Via Outside the Beltway, I see that John McCain does not know the price of gas (SEE UPDATES- He did know, at least two weeks ago). Take it away, James:
The price of gas is the number one issue on the minds of just about every voter these days. It’s an issue that virtually transcends class. Most of us know, to the penny, what we’re paying for gas and where the cheapest gas is in our area. (Both my wife’s car and mine require high octane gasoline. The station where I generally buy has been stuck at $4.32 for quite some time now. Prices vary radically from block to block, with some charging as much as $4.65.)
I get that McCain is sheltered from many of the mundane details of everyday life because of his position. It wouldn’t bother me in the least if he didn’t know how to operate a modern gas pump. Nor would I expect him to know the price with the specificity that those of us who pump it regularly do. But, given the amazing amount of attention this issue has gotten in recent months — so much so that he’s pandering about “gas tax holidays” and the like — it’s not unreasonable to expect him to answer with something like, “It’s been so long since I pumped my own gas that I don’t remember what it cost. But I do know that it’s now over $4 a gallon and people are pissed.”
In the past, this is the sort of thing that has helped to put away candidates- we all remember the silly assertion that George Bush was surprised by a grocery scanner or Giuliani didn’t know the cost of a loaf of bread. While false, the story did help the Clinton team portray Bush as out of touch and unaware of what people were going through economically. The real question is whether or not the media will dump their mancrush to savage McMavericky straight talk over his lack of awareness the way they would if this were, well, anyone else.
I doubt it, in fact, I bet they defend him (I can hear Matthews now, after ten years gushing about the common man and holding that being in touch with the common man is the highest virtue- “Heck, I don’t know the price of gas. It is so hard to keep up with.”) . Hell, here is a preview of what you can expect this week from cable shows- some Rev. Wright footage, anyone?
Just get used to it. Remember, liberal media and all that. It is why there have been so many liberal Presidents.
*** Update ***
For those of you who claim that he was referring to the last time he pumped gas, that could be plausible. Here is the quote:
When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?
Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.
I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. I communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.
What would the response be if Obama said this and failed to show his allegiance to the common man? I give you a number, to show you my point:
What is 37, you might ask? That is Obama’s bowling score. Why do I know that? Why can I recite that? Why was that DRILLED into my head for months?
So why does John McCain think it does not matter when he last pumped gas and it does not matter whether he knows the price of gas? Why couldn’t we get some of that vaunted straight talk- “I haven’t pumped my own gas forever, what with secret service, but the price of gas is averaging over 4 dollars a gallon and well beyond that for diesel, so much so that border state residents are going into Mexico to buy cheaper gas.”
*** Update #2 ***
Booman notices something– in the same interview, McCain accuses Bush of torturing prisoners.
*** Update #3 ***
Patterico unearths a piece from June 18th in which McCain clearly knew gas was over four dollars a gallon. So why didn’t he just say this in the OC Register interview? It can’t be just churlishness at gotcha questions, as it would be pretty rich that the guy who ran around stating Hamas wants Obama to win can’t handle some questions about the price of gas.