Thursday, September 18, 2008

"From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish ..."

El Presidente

Okay, not quite exactly what Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain pulled in his Spanish media interview, but, also, not too far off the path from the Woody Allen's "Bananas" clip above.

This is one of those things, that no matter how the Rove Rats attempt to explain away McCain's fog, it just doesn't cover him in Commander-Guy-In-Waiting, Mr.-Foreign-Policy-Expert, glory.

Since late last evening, the World Wide Web, with Josh Marshall being on top of it from the get-go, has been abuzz with this fascinating interview Stumblin' Bumblin' Johnny conducted with Radio Caracol Miami.

Fly Boy seemed to get lost, not quite following along (and completely whiffing on the billboard-sized hint the interviewer tossed in his lap) when asked about meeting with Spain's Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, should he win the election.

Here's the relevant excerpt of the interview, from from The Raw Story;

INTERVIEWER: Senator finally, let’s talk about Spain. If elected president would you be willing to invite President Jose Rodriguez Louis Zapatero to the White House, to meet with you?

McCAIN: I would be willing to meet with those leaders who are friends and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion.

And by the way President Calderone of Mexico is fighting a very, very tough fight against the drug cartels. I’m glad we are now working with the Mexican government on the Merida Plan, and I intend to move forward with relations and invite as many of them as I can, of those leaders to the White House.

INTERVIEWER: Would that invitation be extended to the Zapatero government? To the president himself?

McCAIN: Uh, I don’t, I, ya know, I, honestly, I have to look at the situations and the relations and the priorities. But I can assure you, I will establish closer relations with our friends and I will stand up to those who want to do harm to the United States of America.

INTERVIEWER: So you have to wait and see. If he’s willing to meet with you, would you be able to do it? In the White House?

McCAIN: Well, again, I don’t — All I can tell you is I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us and standing up to those who are not. And that’s judged on the basis of the importance of our relationship with Latin America and the entire region.

INTERVIEWER: OK, what about Europe? I’m talking about the president of Spain.

McCAIN: What about me what?

INTERVIEWER: OK. Are you willing to meet with him if you are elected president?

McCAIN: I am willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom, and I will stand up to those who are not.

To get a better feel for it, the good folks over at TPM have the interview, in a YouTube format;

McCain Answers Question on Spain, Zapatero

Notice the repeating of the answer, three times, similar to Mommy Moose, in her Charlie Gibson sit-down?

The Dead Campaign Express is already out there, saying it's nothing to break a sweat over.

McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Sheunemann said McCain's answer was intentional.

"The questioner asked several times about Senator McCain's willingness to meet Zapatero (and id'd him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred). Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview," he said in an e-mail.

It was intentional?

He's intentionally dissing a NATO ally?

Please ...

Let's put this in perspective, as Steve Benen does does, detailing some of Stumblin' Bumblin' Johnny's other "intentional" statements;
Let's also not lose sight of the broader pattern. McCain thinks the recent conflict between Russia and Georgia was "the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War." He thinks Iraq and Pakistan share a border. He believes Czechoslovakia is still a country. He's been confused about the difference between Sudan and Somalia. He's been confused about whether he wants more U.S. troops in Afghanistan, more NATO troops in Afghanistan, or both. He's been confused about how many U.S. troops are in Iraq. He's been confused about whether the U.S. can maintain a long-term presence in Iraq. He's been confused about Iran's relationship with al Qaeda. He's been confused about the difference between Sunni and Shi'ia. McCain, following a recent trip to Germany, even referred to "President Putin of Germany." All of this incoherence on his signature issue.
This guy, increasingly, doesn't know whether to piss, or wind his watch!

Considering how he is dealing with the economy, I am a bit surprised that he didn't punt and babble that our "our fundamental relationship with Spain is strong".

Just keep him on simple statements, don't let him stray to far off the script.

Kind of like the scene, in 'The Manchurian Candidate', when Senator Iselin is complaining about having to remember how many communists there were.
Mrs. Iselin: [at meal time] I'm sorry, hon'. Would it really make it easier for you if we settled on just one number?
Sen. John Yerkes Iselin: Yeah. Just one, real, simple number that'd be easy for me to remember.
[Mrs. Iselin watches her husband thump a bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup onto his plate]
Sen. John Yerkes Iselin: [addressing the Senate] There are exactly 57 card-carrying members of the Communist Party in the Department of Defense at this time!

He would still be coming off as out-of-it, but it would be better off that, then coming off as having a senior moment, or worse.

It was suggested, by some, that his staff didn't brief, or prepare him well enough before the interview.

Could be, however, considering the strategy of "Lie, Lie, Lie", why spend time feeding him info that he, likely, and as evidenced in the interview, wouldn't keep a grasp of it, anyway.

Let him flap around, say whatever he says, then spin and lie about it after.

And this isn't, necessarily, an isolated incident, particularly, and ironically, with the Spanish media.

Check out John Aravosis, over on Americablog, and his "Senator McCain, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still seriously dead", on an interview Stumblin' Bumblin' Johnny did a few month ago.

We still have one more day before the weekend.

Between the strong economy that Stumblin Bumblin' Johnny sees, and this tremendous Spain gaffe, I don't know about you, but I smell a whopper of a POW-POW-POW story coming along ...

A Cavalcade of Links

Kevin Drum: A More Generous Interpretation of the McCain-Spain Gaffe

BooMan: McCain: Reckless or Senile?

Hilzoy: McCain Chose Vanity

Paul Campos: The reign in Spain falls mainly on McCain

Josh Marshall: Embarrassing

Warren Street: John McCain's Foreign Policy Credentials Take a Major Hit

Blue Girl: Call me old fashioned...

Pam Spaulding: Is McCain senile?

Brilliant at Breakfast: Senile dementia is not funny. It is also not trivial

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