Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,
Mark
mhaithaca

You could look presidential, or...

Senator McCain, it seems to me that your scheduled appearance on David Letterman's show last night was an incredibly valuable opportunity to talk about how grave the current financial crisis is, and how crucial it is for you and Senator Obama to be in the thick of things. You could have explained a little bit of the mess to a young adult and adult audience that isn't necessarily diving into the financial news on their own; a few well-crafted sentences could have made sense of quite a bit. You're good at that, actually, or at least your speech-writers are. A national late-night audience, for several uninterrupted minutes, without some news producer clipping out just the twelve seconds of you that they want to show. You had an opportunity to look not only presidential, but knowledgeable on the economy, one of your weakest areas.

Instead, you decided to call up your old buddy Dave, who's been very good to you and your campaign, and tell him, personally, no less, "Sorry, Dave, but I have to rush to the airport right now and zip back to Washington. You understand." He probably would have, too, as would most of us. After all, you were determined to stand by what you said yesterday afternoon, and focus all your time and energy, in Washington, on the crisis.

Except... it wasn't true. Instead of rushing to the airport and flying right down to Washington, you stuck around New York City. At the time when you were scheduled to tape "The Late Show," you were instead sitting down in front of Katie Couric on a CBS News set.

Couldn't you instead have been up front about this? Or if your departure got delayed and the "CBS Evening News" slot came up later, couldn't you have come clean? Did you think Dave and his audience wouldn't find out? Couric may be the lightweight of the news biz, but she does get a few viewers. But you have plenty of time with reporters and news anchors in front of you, and too little time with us in front of you, actually paying attention to what you have to say. Passing up that Letterman audience strikes me as one of the worst miscalculations of your campaign.

"I think the American people expect more of us," you told Katie Couric. Yes, Senator. Yes, we do.

"This is not the way a tested hero behaves," said your buddy Dave last night, in front of the national audience you passed up, after talking respectfully, almost reverently, about your long-ago heroism. "Somebody's puttin' something in his Metamucil." Letterman also made the excellent point, that didn't occur to me yesterday, that McCain could simply have handed day-to-day campaigning duties over to Governor Palin while he focused on the economy, rather than "suspending" the campaign.

Generous as he was being, Letterman had fun with the situation... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjkCrfylq-E
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