McCain is Surrounded by Idiots
by John C. Dvorak

Last night I witnessed one of the biggest screw-ups I have ever seen in a Presidential campaign in my entire life. And this may cost me a lot of bets and it may cost john McCain the election. The culprits, though, are the apparent dummies handling the McCain schedule and strategy. These people should all be fired tomorrow. They are out-and-out idiots and I actually wonder who they really work for.

McCain was scheduled to do the David Letterman show. He’s a perfect match for Letterman and it would have been funny and endearing. But golly there is this economic situation that needed attention so McCain had to rush back to Washington. He even called Dave on the phone to cancel at the last minute.

Letterman was dubious and booked Obama-nut Keith Olberman as the substitute guest. It seems as if McCain was not heading to Washington after all but over to another studio where Katie Couric would bring him on the news hour. In fact they showed McCain getting powder in the set before the interview. Couric and Letterman are in-studio around the same time.

They put the feed of this right on Letterman’s show. He was steamed.

I have watched Letterman since the days when he was trying to do a daytime TV show and witnessed his show catching on fire. I saw him in the late late show when they would do the whole show as a cartoon or over-dub a Mexican’s voice. I know and love this show. One thing is consistent over the years. Letterman is extremely vindictive. He will go on bitching for weeks when someone does not show up or cancels at the last minute. They are never invited back. Anyone on the staff associated with the fiasco is in the doghouse for months.

So McCain does the news with Couric and lies to Letterman about having to go to the airport. Wonderful. Does McCain have anyone in his organization that knows anything about this sort of thing? Do they like the idea of relentless pounding with one-liners and harsh jokes day after day after day until November. They just invited such a barrage and they are going to have to live with the possibility that one of these nightly jokes will stick in the American public’s psyche and kill the election for McCain.

Why? Why did they allow this possibility to happen? I’ll tell you why. Because there are incompetents running the campaign. McCain has been plagued by this since the inception of the campaign.

Yeah, I know that I have a lot of wagers and my personal reputation riding on this election with my predictions from over two years ago saying that no Democrat would win this Presidential election in 2008. Yeah, I know and that’s why this sort of outlandish screw-up happening irks me to no end.

So what was the point of screwing over Letterman?
It was obviously something cavalier within the management of this campaign. Some shit-head who did not know what he/she was doing but managed to lord it over the rest of the group.

The over management crises is also apparent with Sarah Palin and her obvious repeating of talking points without explanation. She did it with both Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric. With Gibson he reworded the exact same question about Israel bombing Iran where she repeated the “I don’t think we should second-guess Israel.” She repeated her response word for word each time Gibson rephrased. She should have called out Gibson and said, “Charlie you are simply asking me the same question over and over and I’ve told you once already what I think. Why do you insist that I repeat myself?” But no, she acted like a robot instead, apparently afraid of someone behind the curtain. Afraid of some “expert” who knows better.

She was also stiff and unnatural with Couric. Palin is an obvious victim of over-coaching by someone in the campaign responsible for presentation, talking points and all the on-message baloney that takes the humanity out of the candidates.

Years ago, I remember seeing Democrat Walter Mondale on the Johnny Carson show after his defeat in the 1984 elections. The guy was incredibly funny, sharp and easily kept pace with Carson in a lively and amusing conversation. I wondered where was THIS guy during the election. He could have won. Instead the public got served an Al Gore-like stiff, obviously over-coached to not make mistakes. In football they call it “playing not to lose.” It usually results in a loss and it did for Mondale.

My advice to McCain and Palin: Get rid of this person who is screwing you over if you want to win this thing. They should be easy to find if you actually look.


Related news story below.

Z on TV: Couric, Letterman too much for McCain and Palin – Sun critic David Zurawik writes about the business, culture and craziness of television – baltimoresun.com

Adding insult to injury, Letterman brought on MSNBC host and left-wing attack dog Keith Olbermann as the substitute guest for McCain.

During his chat with Olbermann, Letterman used the in-house CBS cameras and monitors to show McCain being readied for his interview with Couric on the set of the CBS Evening News.

“He doesn’t seem to be racing to the airport, does he?” Letterman said referring to McCain’s call earlier in the day when he told Letterman he was canceling because “the economy is cratering” and he has to rush back to Washington to work on a Wall Street bailout plan.

“Hey John, I got a question You need a ride to the airport?” Letterman yelled at the TV monitor as the in-house camera showed McCain talking to Couric.

The audience howled in delight at the merciless edge of Letterman’s anti-McCain barbs. The comedian also repeatedly asked why McCain didn’t send Palin in his place — suggesting the GOP handlers were afraid that she couldn’t handle it.




