City Desk

Did McCain Campaign Register

GovGap published a story last night revealing that,, and all direct users to John McCain's campaign website. First time redirects from a given ip address are greeted by a video of Sarah Palin–not the campaign home page. Second and all subsequent redirects are taken to the McCain-Palin campaign home page.

More info from GovGap:

- URL Registered within ~36 hours of McCain's Decision to select Palin as running mate
- Redirect sends users specifically to a palin.htm file, but only on the FIRST redirect
- Whois Privacy Information Matches Whois Privacy
- URL Held by same registrar
- Note that the .net and .org versions also redirect to the McCain Campaign Website.
Network Trace Route:
- (
- (

This is actually a pretty common means of anticipating counter information. When the American Dental Association, a proponent of water fluoridation, learned that an anti-fluoride group owned the domain name, the ADA bought the domains and, and redirected both addresses to the ADA page on the benefits of fluoride.  If the McCain camp did indeed buy these domain names, we now know that it never really expected voters to view Palin primarily as a serious political or intellectual threat.

Hat tip to Chris Evans.

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  • WAM

    I won't discount it as a remote possibility, but I'm not persuaded either. Only the first two points of evidence are interesting, and the "palin.htm" behavior is provably (not probably, provably) a coincidence. Clear your cookies and your browser cache and then go directly to, et voila: palin.htm with a special video message from you-know-who.

    The rest of the "evidence" only *looks* interesting because it uses capitalized words like "Trace Route" and "Whois Privacy Information." But all it describes is the generic essentials of registering a domain and pointing it at a web server. GoDaddy is a very common choice as a domain registrar, and I'm pretty sure they give you the choice to register by proxy (using their affiliate or subsidiary, Domains By Proxy) during the registration process. It's a no brainer for a prankster.

  • TruEdition

    Here is a little more on McCain’s strategy.
    Hope the mainstream media picks this up.

  • GoldenGoblin

    I saw this that first day and I was agape with awe. I did a trace, checked for registration and confirmed it. Now of course it redirects to google. Which is weird in my mind anyway. Why would it redirect to google, or more importantly why would someone who paid for it redirect it to them.

    Who knows for sure, and who really cares. Its a passing funny tactic or stupid move either way.

  • NepeSitty

    Вы не ошиблись