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?
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.
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–
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.
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..”