Was Gayle Quinnell told to ask McCain the Arab question?

Gayle Quinnell is the 75 year old woman who was corrected by John McCain when she said Barack Obama couldn’t be trusted because he’s an Arab. This gave McCain a chance to demonstrate that he isn’t inciting hatred in his crowds. His response was “he’s a decent family man citizen.” Somehow he couldn’t bring himself to say “American”. Some of my friends suggested the woman was a plant, told by McCain operatives to ask the question. Viewing the exchange seems to lend credence to this charge.Watch the first few seconds carefully.

Note that the woman (added: seems to) say “he’s not?” before McCain shakes his head “no”. I watched this on a DVR and paused it numerous times. I was unable to play it in slow motion. I still can’t tell whether there was an instant between the woman saying “he’s not” which sounded like a question, and McCain’s shaking his head no.

If there was a pause, even an instant, this lends substance to the allegations that someone in the McCain campaign told her to ask the question so McCain would have an opportunity to save face. She would have had known what he was about to say before he said it.

It is also possible she was starting to say “he’s not an American” though her intonation was that of a question not a statement.

If he didn’t, why did the woman say “he’s not”? The only reason I can see, and it is plausible, is that when she didn’t see McCain nodding in agreement or giving more subtle nonverbal cues that was wasn’t agreeing with her she made the assumption he was disagreeing.

(Story continued below)


[Click the screen icon (bottom, left of speaker icon) to watch video full screen.]

Plainly and simply put, there has to be a reason the woman said “he’s not” when she did, and at this point we do not know what it is.

Someone in the media should review a high quality recording and slow it down and see if McCain telegraphed his “no” before he said the word.

Since the media knows who the woman is and how to reach her, perhaps the easiest way to determine if someone suggested she ask the question is to inquire of her directly. If a McCain staffer urged her to pose the question and made sure she’d be able to do so, a zealous supporter would most likely jump at the chance to help and have a rare chance to meet her candidate.

If the woman just happened to have the opportunity to ask her question and wasn’t a foil for the campaign, there’s no story here aside from the fact McCain’s answer didn’t change her opinion one iota. Here’s a transcript of the interview conducted with the newly famous Quinnell.

If there’s anyone who wonders whether someone from the Obama campaign put her up to making the comment to embarrass McCain, this should lay that theory to rest.

If she was deliberately used to give McCain a chance to make a statement that put him on the high road, I suggest his “Straight Talk Express” bus has a flat tire on the low road because this represents deception.