Since I was offline most of yesterday, I just saw that the MSM did pick up the McCain/Spain dustup.

The McCain campaign’s spin on this is atrocious, though. Damage control has now become a 24/7 operation for these folks, and this spin doesn’t pass the smell test, and tells us all what we need to know about a McCain presidency when it comes to his mental faculties.

“McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Sheunemann said McCain’s answer was intentional.

“The questioner asked several times about Senator McCain’s willingness to meet Zapatero (and id’d him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred). Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview,” he said in an e-mail.”

…Asked to explain McCain’s apparent shift in tone and position since April, Scheunemann gave almost no ground.

“In this week’s interview, Senator McCain did not rule in or rule out a White House meeting with President Zapatero, a NATO ally,” he said in an e-mail. “If elected, he will meet with a wide range of allies in a wide variety of venues but is not going to spell out scheduling and meeting location specifics in advance. He also is not going to make reckless promises to meet America’s adversaries. It’s called keeping your options open, unlike Senator Obama, who has publicly committed to meeting some of the world’s worst dictators unconditionally in his first year in office.”

Oh god. That McCain would try to defend the remarks regardless of the impact on relations with Spain rather than admit he was out to lunch is a good indicator of how he would govern. His mental acuity is never going to be questioned.

Steve Benen makes the point that first popped into my mind:

I’m curious. What do you suppose the reaction would be from the political establishment if Barack Obama had made these mistakes over the course of the campaign? What would reporters, pundits, and Republicans have to say about Obama’s ability to lead a complex world in a time of war and uncertainty? I think an intellectually honest person would agree that if Obama had made these same mistakes he’d be labeled “clueless” on foreign policy. So, why the double-standard?

The Obama campaign has yet to directly address the mental confusion issue, probably letting blogs do the dirty work, but it begs the question — why aren’t someone’s mental and cognitive abilities on the table? More below the fold.It’s not as if age alone is the issue; certainly people in their 40s have developed and been disabled by Altzheimer’s. A person of any age exhibiting these symptoms would be called into question if they were running for the highest office in the land. That the senator is also 72 and a former POW (something his campaign reminds us of quite frequently) only adds to the list of factors that may have an impact on his ability to govern.

I love Jesus’ General’s take on this, as “McCain” addresses the concerns. A snippet:

Thanks, General, for once again allowing me to dictate my message to Joe Lieberman so he can type it into your electric typing intertubes pamphlet machine.

…Who among you hasn’t become disoriented and confused and forgotten where you live as you’ve walked down the driveway of one of your houses to pick up a newspaper. Then your Secret Service guy comes up and tries to help you, but you think he’s Viet Cong so you kick him in the balls as hard as you can.

It’s embarrassing, yes, but dammit, it happens to us all. You just have to get past it. You have to go back down that driveway again and concentrate as hard as you can so you don’t forget that you’re standing in front of one of your own houses.

…My Friends, I know where Spain is located, and I understand its strategic importance as one of our NATO allies. But sometimes being an ally isn’t enough. You have to be with us all the way in all things, and unfortunately, Spain’s president, Antonio Banderas, hasn’t been very supportive of our national security goals. That became clear to me when I bumped into him last week while visiting the Spanish city of Albuquerque.


* Is McCain senile?

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding