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McCain: Excuse me while I cancel the campaign to campaign.

By
September 25, 2008

McCain canceled his campaign but had to remind us at the Clinton Global Initiative that he’s an “old Navy pilot” and he knows “when a crisis calls for all hands on deck.” * I thought he was channeling John Kerry ( see image ) and expected him to salute. Barney Frank picked up on McCain’s imagery saying he’s going to airdrop himself into Washington. ** McCain is turning the efforts to resolve our financial crisis into a campaign opportunity and an unfunny Pythonesque Flying Circus. Sadly he’s no John Cleese and his partner is no Michael Palin.

McCain, who was supposed to have curtailed his campaign, had his talking heads all over the Thursday news (link), his campaign offices remained open and active (link), and he used the already scheduled appearance before the Clinton Global Initiative in New York to give a speech demonstrating his economic chops. Obama did the same thing, but then he didn’t say he’d suspend his campaign.

Obama got the jump on McCain by suggesting a joint statement. While this made perfect sense, some will say this was playing politics with the crisis.

Then, not to be outdone in the effort to show leadership gravitas, McCain decided to postpone the debate.

Some are saying that by refusing to do so, now Obama is playing politics because he makes his case by saying a president must “deal with more than one thing at once.”

It’s a political line.

But it happens to be true. There’s no sensible reason to cancel the debate so why should Obama agree merely because McCain says the crisis is so dire that both candidates must be dealing exclusively with solving it?

Meanwhile McCain is desperate to show us that he feels our pain.

We got it. He feels our pain.

We get it. Mister Outrage is really Mister Sensitive.

Do we believe it?

Hell no!

The only pain McCain feels come from his dropping poll numbers and the growing awareness that selling Gov. Sarah Palin as a president in waiting has turned into a situation comedy that jumped the shark *** with her interview with Katie Couric. Part one was frightening enough when you consider she is a would-be president:

Couric: You’ve said, quote, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

Palin: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie – that, that’s paramount. That’s more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

Couric: But he’s been in Congress for 26 years. He’s been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

Palin: He’s also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he’s been talking about – the need to reform government.

Couric: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you’ve said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?

Palin: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.

Couric: I’m just going to ask you one more time – not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

Palin: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.

Complete transcript and video here

Part two has to been seen to be believed (link) because the transcript below doesn’t show just how ditzy this woman is.

COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–

COURIC: Mock?

PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.

If the first segment of the Couric interview was jumping the shark, in the second part she jumped the shark and landed on the Lost Continent of Atlantis.

As for McCain’s own show jumping the shark, it was ironically a non-appearance on television that provided the Henry Winkler Fonzie moment.

It was when a clearly annoyed David Letterman discovered that McCain easily could have made time for the scheduled Late Night Show appearance and then showed him having his make-up applied in preparation for the Couric interview.

It’s about time that undecided voters realize that if McCain/Palin was a television show it would have been canceled this week.

I suppose you could say that McCain jumped the shark by dissing Dave. Within hours, cut and paste videos of McCain and Palin had gone viral. If you doubt it, read “‘Viral video’ melds Obama, McCain, Letterman, Palin & Couric into cyber-soup”:

Wednesday’s political drama pinballed from John McCain to Barack Obama to Sarah Palin and Katie Couric and George Bush and ended with . . . David Letterman?

All of their speeches and commentary, faux pas and bon mots were sliced and diced into tiny video moments that YouTube and other Web distributors, like Internet Johnny Appleseeds, strewed far and wide, dramatic examples of “viral video” – clips spread globally by folks who share them through e-mail, cell phones, or other means.

Poor Captain John, he flamed out and ditched at sea and promptly was eaten by the shark.

Note: Most of the mainstream media websites put only segments of the Letterman show online, but many bloggers put the entire nine plus minutes on YouTube. Here’s one of them.

UPDATE: Letterman vs. McCain Pt.2

There are two videos HERE, they are in reverse order, so I suggest watching the monologue first. Dave ties in McCain, magician David Blaine and Paris Hilton. Then watch the segment.

I’m reminded of the first appearance of the Beatles on Johnny Carson. For the first segment they only answered questions with curt a yes or no, and were quite sullen.

