I predict right now that this piece will create a major-league hissy fit:
A string of erroneous word choices is helping opponents make his 71 years a matter of age, not experience.
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said “Iraq” when he apparently meant “Afghanistan” on Monday, adding to a string of mixed-up word choices that is giving ammunition to the opposition.
Just in the past three weeks, McCain has also mistaken “Somalia” for “Sudan,” and even football’s Green Bay Packers for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ironically, the errors have been concentrated in what should be his area of expertise – foreign affairs.
McCain will turn 72 the day after Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) accepts his party’s nomination for president, calling new attention to the sensitive issue of McCain’s advanced age, three days before the start of his own convention.
The McCain campaign says Obama has had plenty of flubs of his own, including a reference to “57 states” and a string of misstated place names during the primaries that Republicans gleefully sent around as YouTubes.***
But McCain’s mistakes raise a serious, if uncomfortable question: Are the gaffes the result of his age? And what could that mean in the Oval Office?
Personally, I remain uncomfortable making age an issue, and really see no reason for Democrats to raise the issue. McCain is wrong on so many issues, why bother raising age with the potential backlash? And really, there is no need to- the issue, as we have seen, will raise itself. Every time Obama stands next to McCain on the stage, voters and the American public will see it as it is. McCain will look old next to Obama.
Again, that may not be fair, but it is what it is. And, I will state with full admiration, I don’t know where McCain gets his energy to campaign the way he has for the past two years. That in and of itself is quite impressive, although I don’t know where any of the candidates get their drive- Hillary Clinton was an iron woman during the primary, and never seemed fatigued. Were I in McCain’s shoes, there is no chance I could pull off what he has done so far. But then again, this just goes to show that the folks running for office are systematically different from the rest of us- I can think of a number of opportunities for me to tell reporters or political opponents to go Cheney themselves- acts that would have been election enders, were I in Obama’s or McCain’s shoes.
One good thing about this story- it certainly does appear that the glow is off the McCain campaign as far as the subservient media is concerned.