Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain Seems Confused

Paul Campos tries to understand what McCain was talking about in an interview he did with a Spanish radio station:
Finally at the end of the interview [McCain]'s asked what seems like a completely pro forma question about whether if he's elected he'll invite the head of the Spanish government, Zapatero, to the White House. McCain, without responding to the question, says that he's willing to meet with Latin American leaders who want to promote democracy, respect human rights etc. He then tries to change the subject by talking about what a great job President Calderon of Mexico is doing in fighting the war on drugs.

Clearly taken aback, the interviewer repeats the question, saying yes she understands, but is McCain willing to meet with "the prime minister of Spain, Zapatero." (McCain is doing an interview with Spanish national radio, so you'd think he might have done five minutes of prep work on subtle issues such as "who is this country's current leader?"). McCain merely repeats what he said before about wanting to work with Latin American leaders, but not being willing to meet with enemies of America etc.

So she asks a third time, does this include Zapatero. McCain dodges the question, saying he needs to study the issue, but that he wants to meet with Latin American leaders who support the same goals he does.

With something close to evident exasperation, the interviewer says, "Yes Senator, but now we are speaking of Europe, not Latin America" (it's clear she's getting the impression that McCain doesn't know where Spain is). But McCain repeats the same answer a fourth time! The interviewer gives up and the interview ends.

It seems, from the bits of his voice you can hear behind the translation, that McCain is tired and confused, and perhaps he simply doesn't know who Zapatero is, and is afraid of making a "gaffe," where he unwittingly agrees to meet with some crazy leftist dictator of an obscure banana republic. Or maybe "Zapatero" sounded suspiciously like "Zapatista" to him.

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