Then there was a commercial and someone, probably Johnny, must have told them how many millions were watching. After that they put on a good “performance” and were animated and engaging.

The moral of the story is that you don’t diss popular late night without paying a big price.

McCain “funny quote” from yesterday: “Well, I am a betting man, chuckle, chuckle.”

This should be in an Obama commercial complete with an image of rolling dice, and maybe a reminder that McCain is a known gambler and craps is his favorite game.


* The quote in context:

I’m an old Navy pilot, and I know when a crisis calls for all hands on deck. That’s the situation in Washington at this very hour, when the whole future of the American economy is in danger. I cannot carry on a campaign as though this dangerous situation had not occurred, or as though a solution were at hand, which it clearly is not. As of this morning I suspended my political campaign. With so much on the line, for America and the world, the debate that matters most right now is taking place in the United States Capitol — and I intend to join it. Senator Obama is doing the same. America should be proud of the bipartisanship we are seeing.

Text of entire McCain speech

** I’m lucky to have the brilliant acerbic Barney Frank as my congressman. Here’s more of what he said:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that “nobody mentioned McCain” during the several-hour-long meeting on the $700 billion market rescue plan, other than Frank and that his Republican colleagues “winced” when he did.

“He’s been irrelevant to the process. He remains to be,” said Frank. “I was afraid that his dropping in here, like Andy Kaufman’s Mighty Mouse—’here I am to save the day’—I thought that would slow things down. I didn’t see any sign of our Republican colleagues paying any attention to him whatsoever.”

Franks went on. “Nobody mentioned him. The man’s irrelevant to the whole process. No Republican mentioned his name. I’m the only one who raised his name. They winced when I did,” he said.

From Politico


Image from Wikpedia

***”The term is an allusion to a scene in a 1977 episode of the TV series Happy Days when the popular character Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli literally jumps over a shark while water skiing. The scene was considered so preposterous that many believed it to be an attempt at reviving the declining ratings of the flagging show….

“Jump-the-shark moments may be scenes like the one described above that finally convince viewers that the show has fundamentally and permanently strayed from its original premise. In those cases they are viewed as a desperate and futile attempt to keep a series fresh in the face of declining ratings. In other cases the departure or replacement of a main cast member or character, or a significant change in setting, changes a critical dynamic of the show..”
Wikipedia

27 Responses to McCain: Excuse me while I cancel the campaign to campaign.

  1. AustinRanter

    September 25, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Surely somebody is making all of this nonsense up. History books about this election will be converted into comedy-horror novels…or whatever type of comedy scares people (smile). Well, some people have a real fear of clowns…so why not comedy-horror novels?

    Clowns…hmmmm, that’s it. That’s what this is all about. No wonder everybody is freaked out.

    Thanks, Hal. I won’t sleep all night now.

  2. pollchecker

    September 25, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Remember Bozo the clown just recently died this past year.

  3. griff

    September 26, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Blah Blah Blah. Blah blah blah. Blah F**cking blah. Wake up. They’re robbing us blind. Who cares?

  4. griff

    September 26, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Oops.

  5. Hal Brown

    September 26, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Letterman vs. McCain Pt.2

    There are two videos HERE, in reverse order, so I suggest watching the monologue first. It ties in McCain, magician David Blaine and Paris Hilton. Then watch the segment.

    I’m reminded of the first appearance of the Beatles on Johnny Carson. For the first segment they only answered questions with curt a yes or no, and were quite sullen.

    Then there was a commercial and someone, probably Johnny, must have told them how many millions were watching. After that they put on a good “performance” were animated and engaging.

    The moral of the story is that you don’t diss popular late night without paying a big price.

    McCain “funny quote” from yesterday: “Well, I am a betting man, chuckle, chuckle.”

    This should be in an Obama commercial complete with an image of rolling dice, and maybe a reminder that McCain is a known gambler and craps is his favorite game.

  6. pollchecker

    September 26, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Fox host tells guest mentioning McCain role in Keating Five scandal to ‘pipe down’

    F&F’s Steve Doocy told Papantonio to “pipe down,” called him “rude” and demanded he “cut it out.” A show producer could be overheard saying “cut his mike.”

