Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 28, 2008

THE PRICKLY TALK EXPRESS.... John McCain became a media darling by offering extraordinary access to campaign reporters. The candidate and the journalists would spend hours hanging out on a bus, enjoying the gabfests, on and off the record, about any subject that came to mind. The media ate it up, and rewarded McCain with the kind of fawning, sycophantic coverage most politicians can only dream of.

Asked during the primaries if he'd maintain his signature style if he got the Republican nomination, McCain told reporters, "You think I could survive if I didn't? We'd never be forgiven." McCain even had a sofa installed on his plane, in order to make his chats with the media more relaxed.

That was, of course, before Karl Rove's team took over the McCain campaign operation. Howard Kurtz recently had a good item detailing the remarkably curtailed access the senator now offers reporters, and the ways in which McCain replaced "straight talk" with stale talking points. To see just how dramatic a transformation this has been, take a minute to read this fascinating interview between McCain and Time's James Carney and Michael Scherer.

There's a theme that recurs in your books and your speeches, both about putting country first but also about honor. I wonder if you could define honor for us?
Read it in my books.

I've read your books.
No, I'm not going to define it.

But honor in politics?
I defined it in five books. Read my books.

[Your] campaign today is more disciplined, more traditional, more aggressive. From your point of view, why the change?
I will do as much as we possibly can do to provide as much access to the press as possible.

But beyond the press, sir, just in terms of ...
I think we're running a fine campaign, and this is where we are.

Do you miss the old way of doing it?
I don't know what you're talking about.

Really? Come on, Senator.
I'll provide as much access as possible ...

In 2000, after the primaries, you went back to South Carolina to talk about what you felt was a mistake you had made on the Confederate flag. Is there anything so far about this campaign that you wish you could take back or you might revisit when it's over?
[Does not answer.]

Do I know you? [Says with a laugh.]
[Long pause.] I'm very happy with the way our campaign has been conducted, and I am very pleased and humbled to have the nomination of the Republican Party.

You do acknowledge there was a change in the campaign, in the way you had run the campaign?
[Shakes his head.]

Note to reporters: this isn't the guy you fell in love with. He was replaced with an angry, overly-scripted ideologue.

Steve Benen 11:08 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (69)

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Comments

Wow! "Hey, kids! Get off my tire swing!"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Posted by: PJ on August 28, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Jesus the press stooges are as stupid as we've been saying. What the frack did they expect? Did they think they'll get their own tire swing in the White House press room? McCain's been using them all along, and it's just now dawning on them that they've been played. What a bunch of idiots.

Posted by: jimBOB on August 28, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

It's hard work, very hard, to run for Prisoner of War of the United States of America.

I guess if you can't remember how many houses you own you probably wouldn't remember how honest you used to be when you were honest. I'm glad McAce stuck it to those ass hole reporters. They too deserve exactly what they are getting. Perhaps they'll rethink their priorities. He sure as hell did. Naw. All McAce will lose is this election, those dopes would lose their jobs...

Posted by: Stevio on August 28, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

I always knew he'd be Stepfordized. That's the only way to get the GOP nomination and line up the forces of the party behind you. See, the GOP is equal-opportunity-- they believe in Stepfordizing both men AND women!!!!

Posted by: The Caped Composer on August 28, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like the 'straight talk express' has been hijacked by the turd blossom. Good.

I wish more people would pick up on the fact that McCain has employed the very people who assassinated his character in the '00 primaries. What a testament to his blind ambition, perhaps desperation, to become president. This point should be hammered home when talking about his judgment and character.

On a related note, I'd like to see the Dem's version of a 'straight talk express'; Have Bill Clinton get on a bus and ride across the country, stopping in every little podunk town and just eviscerating McCain and his handlers at every chance. Imagine the free press Obama would get from that. Also, send out Joe Biden in the opposite direction, doing the same damn thing, hammering away at McCain and his handlers at every opportunity. Then have them meet somewhere symbolically significant to join together and continue to hammer away. This is how we will counter Rove's smears.

Posted by: citizen_pain on August 28, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Was this interview with Candidate McCain or Senator McCain? Or maybe it was just Grumpy Grandpa McCain. The one thing that is clear is that he didn't have anyone to whisper in his ear.

Posted by: Danp on August 28, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Can someone photoshop his face onto Heat Miser? The similarities are striking.

Posted by: bubba on August 28, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Scripted?" How about "animatronic?"

Posted by: powwow on August 28, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Telling people to read books sounds terribly elitist to me....

