McCain Really Knows How To Connect At Those Townhalls

You remember how everyone said how great McCain was in the townhall format?  It was his element, his home, the format that let McCain really connect with the voters.  I was even fooled into parroting that line a few times.

Well, McCain did connect with one of the voters at the townhall debate held on Tueday night, but not in a very good way.  Now, there were plenty of moments where I think McCain did himself no favors, but just as I didn’t pick up on “That one” right away, I also wasn’t quite as put off when McCain said, “You probably never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before this.”

Why did I not see what a lot of other people saw in that specific moment?  Because if John McCain was talking to me, he would be right.  Before the mortgage giants folded earlier this year, I had hardly a clue as to who or what they were.  My focus has never been on the economy, and my wife and I have yet to have gotten around to buying a house.

On the other hand, if I had asked the question of John McCain, and he answered me, I probably would have wondered why it was so important of me to know who Fannie and Freddie were before the economic crisis.  Totally irrelevant.  Long story short, I didn’t think much of anything of it because I was that ignorant, but I could also see how it could be taken as very condescending… especially if you did know who Fannie and Freddie were.

Kind of like the guy, Oliver Clark, who actually asked the question.  He wrote a little bit about his experience at the townhall, and this is very, very interesting:

7. How did I feel about Sen. McCain stating “You probably never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before this.”
Well Senator, I actually did. I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person. I have a bachelor degree in Political Science from Tennessee State, so I try to keep myself up to date with current affairs. I have a Master degree in Legal Studies from Southern Illinois University, a few years in law school, and I am currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration from the University of Memphis. In defense of the Senator from Arizona I would say he is an older guy, and may have made an underestimation of my age. Honest mistake. However, it could be because I am a young African-American male. Whatever the case may be it was somewhat condescending regardless of my age to make an assumption regarding whether I was knowledgeable about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Oliver described himself as someone who was leaning towards Obama, but when polled, left open the possibility that he could change his mind.  Anything could happen.  I have a feeling that’s not exactly the case anymore.

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