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Friday, September 19, 2008

Dazed and Confused '08

First we had Sarah Palin's deer-in-the-headlights response to Charlie Gibson's questions about the Bush Doctrine, now we get Grandpa Simpson John McCain's befuddlement over Spain, though to be fair, it may be that McCain's memory is longer than most of us thought. The interesting thing is that his staff are more willing to cause a diplomatic incident and alienate a NATO ally than admit their candidate might have had a "senior moment" or just plain didn't listen to the question. They could have come up with all kinds of excuses that would have played to base -- anything from "He couldn't understand the crazy foreign reporter's crazy foreign accent" to "Who care about Spain? they aren't even as important France and everyone knows the French are a bunch of cheese-eating surrender-monkeys beloved by the Democrats! John Kerry lived in France!" -- but no, they've decide that won't do. There can be no excuses for John McCain's straight talk on Spain -- they are a potential enemy!

From the link:

Randy Scheunemann, McCain's chief foreign policy adviser, writes in an e-mail to me that McCain knew precisely what the questioner meant, and that, indeed, "Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview."

But in April, McCain strongly hinted that he'd let bygones be bygones and expected
to invite Zapatero to the White House.

Why, I asked by way of follow up, did McCain seem to change his mind?

Here's what Scheunemann e-mailed back:

"In this week's interview, Senator McCain did not rule in or rule out a White House meeting with President Zapatero, a NATO ally. If elected, he will meet with a wide range of allies in a wide variety of venues but is not going to spell out scheduling and
meeting location specifics in advance. He also is not going to make reckless promises to meet America's adversaries. "

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