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on August 28, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Right wing journalistic operators will keep ignoring McCain and let him float high above any normal political reporting. Rove knows Republicans don't have to respond in any way at all to the press. So McCain only has to keep giving these kind of pathetic, perfunctory responses and the corporate media will do the rest.

Posted by: Jan in Stone Mtn on August 28, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

The slogan for the Republican Convention is:

Putting Country First


I know this is meant to focus on the whole POW/national security thing but I wonder if it couldn't (be made to) backfire.

How does the Republican economic plan match up to the slogan?

tax cuts for the rich in a time of huge deficits,
Putting America First?

tax cuts for the rich when millions don't have healthcare,
Putting America First?

spending $10 Billion a month in Iraq while Americans are losing their jobs,
Putting America First?

tax cuts for the rich from a guy who owns 10 houses,
Putting America First?

and oil companies, and privatizing social security, and the mortgage crisis, and on and on...

Posted by: sven on August 28, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect, although I'm not sure why, that on some level McCain doesn't really want to win this election.

Posted by: Jon Parker on August 28, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Note to reporters: this isn't the guy you fell in love with. He was replaced with angry, overly-scripted ideologue.
—Steve Benen

Definitely. And I'm not sure he even gets a speaking part.

Hey Cleaver did you know Burt Prelustky is a right-wing pundit now?

Dale

Posted by: Dale on August 28, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

As Joe Klein mentioned in his piece in Time, John McCain is running one of the most sarcastic, mean spirited campaigns in history. And his bad tempered history seems to show that this is not just a fluke.

I think the MSM really needs to take a look at whether John McCain has the temperment to be President and CIC. Do we really want the leader of the free world to be a sarcastic hot-head?

Posted by: The Other Ed on August 28, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Looks like the 'straight talk express' has been hijacked by the turd blossom. Good."

citizen_pain

Brilliant, funny as HELL, and accurate. McCain is known to make amusing mistakes regarding where countries are actually located and who the people are that live in them, sometimes making "geography" look like the toughest 4-syllable word in the English language. By and by, somebody is bound to suggest - in print- that this bears a striking resemblance to the incurious and terminally stunned worldview of the current president. Republican strategists can't afford to let that happen. It would be a disaster if the public learned how easy "straight talk" is when you pluck your facts straight from your ass.

It's funny to watch the expression on McCain's face under the current zip-lip order; you know he'd love to just blather to the adoring Greek chorus of "Jeez, John; we love you" that used to puff him up like a toad. But he dare not; his handlers have made it clear that any more straight talk without hitting the books beforehand could cost him the election.

Posted by: on August 28, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

I think this represents a turning point for (or really against) McCain, vis-a-vis the press. Consider this policy of more limited access in the context of the growing sense among the press that they are being duped by the campaign videos promoted as real ads, which are, in fact, no more than press releases, and the press is going to react -- harshly -- against him. Moreover, a number of key figures -- Joe Klein, Alter and others -- have been very candid in their assessment that McCain is continually and unapologetically lying. The press coverage will be favorable during the convention, but it will not last. McCain's "real talk" express is headed directly and unalterably towards a cliff.

Posted by: DAF on August 28, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Will someone please send this transcript to Lou Dobbs? If Time isn't going to use it to good effect, then that idiot, populist, limosene libertarian prolly will.

Amplify the hell out of this storyline, and McCain will wither on the vine.

Posted by: Ed on August 28, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

This is really interesting from the Time article:

A lot of people know about your service from your books, but most people don't know that you have two sons currently in the military. Can you describe what it means to have Jack and Jimmy in uniform?
We don't discuss our sons.

Why wouldn't he discuss his own kids?

Posted by: HippoRider on August 28, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's new slogan is I'm getting too old for this shit.

Dale

Posted by: Dale on August 28, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Oops! That was me, at 11:35.

Posted by: Mark on August 28, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

I laughed pretty hard the first time I saw a "bad cop, no donut" bumper sticker. With this new Rovian version of McCain being unveiled, I'm expecting to see the Straight Talk Express covered with "Bad candidate, no donuts with sprinkles" bumper stickers.

Rove's boys are eating a goose that laid the golden egg omelet. The return to "message discipline" and media control is to be expected from these guys, but you have to wonder if hell with no fury like a media scorned.

Posted by: petorado on August 28, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting. McCain's friends are now his enemies since his enemies have become his friends.

I am surprised the reporters were not more in his face, but then again, all they need to do is print the interview.

Why do American's keep wanting hostile people to run our country?

Posted by: Memoirgirl on August 28, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Do you miss the old way of doing it?
I don't know what you're talking about.

Now THAT's the Republic Party *I* remember.

