Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

John McCain in: An Incoherent Untruth

Via This Week, by way of the Huffington Post comes a performance that is so nonsensical, so incoherent as to make you question the intelligence of the performer, as well as the sanity of any viewer willing to believe the performance, much less sit through the whole thing.

Coming off of a week in which he made several notable gaffes and was overshadowed by his rival’s trip overseas, Sen. John McCain was undoubtedly hoping for a page-turner during his appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

But early reviews aren’t very promising. Appearing from his ranch in Arizona, the Senator made cloudy, debatable statements on a wide-range of topics, in the process providing fodder for his Democratic critics.

The terms “cloudy” and “debatable” are certainly much too mild. This was the Gigli of interviews, the only difference being that everyone knew how bad Gigli was going to be in advance.

Taking the issues one by one:

Affirmative Action:

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Kevin Kilbane Report: During a “This Week” interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos John McCain reversed himself on affirmative action and endorsed for the first time a proposed state ballot measure which would end race and gender-based affirmative action in his home state of Arizona.

“I support it,” McCain declared when asked about the referendum. “I do not believe in quotas… I have not seen the details of some of these proposals. But I’ve always opposed quotas.”

McCain has long opposed quotas but his new support for ending affirmative action programs which stop short of quotas puts him at odds not only with Democratic rival Barack Obama but also with the Arizona senator’s own views in 1998.

Back then, when the legislature in McCain’s home state of Arizona considered sending the voters a measure to end affirmative action, McCain spoke out against it calling it “divisive.”

Chalk up another flip flop to the Straight Talk Express. But let’s move on from craven pandering to outright ignorance and incoherence. The issue: Gay Adoption:

“My position is: It’s not the reason why I’m running for president of the United States; I’m running for president of the United States because I want to help with family values. And I think that family values are important, when we have two-parent– families that are of parents that are the traditional family,” McCain said.

McCain told The New York Times earlier this month that he flatly opposed gay adoption, even in cases where children couldn’t find another home — but his campaign later backtracked, claiming McCain would not support any federal legislation to ban gay couples from adopting.

While McCain made clear to Stephanopoulos that “I am for the values that two-parent families, the traditional family, represents,” he also highlighted the role of the states: “Many of these decisions are made by the states, as we all know,” he said.

Possibly the mealy-mouthed statement I’ve ever heard. “I’m running for president of the United States because I want to help with family values?” What does that even mean? I doubt the rabid right-wingers are going to be too reassured with his commitment to these issues (although they seem to be able to ignore McCain’s horrid treatment of his first wife.) Ignoring the lead in the ABC story, McCain has certainly NOT put the issue to rest; we still don’t know what his position is. The video is worse than the transcript; the only thing we’re clear on that he doesn’t care about the issue at all.

Finally, the dreaded “timetable” where McCain ties himself in knots to walk away from his admitted use of the term:

It’s amazing to see him flatly deny that he ever used the word, when it is so clear that he did. To his credit, Stephanopoulos more or less called him on it, forcing McCain to clarify his position again. McCain then went on to claim that the U.S. was indeed greeted as liberators, a claim so ridiculous as to make one question the mental stability of the person who said it. All in all, a rather pathetic showing from McCain.


July 27, 2008 - Posted by | foreign policy, Iraq, Media Strategy | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This reminds me of that famous Saturday Night Live sketch from 1988 when Bush speaks and Dukakis says, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.”

    We’re winning of course, but how is this guy even in the race?

    Comment by dansac | July 28, 2008 | Reply

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