Free Gayle Sweeney!
We have another theory. Gayle Sweeney is a hostage kept on a limited diet, rarely allowed to change clothes or even leave her walk-in-closet jail except for press events or fund-raisers where she's posited as the perfect political wife, forced to wave and smile like a child-rearing, cookie-baking seal. (She's not a big talker when it comes to the issues — that's John's business — but don't get her started on that thyroid condition. She'll munch your ear off). Watch the ad again, notice the glassy eyes, the pinched tone, the mechanic fealty psychologists who study Stockholm Syndrome call "capture bonding." You can almost see Sweeney standing outside the shot holding a piece of buttered bread and whispering, "Look at Daddy and say the words."
Why do you think John McCain has been to the Twentieth District to stump for Sweeney? Those aren't campaign appearances, they're secret recon missions. Here's text of the statement John McCain originally wrote on behalf of Sweeney for Congress before party higher-ups got ahold of it.
"John Sweeney is the worst. I hate him. He's an incompetent beef-necked baboon, everything wrong with the party and politics as a whole. I hoped campaign-finance reform would do away with hacks like that, but, ya know, I'm just one guy fighting a hard fight. I was only helicoptering in for these events with John because it's election time and, ya know, 'McCain, always the good solider' blah blah blah. And then I met Gayle and I saw something I hadn't seen for, well, decades. It was that look I used to see on guys' faces back during my POW days, that look of someone whose been subsisting for years on nothing but ants and sandal leather, the inhuman glare of a person who can't distinguish captor from protector. I saw that in Gayle's eyes. I saw a little of a self I thought I'd left behind years ago wading in her shallow pools of disaffection. I knew I needed to help, for her sake and mine."
Of course, the only words that made it through the RNC censors were "John Sweeney" and "protector." It's a sad fact of politics. Once a prisoner, always a prisoner. The jailer may wear a different face and yesterday's bamboo cage may be today's plush corner office on Capitol Hill, but John McCain deserves our admiration nonetheless.