    As Papantonio tries one last time to explain the details of the Keating Five scandal, Doocy again cuts him off.

    No comments needed. It speaks for itself.

  7. Hal Brown

    September 26, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Fox sarcoptic mange mites:

    Here’s the article and the video about the latest contagion from Fox, on Raw Story:

    Fox host tells guest mentioning McCain role in Keating Five scandal to ‘pipe down’ (LINK).

    Michael Reagan lives in a fantasy world blaming the entire crisis on two years of a Democratic Congress and then saying essentially that it was only corrupt greedy Democratic business leaders who made millions.

  8. Hal Brown

    September 26, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Blacks caused crisis according to bottom feeding Fox interviewer:

    Check this video out.

  9. pollchecker

    September 26, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    HP reports:

    Premature McCain as declares he won debate

    I don’t want a POTUS that’s premature….on ANYTHING.

    Here is the ad:

    Screenshot of McCain’s Premature Ad declaring he won the debate

  10. Hal Brown

    September 26, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Real combat heroes don’t brag about their service. Look how often McCain brought up his POW stories.

    Even if the consensus is that he wins, the ad would be tasteless, as braggadocio always is.

    He is starting sound like a boring old high school athlete yearning for the years when he was a star, and compelled to relive his past. John Updike fans, think “Rabbit” Angstrom.

    His politics aside, is is sad and pathetic.

  11. pollchecker

    September 25, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Hal, it occurs to me that since Palin gave such a disastrous interview to Katie, perhaps the McCain interview with Couric is damage control.

    Letterman went out of his way to preface his comments about McCain saying they were friends and he respected McCain.

    Well, with friends like that who the hell needs enemies. Either McCain doesn’t consider Dave a Friend or McCain lies to his friends as well as to the American people.

    Either way, we cannot allow such a blatant liar to take control of our country especially in such hazardous times.

    If the man can’t do 2 things at once, he is certainly not qualified to be our next POTUS especially with a 2nd in command who believes in voodoo. I watched that video with Palin praying with her wacko preacher and it reminded me of that car commercial where the customer threatens to shrink the salesman’s head. Not only is he wierd but his voice sounds like a cartoon character.

    What’s next? Sacrificing a virgin to bring back the economy?

  12. Rob Kezelis

    September 25, 2008 at 11:34 am

    there are no virgins in Alaska, not with the highest rape rates in the country. There is some virgin country there, where only meth labs thrive.

  13. pollchecker

    September 25, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Yeah, you get raped in Alaska and you literally have to pay for it yourself….the rape kit examination that is.

    Can you imagine going through perhaps the most stressful event in your life and then getting a bill when you go to leave?

    I’m surprised they are not the murder capital of the world as well as the meth capital of the world. Angry women who have been raped with loaded guns. Yeah, now that’s a place I really want to live….NOT!

  14. bryan mcclellan

    September 25, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Sadly that virgins heart is lying on the alter upon the dais of the oval office and her name is LIBERTY.

    Barney, we hardly knew ya.

  15. zuzumamu

    September 25, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I’m as sick of talking about John McCain as I am of Sarah Palin. What an absurd pair to be even taken seriously as candidates. The only way McCain will win this election is if the dumb-ass Dims approve this Bailout..at ALL. Right now, the Republicans look principled, and the Dims look like street barterers trying to make silk purses out of the proverbial sow’s ear.What has happened here, is that Media Street, has finally caught up with Main Street. Now the Media Tarts are worried about THEIR savings, 401K’s,credit card debts,JOBS, etc etc and are driving the panic to sign on the dotted line just as they did during the run up to the Wars, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act etc etc. I can’t get over the worried brows of our Media, and well,everyone earning more than $250,000?, who have been blithely going along with the war,the torture, the insecure economy (people are still shopping away on ebay!),the shredding of the Constitution, our Laws, our Rights. The rest of America knows damn well, that milk and gas cost $4 a gallon, and it sure looks like a depression to THEM!! Nothing left to fear on Main Street~and that’s where all the outrage is coming from. If Obama falls for this crap, if the Democrats allow the Republicans to look like their listening to the American people and that the Democrats are not..they lose the damn election. Enough is enough! No DEAL! McCain…yawn. Palin…sigh.

