McCain In Iowa

It can be sad at times watching McCain interact with the media these days.  This is a man who was once adored by the fourth estate, and could disarm them with his maverick-y charm.

Now, he doesn’t even seem to know how to talk to the press like a marginally sane person.

Of particular interest is a meeting with the Des Moines Register John McCain participated in which provided two very interesting moments.  In the first, John McCain seems to be channeling the sitting president:

MCCAIN: I just want to make a comment about the obvious issue and that is the failure of Congress to act yesterday. Its just not acceptable. […] This is just a not acceptable situation. I’m not saying this is the perfect answer. If I were dictator, which I always aspire to be, I would write it a little bit differently.

If you’ll remember, on December 18th, 2000, then President Elect George W. Bush, said:

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I told all four that there were going to be some times where we don’t agree with each other. But that’s OK. If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.

McCain’s little flub initially comes off as just a bad joke that didn’t pop (you’ll note in the Think Progress video that no one so much as chortles) much like Bush’s comment at the time must have seemed like a bad joke.

But let’s remember that President Bush would ultimately go on to expand the powers of the executive more than any other person who held the office before him.  Only, when Bush said what he did, he had already “won” the 2000 election, and he had four years for people to forget he even said what he did before he would be up for re-election.

What strikes me as so fascinating is this concept that an unchecked executive is even something that qualifies as a joking matter, especially in this country and especially in this time.  It’s simply not funny, and considering how far the boundaries of our constitution have been stretched over the past eight years, anyone who can even consider turning the presidency into a dictatorship a joke should be promptly disqualified.

In the same session, we see that John McCain, as Josh Marshall puts it, “doesn’t like being called a liar.”  Though he doesn’t outright lose his temper (you’ll have to click on the link to see the video, as I can’t currently post the video up here while I’m at my office), he becomes visibly upset when he is challenged with the level of honesty of his campaign.

Ultimately, he ends up committing a similar error that Gary Hart did during his ill-fated presidential campaign.  In claiming that his campaign has been based one hundred percent on the facts, McCain seems to almost be daring the media to prove him wrong.

If you’ll remember, Gary Hart challenged the media to follow him around as he had nothing to hide not knowing that he had already been followed prior to the remark, and been caught having an affair.

If John McCain really wants to make the claim that he has been one hundred percent honest in respect to the claims that he and his campaign has made since the general election got underway, I think he’ll find that there will be no shortage of evidence to prove him one hundred percent wrong.

But here’s the punchline, as a form high level GOP operative and old hand puts it:

What the Hell was McCain even doing there in the first place?

1.) Obama is going to win Iowa.

2.) Editorial board meetings are usually pure trouble to begin with and result only in newspaper endorsements that persuade very few voters beyond the immediate family members of the editorial board.

3.) Within the rarified category of newspaper editorial boards, the Des Moines Register is one of the most liberal in the country. I’m rather surprised that halfway through the McCain interview they failed to switch over to Esperanto, the peace-loving language of all nations.

So, 35 days left and McCain is in Iowa? Why put McCain in the wrong state, at the wrong place? No surprise the result is the wrong message and the wrong tone.

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