Unconfirmed sources report that the McCain campaign is in shock today as it has been presented with a bill for the Senator’s recent trip to Baghdad. Because the visit was a campaign stop organized by the Senator’s presidential exploratory committee, the Army has decided to bill the Senator for the extra expenses generated by the trip. The tab for the 100 Marines, the three Black Hawk and two Apache Helicopters, the flack jackets, and transportation 1/3 of a mile outside the green zone comes to $15 million. With the added expenses of the trip McCain’s fund raising total has slipped to -$2 million.
The effect of the bill on the McCain campaign could be devastating if the Army insists on collecting the funds. With Romney hauling in $23 million and Guliani ringing up $15 million, McCain’s adjusted total of -$2 puts him in a very bad position. Some even say the gap would be impossible to cover.
The Army hasn’t commented on the matter since the invoice is net 30 and won’t be due for a few more weeks. Privately, military officials are determined to collect the money and indicate they have the muscle if to do by force if the McCain campaign gets stingy.
“I’m calling this event Mission Accomplished II.” Says Washington watcher Cal Mott. “I just can’t believe how far ‘the Maverick’ has slid. This whole event is such a disgrace. It sickens me that McCain would let his staff talk him into this stunt. Sure Iraq is safe. I bet the normal Iraqi would feel safe with McCain’s kind of protection. Hell, Iraq has got 26 million people, so lets send over 2,600,000,000 Marines and 75 million Apache helicopters so they will all feel safe going to market.”
To date the Senator has made no indication that he intends to send 2.6 billion troops to Iraq.