Really. See below.
Terror Strike Would Help McCain, Top Adviser Says – washingtonpost.com
A top adviser to Sen. John McCain said that a terrorist attack in the United States would be a political benefit to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a comment that was immediately disputed by the candidate and denounced by his Democratic rival.
Charles R. Black Jr., one of McCain’s most senior political advisers, said in an interview with Fortune magazine that a fresh terrorist attack “certainly would be a big advantage to him.” He also said that the December assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, while “unfortunate,” helped McCain win the Republican primary by focusing attention on national security.
Update: McCain campaign adviser Charlie Black apologized for the remark, and McCain distanced himself from it.
This also from Daily Kos:
I don’t think it’s all clear that a terror attack would indisputably help the GOP at this point. It might even hurt them terribly. In stark contrast to the years immediately following September 2001, President Bush is about as popular as a yeast infection, the GOP hasn’t been trusted on terrorism significantly more than democrats for a couple of years. Moreover, the neocons and related media and PR mouthpieces have been whining and promising for years now that everything from Iraq to suspension of the Bill of Rights is necessary because it will protect us from another terror attack, and they’ve done so at the myopic exclusion of virtually every other issue on the political playing field. What happens if and when that rationale is laid to waste?