Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Who Speaks for McCain?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Who Speaks for McCain?

Not his spokespeople, apparently. Phil Gramm, of course, made his statement about "mental recession" and "a nation of whiners" (although he was presaged on that count by about thirty years by Elvis Costello: "When your money's in the minus / And you suffer from your shyness / You can listen to us whiners"). The jokes not only write themselves, but you've probably been reading them all day. McCain ultimately stepped away from the remarks in an almost Popeye-like statement: "Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I speak for me." I guess that defeats the purpose of sending Gramm out to speak for him, then. Not addressed, however, is whether or not Gramm actually thinks for McCain, as well. If not, then the Republican candidate may be in need of a new brain, as well. Fortunately, however, also according to Gramm, at least the Iraq War won't be a problem--Gramm also said that when McCain pushed the Bushies into supporting the surge, Iraq became McCain's war, and oh, by the way, he won it.

But Gramm isn't the only spokesperson causing problems. Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, has also been hitting the hustings and apparently making it up as she's gone along. On Monday, she decided that McCain should support covering birth control in medical insurance plans. Unfortunately, he's already voted against exactly that. As if that's not enough, she's also portrayed him as outside the battle to overturn Roe v. Wade. Once again, that doesn't quite jibe with McCain's position to, y'know, overturning Roe v Wade. Perhaps she doesn't speak for him, either.

Making it all even more complicated, Mother Jones caught an instance in which Fiorina seems to be tarring Gramm (although not by name and somewhat elliptically) with at least partial responsibility for our current economic mess. If, as has been suggested, McCain picks Fiorina as a running mate, pulls the election off, and installs Gramm as treasury secretary, he'll have set up some of the administration turf wars necessary to truly become a third Bush term.


At 11:45 AM, July 11, 2008, OpenID charlesofcamden said...

Hmmm... maybe this is their strategy: That if anybody out there is looking for a reason to vote for McCain, they'll find it. If it isn't coming out of McCain's mouth, they might find it coming out of a spokesperson's mouth, thus giving President McCain maximum flexibility to do as he pleases once elected.

At 9:44 PM, July 11, 2008, Anonymous Doug said...

That's an awfully generous explanation, but I'd be more likely to buy it if McCain didn't keep trying to back away from the statements from his surrogates. Or is it his job to hop from one position to the next so we can all find a position from him that we like?


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