Swift Boat Watch: Citizens for Open and Responsive Government

A campaign blog.
Sept. 29 2008 11:10 AM

Swift Boat Watch: Citizens for Open and Responsive Government

See all Swift Boat Watch entries here .

Who They Are: Citizens for Open and Responsive Government


Purpose: To combat what they see as unfair attacks on candidates or unacceptable campaign activity. The group has opposed state-level Republican candidates in the past, but in this presidential election they support McCain.

Director: Carlton Saffa

Funding: Small individual donations.

Cost of the Ad: Prefer not to release.

Where It Ran: Colorado, Sept. 22-26

Related Groups: None

Claims: John McCain cannot use a keyboard or computer because of war injuries sustained in Vietnam. This is in response to the Obama campaign’s " Still " ad, which mocks McCain’s inability to use a computer or send an e-mail. The spot also quotes Joe Biden calling the initial Obama ad "terrible."

Accuracy: The claim that McCain cannot use a computer because of his war injuries isn’t entirely true. In an interview with the New York Times , McCain said he is learning how to use a computer, which suggests he can use one, at least to a limited extent. (Plus, many people physically worse-off than McCain manage to use computers.) Biden did call the ad "terrible," but later issued a follow-up statement saying that he had been reacting to press accounts without actually seeing the ad.

Background: Saffa says CORG decided to film the ad because it felt the issue was being ignored by the mainstream media. Lt. Col. Mike Fairhead, the veteran in the video, was also injured in the Vietnam War.

Swift Boat Rating:


Using a veteran who also sustained war injuries is a bit melodramatic. Does he even know McCain? Obama’s ad did mock John McCain’s inability to use a computer, but it didn’t mock his disabilities. The ad was using his computer illiteracy, along with other examples, to argue that McCain is out of touch with Americans.



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

Big Problems With the Secret Service Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
Oct. 2 2014 12:58 PM Why Can’t States Do More to Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills? It’s complicated.
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 2 2014 1:05 PM What's Wrong With "America's Ugliest Accent"
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 2 2014 12:37 PM St. Louis Study Confirms That IUDs Are the Key to Lowering Teen Pregnancy Rates
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 1:29 PM Want to Know What Makes David Fincher Great? Focus on What He Doesn’t Do.
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 1:22 PM If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would You Notice? What cyranoid experiments reveal about how people act.  
  Health & Science
Oct. 2 2014 12:53 PM The Panic Virus How public health officials are keeping Americans calm about the Ebola threat.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?