That’s my “honest” reaction to learning that the Republican presidential campaign of John McCain is trying to have some fun at Democratic opponent Barack Obama’s expense.
On Thursday, the day that Obama is making a public appearance in Berlin (within site of the Brandenburg Gate, although not in front of it like presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan did), McCain is airing radio spots in Berlin – three of them, to be exact.
McCAIN IS AIRING ads on local radio stations that cover Berlin, Penn.; Berlin, Wis., and Berlin, N.H. The gimmick ensures that his spots will get national attention when they trash Obama for a 2007 vote in the U.S. Senate against a $120 billion budget appropriation that would have paid for supplies for the military.
Media outlets who are determined to view objectivity by leaning toward McCain likely will give it equal play to Obama’s appearance in the capital of Germany.
Where’s the snub, those of you who never set foot outside of Cook County might ask?
It turns out we have a Berlin, of sorts, right here in Illinois.
NEW BERLIN (POPULATION 1,124) is a town in rural Sangamon County, located about 12 miles from Springfield. Airing his spot in our version of Berlin could have gained the attention of the political geeks who choose to live in the Illinois capital city, since the same broadcast stations cover both towns.
That also would have meant significant attention for the McCain campaign. Instead, they passed over our state’s version of Berlin, just because the village’s founders were honest enough to put a “New” in their name when they incorporated in 1865.
I'd be inclined to say that McCain just lost my vote for snubbing my home state, except I made up my mind a long time ago that I couldn't bring myself to cast a ballot for the senator from Arizona. And in all honesty, many of us Chicagoans had no clue until reading this commentary that there was even a New Berlin in existence.
EDITOR’S NOTES: Barack Obama defends his 2007 vote against military spending (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jhFlSnhxlnF7dVvDXUCvBHhCp2oQD923OP481) by noting he voted for a different measure that included the money for the military effort in Iraq.
New Berlin, Ill., is one of several rural Illinois towns named for famed international cities, including (http://newberlin.il.us/VillageMain.htm) Paris, Rome, Vienna and Havana.