With three weeks to go in the election, the current, most influential narrative is that the crowds at John McCain events have become so vitriolic as to represent an electoral liability.
In response, the McCain camp has spent several days defending itself from what the Senator deemed the "fringe" elements of his rallies. On CNN this Monday, McCain claimed that Obama crowds had called him a terrorist as well.
The frame, however, seems difficult for McCain to move, in part because it is backed by documentary evidence. On Tuesday, Brave New Films and Color of Change (one of the nation's most influential Black American political organizations) put out a veritable greatest (really, worst) hits of the past week in McCain-Palin rallies.
The video leaves out the Senator's town hall last Friday, where he corrected two audience members who expressed concerns about Obama. But the spot is effective in reinforcing the notion that McCain-Palin is the ticket of at best, fear and at worse, xenophobia and bigotry.
Color for Change accompanied the release by sending members an open letter to McCain; part of which reads:
"In the last few weeks, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, rhetoric at your campaign events has taken an increasingly dangerous tone that seems to ignore the precarious state of our progress when it comes to race and ethnicity...
... For the most part, you have stood by in silence. In addition, you have also repeatedly made statements that somehow connect Senator Obama with terrorism; surrogates of yours have emphasized his middle name. This is problematic and dangerous, and I believe helps create the conditions that have given rise to these incidents of violent rhetoric from some of your supporters."