Saturday, September 20, 2008

inane in spain falls mainly on mccain

last night mrs. noz asked me what that mccain-spainish interview thing was all about. apparently yesterday (when i was mostly off the grid) the NYT ran some kind of story that didn't make a whole lot of sense if you didn't already know the story.

a pretty good explanation is here, you can listen to the original interview audio here (it's part of the youtube video). personally, i completely agree with josh marshall's take on this. the audio makes it pretty clear that mccain didn't know who president zapatero was. instead, i think he just assumed it was some latin american guy and so he gave a vague answer about meetings with latin american leaders. when the interviewer specified that she was talking about spain in europe, mccain didn't understand her--either he didn't hear or he had trouble with her accent, or both. i think she's pretty understandable, but it was a phone interview, maybe the line wasn't as clear on his end as it is in the audio recording. (click on the "here" link above and listen to it yourself)

and so, the campaign tried to cover for their candidate's confusion with this ridiculous story that he meant exactly what he said--even if that means that mccain implied that spain was in latin american and made a fairly belligerent comment about an american ally. i guess they felt they had to do that because mccain's alleged foreign policy "expertise" is the centerpiece of his campaign and because admitting that he was confused and/or couldn't hear well plays into the idea that he's old and addled. on some level i understand why the campaign took the stance it did. but the problem is that the explanation turns a gaffe (which i really wouldn't care about) into a display of some pretty bad judgment on the part of the mccain campaign. as marshall puts it: "Rather than copping to the goof, they decided to stick to the nonsensical statements and risk, should McCain win in November, significant damage to our relations with a major NATO ally."

nice going.