wSep 26, 2008

The most plausible theory I've seen so far, anyway

I'm sorry, because I know that a lot of people are "sick of" talking about politics. But I at least try to make my posts more interesting than "Gosh, Candidate B sucks so much!" Posts like that annoy me as well, but I love getting meta about politics just as much as I do about books.

The Anonymous Liberal posits a theory that John McCain purposely said he wasn't going to attend the debate with Barack Obama in order to draw attention away from Sarah Palin's disastrous interview with Katie Couric (if you haven't watched it, it's all over YouTube).

In that interview, Palin did two things that hurt the McCain campaign and, but for McCain's late afternoon shenanigans, would have garnered much more attention. First, buying into the premise of one of Couric's questions, she all but stated that if no bailout legislation is passed, we'll be headed into the next Great Depression. Even if true, that's not a very smart thing for a politician to say and, importantly, it all but foreclosed any possibility of McCain voting against the bailout.

As for the second, it's Palin's response to Couric's asking for examples in John McCain's 26 years as senator for pushing for more regulation on banks. ("I'll try to find you some, and bring 'em to ya.")

That is not a good soundbite. Not only does it confirm that Palin is in way over her head, but every time the clip is played, viewers get to hear Couric point out that McCain has a 26 year record of not favoring regulations.


I think the McCain campaign knew the Couric interview would be a disaster as soon as it was done taping and spent much of the day frantically trying to think of a way to push it out of the headlines. The clincher for me is the fact that McCain cancelled his Letterman appearance at the last second and instead sat down for an impromptu interview with, of all people, Katie Couric. The hope was to bump the Palin interview even on the CBS Evening News, which otherwise would have hyped and teased the Palin interview all afternoon and used it to lead the broadcast. Instead, CBS devoted most of its coverage to McCain and played segments of the Palin interview almost as an afterthought. Mission accomplished.

Obviously, none of us know what McCain's strategists are thinking, but it seems like the smartest thing they could have done to cover their asses.

It also makes sense given the Obama quotes in various news articles where he's like, "Yeah, I don't know WTF is going on; I just talked to McCain on the phone and everything was cool, and now I guess he's not coming to the debate."

Of course, McCain has now agreed to do the debate this evening, but the Palin interview seems to have gone by relatively unnoticed....except on the Internet, of course. Where we never let things go, and, in this case, rightly so.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 2:27 PM

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