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Published October 13, 2008

The McCain campaign's "Obama is a Muslim" platform sure is catchy. Bet you think that Steve Schmidt is one shrewd guy to make that the campaign's overarching message.

Well you're wrong. Steve Schmidt is just a puppet. The real architect of McCain's campaign is some guy named Andy Martin, a self-described "colorful person" who back in 2004 sent around an "Obama is a Muslim" press release . Recent weeks show that the message in that release has been embraced by John McCain as the core ethos of his candidacy.

Let's take a look at Andy Martin and learn exactly who it is that McCain is allowing to guide his ship:

CREDENTIALS: Graduated law school, but blocked from the Illinois bar after a psych evaluation found "moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character." Well, he did say he was colorful.

EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE: Ran for president twice, in 1988 and 2000. No need to check Wikipedia. Those runs were unsuccessful.

CONGRESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: attempted to run for Congress in Connecticut. Paperwork for one of his campaign committees included as its purpose: "To exterminate Jew power." Clearly, this committee did not achieve its goals. (I mean, look around!)

CONNECTIONS: according to the New York Times, "He has left a trail of animosity -- some of it provoked by anti-Jewish comments -- among political leaders, lawyers and judges in three states over more than 30 years." Take out the anti-Jewish stuff, and this sentence could be about John McCain's relationship with his own party.

JAIL-TIME: Funny you should ask. Yes! Andy was jailed in Florida in a case involving a physical altercation.

MEDIA COVERAGE: Has filed so many frivolous lawsuits that he was once the subject of an hour-long episode of the news-program "48 Hours." He's famous!

OPINIONS ABOUT THE JEWISH PEOPLE: He has some. In a motion filed in a 1983 bankruptcy case, Andy called the judge "a crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race." In another motion filed that year he wrote, "I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did." It is not clear whether his bankruptcy filing was successful.

It certainly sounds like Andy Martin would not be the man to give voice to the dominant strategy of John McCain's campaign. He's ruffled quite a few feathers in his time, and made a lot of enemies. But we have a word for that kind of rabble-rouser. It's "Maverick." Well, "barely employed, chemically imbalanced anti-semite" works also. But there's some Maverick in there too, you betcha there is.


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