Hopefully the power brokers and moneychangers finally get the lesson that Rovian politics are poison to the body politic - you can get away with a little, but use too much and the host dies.

Posted by: GuyFromOhio on August 28, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"It's hard work, very hard, to run for Prisoner of War of the United States of America. "

thank you STEVIO . I think that just about summs it up!

Posted by: on August 28, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Wow.

When I was reading that dialog, I thought for sure that it was from some Onion type of paper. I thought to myself, No way that was TIME THE Time. One of the most influential/known mags in America, Time?

Wow. Just wow.

His "base" is going to get really pissed off soon...and it will be a glorious sight to see.

Posted by: MsJoanne on August 28, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Not to defend the man, but unlike the current president, it appears he is experiencing at least some dissonance and dis-ease about the disgraceful compaign he is running.

Posted by: Alex Kirby on August 28, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Steve Benen, know what we haven't seen in a while? A McCain and his outrageous superstitions piece.

Please do one of his whacked out superstitions. I wonder how the religious feel about THAT? Isn't that right up there with black magic or something?

Posted by: MsJoanne on August 28, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Putting the country first.

First we have to destroy the country before we can save it.

McCain made the press to make his political future viable. McCain now has to humble the press he made to keep his political future viable. McCain to press, "Do I know you?" Press to McCain, "Do we know you?"

If McCain loses the press, he loses. So, why is he destroying his creation? Creative destruction, Rove style. Angry and stupid.

Posted by: lou on August 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "Note to reporters: this isn't the guy you fell in love with. He was replaced with angry, overly-scripted ideologue."

No, this is the guy who is going to continue the CheneyBush policies of government of, by and for America's Ultra-Rich Ruling Class, Inc., and escalate the corporate aristocracy's ruthless class warfare against everyone else.

It doesn't matter what "reporters" think about McCain. What matters is what the people who sign those reporters' paychecks think.

And what they think is that they like huge tax cuts for the richest one-tenth of one percent of Americans, and they like deregulation of media ownership rules, and they think that Their Man McCain will keep on giving them all these things they like once he is president.

And that means that, like it or not, the Tom Brokaws of the world are going to keep doing what they are paid to do, which is to propagandize on behalf of McCain.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Once again, I urge you to Google Phillip Butler, POW, and read about a first hand account of mcCain's POW history and Naval Academy history, from a fellow former POW

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on August 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, the real McCain, like pond scum, rises to the surface.

Now, will the media stop giving him the all-day hall pass he's been getting for the past eight years?

Posted by: TomStewart on August 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Was this interview with Candidate McCain or Senator McCain? Or maybe it was just Grumpy Grandpa McCain.

I think the press is going to find they dislike Candidate McCain the more they get to know him.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on August 28, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Alex, you are assuming that he has a clue that his campaign is disgraceful. I don't think he has that cognizant ability, myself.

He only wants to have "President" before his name before he dies.

As I said in another blog, we need to seriously watch his VP selection for that person will probably wind up being POTUS. His choice as VP is not your usual, like Biden is Obama's 2nd. McCain's VP choice will very likely being much more than a VP.

Posted by: MsJoanne on August 28, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

It sounds like his Grandpa Simpson side is getting the better of his Mr. Burns side.

Posted by: 2Manchu on August 28, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Does this guy have any depth of knowledge? When I read the interview in Time I was appalled at McCain's lack of any thoughtful answers. Is he all emotion and no thought? What a horrible candidate.

Posted by: Scott F. on August 28, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

THE PRICKLY TALK EXPRESS

McCain puts the prick in prickly.

Dale

Posted by: Dale on August 28, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, so he's dumb, stubborn, bellicose, sexist, maladaptive, stuck in 1973 and hotheaded as hell. At least he's not a Negro!

Posted by: GOP on August 28, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Look at this ridiculous story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/denverpost/10319911

The Dems are in danger of turning off Americans because they're having their convention in a big stadium, and there's lots of PEOPLE there, and they're cheering! And it's like a rock concert, and Obama's a rockstar! I guess they should have had the convention in a closet?

Posted by: Speed on August 28, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

For someone who doesn't talk about or exploit his POW story, John McCain sure talks about and exploits his POW story a lot.

Posted by: bigeugene on August 28, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

The point of this isn't (or isn't just) to keep McCain on message -- it's so that low-information voters (who, presumably, haven't paid attention all these years) get the idea that the press hates him (and loves Obama). Being hated by the "liberal media," and using that conflict (even when it's trumped up) to try to generate a sense of fellow-feeling with heartlanders, is a GOP strategy that's old as the hills.