  16. Hal Brown

    September 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Column updated at 11:40 AM EST

  17. pollchecker

    September 25, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    It also occurs to me that if McCain shows up for the debate he will now have an excuse for not doing well.

    I can just hear it now. When he gets slaughtered by Senator Obama his campaign will say, “well, he didn’t do well because he was so busy working on the financial bailout in Congress that he just didn’t have enough time to prepare.”

    I can just hear it now. Anyone want to bet me a buck?

  18. sherry

    September 26, 2008 at 9:33 am

    You’re on.
    I will explain why Obama is not expected to do well.
    His campaign attempted to lower expectations before McCain pulled this bit of theatre stating debates are not Obama’s strong suit.
    Foreign policy is not Obama’s strong suit. He probably would be been doing a lot of prep for this debate which he is now not able to do.
    Obama has shown he doesn’t do well with curve balls. When he gets off message, he just stammers. uh, uh, uh,
    McCain can do foreign policy in his sleep. Obama wanted to do foreign policy first and have the ecomony which is McCain’s weakness in the last debate to leave that message with Americans right before the election.
    There are those who say the first debate is the most important. I dunno.
    Tonight will be interesting to watch. Unfortunately I have a date with my neices.

  19. bryan mcclellan

    September 25, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Only if you promise to spend it on rope with which to hang the S.O.B’s

  20. pollchecker

    September 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Bryan — if they can get away with postponing the debate with Obama, then they can get away with postponing the debate with Palin.

    And after Couric’s interview with Palin, it is obvious that Biden is going to tear her to smithereens and make her look totally incompetent.

    It ought to be fun to watch….that is if we get the chance.

    I have an idea. If McCain no shows, then they ought to replace him with Nadar and Barr which would be infinitely more interesting than listening to McCain lie and stumble around with his words.

  21. RSW

    September 25, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    PLEASE NOTE:

    Both video parts of the One-On-One With Sarah Palin Katie Couric interview from the CBS web site seem to be gone. Only the transcripts remain. Apparently, only the Shadow knows for sure.

    Oldernwiser

  22. pollchecker

    September 25, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Funny I didn’t have any trouble finding it just now at this link:

    Katie’s interview with Sarah Palin

  23. Hal Brown

    September 25, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Watch both parts/

    The links in the column also seem to work.

    Like I said, reading just the transcripts, especially of the portions I put on, don’t do justice to the inane bumbling yup-yup chutzpa of the woman who has no doubt led William Seward (he of the folly) to spin in his grave.

  24. bryan mcclellan

    September 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Don’t forget Mr Paul who should be the Reps candidate instead of Mccain.

  25. pollchecker

    September 25, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Bryan — since Ron Paul is no longer an official candidate running for POTUS, he doesn’t qualify. Sorry.

    To have him stand in for McCain would be like selling someone a VW but showing them a Lexus.

  26. Hal Brown

    September 25, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I’m lucky to have the brilliant acerbic Barney Frank as my congressman. Here’s more of what he said:

    Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that “nobody mentioned McCain” during the several-hour-long meeting on the $700 billion market rescue plan, other than Frank and that his Republican colleagues “winced” when he did.

    “He’s been irrelevant to the process. He remains to be,” said Frank. “I was afraid that his dropping in here, like Andy Kaufman’s Mighty Mouse—’here I am to save the day’—I thought that would slow things down. I didn’t see any sign of our Republican colleagues paying any attention to him whatsoever.”

    Franks went on. “Nobody mentioned him. The man’s irrelevant to the whole process. No Republican mentioned his name. I’m the only one who raised his name. They winced when I did,” he said.

    From Politico

  27. pollchecker

    September 26, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    YOU LOSE!

    They are already spinning the debate that McCain is tired and has been working hard for the country so if he is not on his game tonight it’s because he was in DC putting America before politics.

    And the debate hasn’t even started yet.

    Oh, and this is despite his ad proclaiming he wins the debate before it starts. What a loser!