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John McCain on “60 Minutes”: Better than usual, but still not ready to be president

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Originally published on on Mon, 09/22/2008 – 10:51am

John McCain on “60 Minutes”

Barack Obama on “60 Minutes”

It seemed a little strange last night watching “60 Minutes” on CBS. The picture looked fine, but it was almost like there was a ghost. The ghost of John McCain 2000 was on the program last night, at least, in the beginning of the interview.

McCain seemed lucid, sincere. He quoted Adam Smith. He even admitted things are bad economically.

Then the ultimate moment: Scott Pelley, please take over.

Pelley: In 1999 you were one of the senators who helped pass deregulation of Wall Street. Do you regret that now?

McCain: No, I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy.

Whew! The ghost of McCain of 2000 disappeared and never came back again.

So Sen. McCain, the economy that has tanked, the worst economy under one president that most of us, including you, have had in our lifetime, and deregulation helped this imaginary “growth”? Wow!!

Kudos to Pelley in that he said right after that answer, “McCain has been an advocate of deregulation most of his career, but Thursday he endorsed the biggest bailout in history — a plan for the government to take on the bad debts of financial institutions.”

But despite that faux pas, among others, McCain had a good night on the program. There were bits and pieces that worked for him. He pulled out the name Andrew Cuomo to run the SEC. McCain actually noted that you can’t fire the SEC chair (something he didn’t know last week), but came back with “But I’ll tell you, when I’m president, if I want somebody to resign, they resign.”

McCain said he would move the political office out of the White House.

There were answers that had good moments and bizarre moments within a few sentences from each other.

“I say the Bush administration has failed. I say the Congress has failed, Democrats and Republicans. I remind you the Democrats have had the majority in Congress for the last two years. So everybody’s failed. And the cozy, old-boy, special interests that have prevailed in Washington have harmed the American people, frankly, in the most terrible fashion.”

So he thinks the Bush Administration failed, but doesn’t realize Bush people and the “cozy, old-boy, special interests that have prevailed in Washington” run his campaign.

McCain also said “the worst thing you could do is raise taxes on anybody.” The worst thing?? Ever?? I’m pretty sure what has happened to the American economy this week, the thousands and thousands of dollars American taxpayers will dish out for this cleanup, was much worse than a tax increase on those making $250,000 a year who got huge breaks the last 8 years.

On Iraq, Pelley let McCain go off on Obama about the surge: “Senator Obama moved to the left of his party and said we shouldn’t, said the surge would fail, said it was doomed to failure, and still fails to acknowledge that he was wrong about the surge.” And Pelley adds on by saying “The surge was a gamble back when McCain was low on support, out of money and expected to fail. Its success helped capture the nomination that once seemed so improbable.”

But saying the surge worked — Pelley says “its success” — amplifies McCain’s point in an unfair fashion. Whether the surge worked is an issue for debate. Announcing its success is not only wrong but also biased.

If you are looking for a laugh, follow this exchange:

Pelley: How’d you make that decision (picking Sarah Palin)?

McCain: Well, I based it on what’s the best for the country. I looked at her record. I looked at her.

Pelley: In your judgment, can you see her as President of the United States?

McCain: Absolutely.

Pelley: As President of the United States?

McCain: Absolutely, absolutely.

Three “absolutely” cries is three more than a lot of people see in Gov. Palin.

Pelley’s comeback was to point our that Joe Biden has done 84 interviews and news conferences vs. 2 for Sarah Palin. McCain’s reply was a vague “She’s gonna be doing more all the time” not that it’s clear what that means. He does note that “the American people are vetting her.” However, even Palin fans aren’t allowed to ask her any questions.

Let’s save the best for last. McCain was telling a story about a fallen 21-year-old soldier in Afghanistan. And he was talking about the dog tag given to him by his mother: “Inside of it, of course, is the dog tag with Patrick’s picture on it. That’s what being President of the United States is all about.”

If you weren’t sure how to vote, you just found out what McCain thinks being president is all about. Not helping people make a better living, not leading people to a better tomorrow. A dead soldier’s dog tag. A good answer for a potential secretary of defense, but a lousy, dangerous answer from a presidential candidate.

John McCain on “60 Minutes”

Barack Obama on “60 Minutes”


Written by democracysoup

September 22, 2008 at 10:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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