Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grandpa in Shirt Sleeves

McCain campaigned in Cedar Falls, Iowa today. He stood before a small (compared to the 100,000 people cheering Obama in Denver, CO) enthusiastic crowd on a darkened stage. He was in shirtsleeves. The power had failed and the air conditioning wasn’t working. His campaign hoped people and the press wouldn’t see the power failure as a metaphor. But it is a metaphor. McCain looked like an old man with failing powers. He chafed at Obama’s obvious popularity and the fact he was drawing huge crowds. "He's measuring the drapes”, McCain said, chiding Obama for seeming overconfident. McCain said his own campaign is “doing fine”, even in the face of a Newsweek poll released yesterday showing Obama with a 13-point lead nationally. McCain said he’s going to increase the money spent in Iraq, he’s going to lower taxes, and he’s going to balance the budget. How? He didn’t say except he alluded to lowering the Capital Gains tax. Then he made a small, but telling slip. He said, “IF I win the election....” John McCain has always previously said, “When I win the election”. And Grandpa in shirtsleeves in Iowa on a dimly-lit stage with no air conditioning again brought up his war injuries. Today just happens to be the 41st anniversary of the day John McCain was shot down in Viet Nam. It reminded me of hearing white-haired World War I vets talking about World War I in 1954. I was a guide at the UN at the time. The United States had been involved in the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. We guides were told we couldn’t call it a “war”. We had to say “the Korean conflict”, if we said anything at all. And that was 36 years after WWI. I tried to be diplomatic with the grandpas in shirtsleeves, but those Vets seemed so old, WWI was so far in the past and their experiences so irrelevant in the face of the problems the world faced in 1954. Today, John McCain again suggested that the fact that he was injured in the Viet Nam War and spent 6 years in a POW camp prepared him to be President of the United States. How? He didn’t say. McCain lauded Sarah McCain. “I don’t defend her,” he said. “I praise her.” Sarah Palin is so upset with the McCain campaign that yesterday she said she’s going to “go rogue” and go out on the campaign trail and say exactly what she wants to say, and the hell with the McCain advisors. McCain said, “She is exactly what Washington needs.” How? He didn’t say.


Barry Schwartz said...

It's only a matter of time before McCain endorses Obama, noting that only a dumbass would pick someone like Sarah Palin as running mate.

demit said...

He'll also probably release from their obligation the five Republican Secretaries of State who endorsed him, as soon as he remembers the name of the 'one other' he couldn't recall yesterday for Tom Brokaw on MTP. Grampy is outta gas.

Todd Dugdale said...

Interesting analogy with the WW1 vets. I think the McCain campaign has generally been run as if it were the 1950's.