"Concerned Neighbour, with a Soupçon of Schadenfreude" Dept.:
Ivan, the Russian Blue, purrs mightily at the GOP's desperation.
Russians say 'nyet' to McCain fundraising appeal
Mon Oct 20, 5:09 PM
By John Heilprin, The Associated Press
NEW YORK - The Russians have turned down Sen. John McCain's request for campaign money - and had a bit of a laugh at his expense.
Their public snub is a comeback to McCain's increasingly tough stance against Russia.
Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, and several other diplomats at the mission received a fundraising appeal from the Republican presidential nominee on Thursday, according to Ruslan Bakhtin, a spokesman for Russia's UN mission.
"Dear Friend," begins the six-page letter to Churkin, asking him for up to $5,000 to defeat Sen. Barack Obama and help McCain "promote freedom and democracy throughout the world," according to a copy of the letter provided to The Associated Press by the Russian UN mission.
Ironically, the Arizona senator has proposed expelling Russia from the Group of Eight club of the world's major developed democracies and said Russia deserved international condemnation after the August war between Russia and Georgia.
McCain chief foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, also has lobbied the senator or his staff dozens of times while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Georgia's government.
And McCain has derided President George W. Bush for once saying he got a sense of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's soul the first time they met and locked eyes in 2001.
"I looked in Putin's eyes. I saw three letters: a K, a G and a B," McCain said last year, referring to the former KGB security agency.
The McCain campaign's fundraising letters, which were dated Sept. 29, did not use formal titles. That led Churkin and his colleagues to conclude that the requests stemmed from "a computer failure" by McCain's campaign, Bakhtin said.
"It's evident that it was a mistake. It happens," said Bakhtin, who along with another Russian official at the mission acknowledged they were amused by the mix-up. "Normally, they don't circulate these kinds of letters to diplomatic posts."
Bakhtin emphasized, too, that the "Russian authorities are in no way engaged in funding political campaigns or political activities abroad."
He said the mission had not sent any direct reply to the McCain campaign.
Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the campaign, said Monday that he was unable to pinpoint what had caused the blunder.
"It sounds like they might have been sent to the wrong place. We obviously don't solicit campaign contributions from people who aren't able to contribute," he said.
Presidential campaigns are legally barred from accepting foreign contributions.
I hear the sound of a plane crashing and burning - rather like the five that Sen. McCain lost in the 1960s.
EDITED TO ADD: McCain Palling Around With Russian Mafia Thug. The hits just keep on coming!