Posted by: Steve M. on August 28, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

As I've said before, it wouldn't take too much prodding and needling from Obama during a debate to set McCain off and cause him to just melt down on national TV.

Posted by: Red on August 28, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to like this format, because it means exposure to some wicked wit. I fondly remember 2Manchu (Grandpa Simpson, good one) from The Carpetbagger Report, which was my first stop every morning so I could get a feel for how much of the news on the major outlets was going to be bullshit. But I'm relishing the opportunity to spit coffe with laughter at the comments of some previously unknown wits, such as GOP above at 11:56. To borrow again from The Simpsons - it's funny because it's true.

Posted by: Mark on August 28, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Why wouldn't he discuss his own kids?

Because it would remind people that -

- there is a war on
- people are dying in said war
- McCain will do little or nothing to end a war that his own children must fight
- Republicans really are hypocrites
- his kids aren't as cute as Obamas'

Posted by: GuyFromOhio on August 28, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

This Frank Rich column pretty well explains the roots of the problem, and why McCain is avoiding reporters now: he doesn't want the American public to really know who he is, for good reason:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/opinion/17rich.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Posted by: Neil B on August 28, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

And since McCain was nicknamed "punk" in high-school, being a prick-ly old goat just figures ...

Posted by: Neil B on August 28, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Coffee, I meant.

Posted by: Mark on August 28, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever you do don't show him the queen of diamonds.

Frankly, I am afraid the old boy is, well, getting a little old.

Posted by: Ron Byers on August 28, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus, that reads like an interview with...dare I say it?...a POW. All that was missing was McCain holding up a newspaper with today's date.

Of course, what Carney didn't catch was the message that McCain was blinking out in Morse code: "Can't talk they're holding me captive please help me for the love of god...."

Posted by: Stefan on August 28, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

For anyone interested, I wrote more about this here:
The No-Talk Express

(Not that I don't still think this website is ugly.)

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on August 28, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, outstanding.

Posted by: shortstop on August 28, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

I knew a Korean war vet who had been held prisoner by the Chinese for months, and he was never mentally stable again after that experience. The Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans, Japanese, etc really are experts in psychological torture.

It was a serious question in the late 40s and 50s - What would the US do with all these Americans who had been held by the (Asian) enemy? Could they readjust to civilian life? There was actually talking of warehousing them in some isolated area until they could each be given a clean bill of mental health.

The question of what effect that horrible experience had on McCain's psyche is a legitimate one.

Posted by: Speed on August 28, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I heard the other day that the US military is going to formally turn over control of Anbar province to the Iraqis next week. What timing, no? Just perfect for the GOP to point to as another sign "the surge is working!"

Posted by: Birdman on August 28, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

There are easy explanations for his refusal to answer the honor question:

- He didn't write the books (ghost writer) and doesn't know what they say.

- His memory is shot (dementia) and he can't recall what was written.

- He is afraid that the previous words on honor will lead to a question about his campaign tactics being consistent with honor, and he knows that the tactics are dishonorable.

- He's just being prickly (or a prick) because he's worn out and his explosive temper is just below the surface.

Any of these is very believable. I believe he really does have early signs of degraded memory - characteristic of dementia or early Alzheimer's. He should undergo an independent physical/mental diagnosis BEFORE he gets in the White House and we are stuck with a major mental handicap or a VP that isn't of presidential caliber.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR on August 28, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Not over-scripted but senile. Demented. Why didn't the Republicans stop him? They are irresponsible.
This is awful.

Posted by: Lee on August 28, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

McCain doesn't even pass the Turing Test in that interview. Hard to believe that Rove's men could break him in 5 weeks when the viet cong couldn't do in 5 years. sad, really.

Posted by: Fuzzy on August 28, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Mark, that just made my day.

Posted by: 2Manchu on August 28, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the reminder, Prup. Here's the URL:

http://www.military.com/opinion/0%2C15202%2C164859_1%2C00.html

Why I Will Not Vote for John McCain
by Phillip Butler

Posted by: Hannah on August 28, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

I've thought for some time that if Dems so choose, they can make McCain crack. In public. Yeah, it's terribly cruel but better now than in office. They'd be doing the country a great service.

Posted by: beep52 on August 28, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Shakespeare defined honor
Well, 'tis no matter; honour pricks
me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I
come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? no: or
an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no.
Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? no. What is
honour? a word. What is in that word honour? what
is that honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it?
he that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no.
Doth he hear it? no. 'Tis insensible, then. Yea,
to the dead. But will it not live with the living?
no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore
I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon: and so
ends my catechism.

