Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 17, 2010

IF IT'S SUNDAY.... Believe it or not, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did not appear on one of the Sunday public affairs talk-shows in March. Seriously, not one. That hardly ever happens.

Fox News will put things right tomorrow.

A familiar face leads the charge against President Obama: In an exclusive interview, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joins 'Fox News Sunday' to discuss his opposition to the potential use of a Value Added Tax.

In promoting the interview, Fox probably characterized McCain as "a familiar face" to mean that the senator and the president have long been at odds. Of course, when I see the phrase, I take it to mean that McCain is "a familiar face" on Sunday shows that seem almost obsessed with him.

For those keeping score -- and you know I am -- this will be McCain's 21st appearance on a Sunday morning talk show since Obama's inauguration. That's an average of 1.5 appearances a month, every month, for over a year -- more than any other public official in the country.

Since the president took office 14 months ago, McCain has been on ABC's "This Week" three times (9.27.09, 8.23.09, and 5.10.09), CNN's "State of the Union" four times (1.10.10, 10.11.09, 8.2.09, and 2.15.09), CBS's "Face the Nation" five times (1.24.10, 10.25.09, 8.30.09, 4.26.09, and 2.8.09), and NBC's "Meet the Press" four times (2.28.10, 12.6.09, 7.12.09, and 3.29.09). His appearance on "Fox News Sunday" tomorrow will be his fifth since Obama's inauguration (4.18.10, 12.20.09, 7.2.09, 3.8.09, and 1.25.09),

Obviously, there's no reason for this. McCain lost a presidential election; he's not in the GOP leadership; he's not especially influential with anyone; he's not playing an active role in shaping any legislation; and he doesn't appear to have any expertise in any area of public policy. The Sunday shows seem to book him out of habit. It's farcical.

Of course, if McCain loses his Republican primary in Arizona, one of the networks can make the process more efficient and just give McCain his own Sunday morning talkshow. Then again, maybe I shouldn't give the networks any ideas.

Steve Benen 8:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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I think it would be revealing to observe McCain's backstage behavior for these shows. Anyone who is that obsessed with seeing themselves on television has got to be a pain in the ass primadonna.

Posted by: DelCapslock on April 17, 2010 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, if McCain loses his Republican primary in Arizona, one of the networks can make the process more efficient and just give McCain his own Sunday morning talkshow.

Why Sunday? They could put him in a Saturday morning time-slot, right alongside the other cartoons. He is, after all, scary and ugly enough to be one of the bad-guy monsters on Scooby Doo....

Posted by: S. Waybright on April 17, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'm pulling for Hayworth.

If he beats McCain, he's even worse as a human and politician, but at least everybody will know he's a piece of human trash. With McCain, they can pretend he's rational which gives him freedom to lie like a pig.

Posted by: Mark-NC on April 17, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

I don't remember anyone complaining when Al Gore was constantly on the Sunday gab-fest's (gob-fest's?) month after month after he beat, uhm, lost to George W. Bush!!! Jesus, he was on Sunday's more often than NASCAR!
What, he wasn't?
OH!
Never miiiiiiiind...

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 17, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Senator John (Get off my lawn) McCain is a blowhard and a total embarrassment. He is a sore loser and a cranky old man. He seems incoherent and confused most of the time. He can't remember what he said last week, let alone last year. He is filthy rich. Why he is even running for re-election is a mystery to me.

Posted by: Ladyhawke on April 17, 2010 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Nonsense , it is probably a clutch of hangers on , security and like minded block heads . You forget the allure of a man with a credit card debt of hundreds of thousands a month . Why I grow brainier just thinking of how those crumbs would sate my table for years .

Posted by: FRP on April 17, 2010 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Value Added Tax? Yeah, that is a burning hot issue that really needs to be explored at this time /snark

Posted by: Dennis on April 17, 2010 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

uh... McCain will discuss his opposition to a "value added rax?" Since we are not considering one, why would he be discussing it except as another lie the repubs tell to make the public think the obama admin is socialist... and to use up time which could be put to better use discussing financial reform.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on April 17, 2010 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

The incompetent frat-boy who barely graduated a legacy college before blowing up four million dollar aircraft and nearly sinking an aircraft carrier before it even got off of the deck of said aircraft carrier and was promptly shot-down in less time than I am my compatriots spent in-country in a single patrol and captured dropping bombs on civilians from ten thousand feet where he then sold out his fellow prisoners of war receiving preferential treatment as a 'celebrity' POW John McCain?

Posted by: Ten Bears on April 17, 2010 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Er, KurtRex1453, Speaker Pelosi spoke of VAT, possibly, paying for health care, last October on Charlie Rose. Paul Volcker has discussed this and the fiscal commission is expected to review the possibilities of VAT. Strange thing about VAT; it is opposed by both sides. The left think tanks believe it would be regressive and hurt the poor, while the right, especially, the Heritage Foundation believes it could grow government as a huge piggy bank.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 17, 2010 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

"A familiar face leads the CHARGE AGAINST President Obama: In an exclusive interview, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joins 'Fox ..."

Jesus, look at that first sentence. They're admitting they're going against Obama. They're not even trying to hide the bias.

