Putting Country First

Here’s Howard Fineman on the McCain campaign’s claims that Barack Obama doesn’t put his country first:

I asked McCain’s closest advisor and friend, Mark Salter, for an example of a time when Obama did not “put the country first.” His answer: the Senate maneuvering of immigration legislation. In his view, Obama did big labor’s bidding by helping to kill the chances for a grand compromise on immigration reform. “His campaign came before his country,” Salter told me in an e-mail. In other words, if you weren’t for McCain’s deal, you didn’t put the country first.

This might have been a good opportunity for Fineman to note that not only is this completely absurd — Obama supported the idea of a grand bargain on immigration but had a somewhat different conception of what a good deal would be — but also that in order to get the nomination John McCain said he would vote against his own immigration bill:

Under the circumstances, you’d think McCain’s people would want to keep attention off the immigration issue.