Posted by: Bostonian in Brooklyn on August 28, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Q: Do you miss the old way of doing it?
A: I don't know what you're talking about.

Now THAT's the Republic Party *I* remember.
***************************

Yep, but if you were a Repig elitist you'd say, "I really don't recall." Ask Reagan, or maybe Gonzo.

_____________________________________

Putting Country First

I know this is meant to focus on the whole POW/national security thing but I wonder if it couldn't (be made to) backfire.

******************

SVEN, you are right on! and there are so many other opportinities here, Such as:

Cutting taxes during wartime when the government needs capital the most.
Putting America First?

Promoting the warrantless-wiretapping of law-abiding,honest American citizens in violation of the FISA law.
Putting Americans First?

Opposing benefit expansion (the new GI Bill) for our brave soldiers?
Putting America First?

Placing another hypocritical, obscenely rich, Orwellian, G.O.P. (with the emphasis on OLD) fucktard in the WH.
Putting America First?

Posted by: OptiMysticalCynic on August 28, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

No he isn't senile. He has simply made a terrible choice that forever diminishes the kind of character and honor he once championed. The TIME interview makes it really transparent.

Posted by: Algernon on August 28, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is making a mistake by not engaging this guy in as many debates/town hall meetings as possible. His positions are untennable and his rhetoric is underwhelming

Posted by: Winkandanod on August 28, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

poor Johnny. it's all oedipal, you know. his dad was an admiral and theater commander, his grandfather was a four star as well. he topped out as a Captain, which is remarkable for someone who crashed four planes (plus the whole Forrestal mess) and graduated 894th in his class from the Academy. I know the story is that he left the Navy to run for congress, but isn't it a wee bit of a coincidence that he also left the service two weeks after his father died? had he lost his patron, or did he no longer have to make his father proud of him?

Posted by: northzax on August 28, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I think his handlers told him to lay off the POW stuff because people were starting to notice that that seems to be all he has.

Problem is, it IS all he has. The sum total of his message about himself: I was a POW.

So when he's asked a question that he can only answer with "I was a POW" he just gets stumped.

Look for the bump on his back at the convention. That will be a Bush-style input directly from Turd Blossom.

Posted by: No Way No How No McCain on August 28, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure McCain is "overly-scripted," but he sure sounds angry -- even sullen. Any script would have him being more communicative than that, even if he wasn't saying much of anything. Why does he sound so sullen? Is it because he read something about himself he didn't like in Time and wants to make the reporter pay for it? Or is he mad at the people in his own camp who are trying to script him? ("Fine, you say I'm making too many gaffes? How do you like this?") Either way, he's sure not helping himself, and I suspect we'll see more of this.

Posted by: jcb on August 28, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Hannah. I have been posting a link to Phillip Butler's article for days, now. Where is he and why is he not on every talk show around? Is there something in his history that is repubnant?
Just asking.
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on August 28, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

He won't talk about his sons.

Or anything else. He's just a war-mongerin' fear-stokin' flip-floppin' name-callin' salesman, that's Senator John McCain, John McCain.

He's a fake, and he doesn't know the territory.

Posted by: Meredith Wilson on August 28, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I just noticed that you can mix and match McCain's answers and the interview will still make about as much sense. Try it! Fun for the whole family! Here's my effort:

There's a theme that recurs in your books and your speeches, both about putting country first but also about honor. I wonder if you could define honor for us?
I defined it in five books. Read my books.

I've read your books.
[Shakes his head.]

But honor in politics?
I don't know what you're talking about.

[Your] campaign today is more disciplined, more traditional, more aggressive. From your point of view, why the change?
[Long pause.] I'm very happy with the way our campaign has been conducted, and I am very pleased and humbled to have the nomination of the Republican Party.

But beyond the press, sir, just in terms of ...
[Does not answer]

Do you miss the old way of doing it?
Read it in my books.

Really? Come on, Senator.
I think we're running a fine campaign, and this is where we are.

In 2000, after the primaries, you went back to South Carolina to talk about what you felt was a mistake you had made on the Confederate flag. Is there anything so far about this campaign that you wish you could take back or you might revisit when it's over?
I will do as much as we possibly can do to provide as much access to the press as possible.

Do I know you? [Says with a laugh.]
[Shakes his head]

You do acknowledge there was a change in the campaign, in the way you had run the campaign?
I will do as much as we possibly can do to provide as much access to the press as possible.

Posted by: Stefan on August 28, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like Time has scrubbed its website.

Posted by: Terry on August 29, 2008 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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