protest. Muhammad Haafid (who the Post quoted) is a jihadist maverick who should not be regarded as a spokesman for al Qaeda. Indeed, if al Qaeda really wanted to see McCain elected, they would surely have the good sense to keep quiet about it. Clearly, this faux declaration of support is an attempt to undermine McCain and if al Qaeda wants to undermine McCain, it must favor Obama — except of course, as the McCain campaign points out, there’s no reason to think that Haafid speaks for al Qaeda. Is that clear? Maybe not.
The question Scheunemann and Woolsey failed to address is this: Is there any reason why American voters should be influenced by al Qaeda’s presidential preferences?
We already know that al Qaeda sees elections as opportunities for grabbing headlines, but whether we let al Qaeda steer our political judgments is up to us — unless we prefer to surrender to terrorism.
Who cares who bin Laden is rooting for? Apparently the McCain campaign cares. Otherwise they would not protest too much.