I have plenty of skepticism about the McCain-Palin ticket, but Josh Marshall’s histrionics about McCain’s confusion over the name of Spain’s Prime Minister strike me as grossly overstated. Sure, one would like McCain to have responded clearly and fluently right away — but granted that the subject had been hostile Latin American governments, and granted the phonetic similarity between “Zapatero” and “Zapatista,” and granted the tremendous amount of information someone who’s running for President has to keep on top of all the time, I’m more than willing to give McCain a pass on this one. Of course, it would be better if he came out and said, “D’oh! I shoulda caught that” rather than trying to make it sound as though he self-consciously categorizes Spain with Venezuela and a rebel group in Mexico, but I can readily understand the basis for his experiencing an interval of disorientation when his interviewer changed the subject from Latin American opponents to European allies. Surely there are better reasons to not-vote for McCain than this, and surely it’s not an “über-gaffe.”

3 thoughts on “Slack

  1. It is the way this incident highlights McCain’s pattern of behavior — unwillingness to admit a mistake, even a small one — that should set off alarum bells. Do we really want another “decider” who cannot think of a single mistake he’s made? McCain’s behavior is evidence of a rigid & unreflective personality & it is hardly “histrionic” to call him on it.

  2. Joe, I agree that McCain handled the confusion in a troubling way, typical of a familiar pattern of decisive leadership from the Republican Party. It looks painfully like an advertisement of more of the same.
    At first, though, Josh was making a tsimis out of McCain’s evident confusion about who this Zapatero fella might be. That, it seems to me, was overplayed partisanism.

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