While some people might point to lies and mud slinging as one of the more disturbing aspects of this election season, I've been noticing a trend that is far worse and has a direct adverse effect on the public... Campaigns pretending to already have power and authority. The first example of this was when McCain flew to Mississippi to get briefed on preparations for Hurricane Gustav by Governor Haley Barbour. Why was this governor taking time away from getting his state ready to brief McCain and Palin? Neither of these two people play any role in the local government, nor was McCain's role in the national government related (in anyway) to the pending crisis. The second example, which even more people are familiar with, was McCain suspending his campaign to inject himself into the Bailout talks. McCain's role in the senate didn't put him in any special position to play a part, but it seemed that being a candidate was enough to make him important. And today the McCain/Palin campaign released a report clearing Palin of any wrong doing in Troopergate. So it now appears that campaigns can unilaterally clear themselves in investigations ( note to Obama, you guys can now clear yourselves of the Ayers stuff). I don't recall ever having seen anything quite like this in the past (with the notable exception of a sitting president dealing with affairs of state). And I have to wonder if the McCain campaign realizes (or cares) that they run the risk of hurting the people when they pretend to have power and authority that they don't actually have. Someone needs to tell these people that running for president isn't (in any way) the same as being the president. If it was, then anyone running for president would have the right to inject themselves into any situation they wanted. So far I haven't seen much notice of this trend playing out in the media, but then again, this type of stuff helps generate news so why would they be against that.