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on April 17, 2010 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Senility on Display - a new Sunday morning reality program provided by the plethora of Sunday morning hot-gas-bag network hosts and brought to you by the men behind the corporate curtain who wish to see our current president fail! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

This time of year there's something even more exciting than McGrumpy on the TeeVee: Golf. . .

Posted by: DAY on April 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Hayworth is just as upset seeing his opponent get all this free media every Sunday.

Still, he's only a few points behind in the polls.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on April 17, 2010 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't this a good thing for Obama? If McCain is filling the airwaves, there isn't room for the bright young Republican thinkers to get exposure.
(Who is John Thune?)

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on April 17, 2010 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Fox will have someone from the Tea Party to balance McCain's moderately mavericky stance on the issues.

Posted by: qwerty on April 17, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Don't be surprised if Fox ambushes him tomorrow. I think this is a set up to give crazy Hayworth a shot in the arm, and then follow with this nut job the following sunday to close the gap before the election. This may be the one sunday show McCain should skip.

Posted by: John on April 17, 2010 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Look at this another way. This just reinforces the clear and obvious fact that the Republican party is 30% wide and about 1 inch deep, particularly when it comes to having any kind of "bench strength" in the area of potential Presidential candidates.

McCain's repeated appearances have the wonderful effect of "robbing" potential fresh faces of opportunities to get public face time.

On that basis, I think another McCain appearance is just a dandy thing and I hope he continues it and the networks keep asking.

Posted by: dweb on April 17, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

"he's not playing an active role in shaping any legislative;"

Any legislative what?

Posted by: josef on April 17, 2010 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Er, berttheclock, thanks for the right-wing talking points.

Just because Pelosi mentioned this in October in answer to a question on the Charlie Rose show and then Paul Volker mentioned it almost 6 months later doesn't exactly translate into a credible policy move by anyone for anything -- unless of course, you're Fox News and you're looking to gin up a false issue.

Posted by: leo on April 17, 2010 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I think Steve is right!!! That McCain is crazy all right..... crazy like a fox.

Watching Sarah Palin rake in the big bucks while he has to press the flesh with yahoos who think Obama is a foreign agent from another planet. That has to be getting old, very old.

So all those appearances on the talk shows why they are simply a prelude to McCain's own talk show! Or maybe Variety Hour? Here are my Top Ten McCain Talk/Variety Show titles, can't wait to set my Tivo!

10) Meet the McPress
9) Face the McNation
8) The MacFactor
7) Mac & Friends
6) The Real McCains
5) The Mac & Sarah Show
4) The Sarah & John Show
3) The Sarah Palin Show
2) The X-Senators
1) The Tonight Show with Johnny Mac

Posted by: mike reilly on April 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

"The Hour of Pain", with John McCain.

Sounds like a perfect fit for FoxNews. They can let him have Palin's old time slot.

Posted by: PatD on April 17, 2010 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Speaker Pelosi spoke of VAT, possibly, paying for health care, last October on Charlie Rose. Paul Volcker has discussed this and the fiscal commission is expected to review the possibilities of VAT. Strange thing about VAT; it is opposed by both sides

So, like the man said, why are they wasting time talking about on a Sunday news show? It's bad policy, no one supports it, and we've got a lot of major bills up for debate in the senate. And if you wanted to discuss it, why do so with a minor player like McCain? Why not get some input from someone more important, like the majority leader or the minority whip or the White House chef? That dude's pretty well spoken.

Posted by: Midland on April 17, 2010 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Why he is even running for re-election is a mystery to me."
Posted by: Ladyhawke on April 17, 2010 at 8:45 AM

If you'll recall what he was accused (by credible eye/ear-witness sources, and never denied by McCain nor anyone speaking for him) of once calling his wife in public, that might explain why he's not eager to have nothing else to do w/his days...
Their wealth is all her fortune, and he does not strike me as a male likely to be sufficiently evolved to be comfortable with her holding all the remaining power in the relationship.

Posted by: smartalek on April 17, 2010 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Do these folks at Fox not know what the word "exclusive" means?

Posted by: BerkeleyMom on April 17, 2010 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why are all the Republicans talking about the value added tax all of a sudden? Wasn't it Charles Krauthammer who brought the idea up in the first place a month or two ago?

Posted by: mcc on April 17, 2010 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

I have been saying for more than a year now that the reason the republicans right-wingers, including members of Congress, are invited onto these gas-baggery shows is for the simple purpose of undermining Barack Obama. This is a plan that I believe the republicans and what passes for journalist on these shows worked out before Obama was sworn in and I haven't seen anything yet to make me change my mind.

P.S. Mike Reilly and PatD, you two are too funny. I really love your ideas for a McCain tv show.

Posted by: Sammy on April 17, 2010 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone noticed that McCain seems to be getting a little senile? He's not a maverick was my final clue. If you listen to him you can see the confusing things he says like "let's pull the trigger on Iran". Can you imagine if McCain/Palin won the presidency? A senile old man and dimwit woman with a shrill voice. To all the psuedo-christians, obviously God thinks better of the Democrats or they wouldn't be in power in all three branches of our government. It is time to put term limits on both the houses in congress. Here in NM Domenici left because of dementia. Campaign reform and term limits now!!!

Posted by: Consuelo Hannan on April 18, 2010 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK
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