  1. Proud Alien says:

    John, not sure how a sane person could’ve made such a silly statement about Democrats and this election after everything this country was subjected to over the last 8 years. Hope you lose your wagers.

  2. Adrien says:

    The McCain campaign is doing just fine considering the headwinds, but they need to do better to win. Obama didn’t exactly knock the ball out of the park when he said he would just wait until Reid/Pelosi needed him for the inevitable Democrat photo-op.

  3. bobbo says:

    The deepest “truth” I see here is the fact that without exception all our politicians are one thing on stage/in office, and different more “humane” people in real life.

    I’ve thought around the edges of this for some time, but it is clearly recognized now. The desire to win, to be reelected, to be powerful and influential, to accommodate the handlers. Yes, you can’t be humane and most effective at those other goals.

    It explains pretty much what is wrong with our system. We elect people and they perform as best they can purposefully and intentionally as cogs in a wheel.

  4. KarmaBaby says:

    #16 – “Please. There is the largest financial crisis in the history of the WORLD and McCain elects to skip hee-hawing with Letterman and be serious with Couric on CBS News. What is so “screwed up” about that?”

    Yeah, 10 minutes “wasted” with Letterman would have deprived the world of McCain’s financial expertise. We just can’t live without him on the case. And I’m sure he “fixed” everything by appearing on Katie’s show.

    You know, McCain really had a better opportunity of getting his message across to the nation on Letterman’s show than on Katie’s. He could have looked directly into the camera and engaged the audience with some well-thought out insight, and what he would do if he becomes President. He can’t do that as easily on a news show without being challenged.

    But now he’ll be ridiculed mercilessly because of this fiasco. Letterman won’t let up. And it’ll overshadow or cancel out any gains he made on Katie’s show.

    What’s so screwed up? Think about it: he canceled his appointment, lied about why, then acted like NO ONE WOULD KNOW HE LIED. I mean, what’s the point in lying when the chance of getting caught in the lie is 100%? They say a pathological liar will lie even if the truth would do just as good.

  5. Personality says:

    Nice rant. I enjoyed it!

  6. MikeN says:

    Curious John, I know you’ve been betting that way, but who do you think would make the better President?

  7. I couldn’t disagree more John. McCain’s advisor picked Palin which sprang him into the lead. They then got McCain out infront of the economic crisis making him look like a leader and Obama looking concerned for himself while everyday Americans are at risk of losing their life savings.

    I used to love letterman. But as he has become more and more of a democrat hack, his ratings have plunged with it. It would not have been a fun, funny exchange. McCain would have been attacked from day one. Plus McCain has made umpteen appearences on Leno, which has a much larger audience.

    What you should be writing about is how inept the Obama campaign is. After McCain’s announcement, they cried like babies saying, “nuh uh. we asked to suspend the campaigns first.” But then they say they can do both, but is they can do both, then why ask mccain to suspend the campaign. Then Harry Reid the idiot says we don’t need their input. Yes, why would anyone want the next leader of the country to have a say in the bailout package they will have to carryout and our children will have to live with. Why would anyone expect the people who are being paid $160k a year to go to washington and actually do their jobs of representing their constituents in this most of serious times.

    Please. Obama is the one who loses here.

  8. salty dog says:

    WTF are you raving about? Apparently Dvorak has lost it.

    THIS is what you latch onto as the reason the McCain campaign is in a death spiral?? Are you kidding me?!

    You do read the news don’t you?

  9. ArianeB says:

    Obama is planning on showing up to the debate on Friday. If McCain fails to show up Friday, he may as well hand Obama the Presidency.

  10. RBG says:

    JCD. What you say, me too. Somebody royally screwed up.

    Perhaps I could almost understand not doing a light-hearted TV appearance in the face of a national financial disaster, but the story that he didn’t do Letterman because he said he immediately had to go to Washington, and then instead did the Couric show doesn’t smell right. There’s got to be more to this.

    RBG

  11. jim h says:

    McCain is still the Presidential candidate but since the convention, the marketing effort has shifted and Palin is now the “product”. The media people, who had been covering Obama as a celebrity, all ran across the street and started snapping pictures of Palin.

    So I don’t think this incident really matters. The strategy now is for McCain to just “look Presidential” and rely on Palin’s novelty, simplistic pitch, and the fact that many voters apparently identify with her personally, to put the ticket over the top.

  12. JDFan says:

    More of these posts, please…

  13. ArianeB says:

    #37
    “What you should be writing about is how inept the Obama campaign is. After McCain’s announcement, they cried like babies saying, “nuh uh. we asked to suspend the campaigns first.”

    Dude, that’s a lie. Obama asked McCain to go with him on a joint statement on the economy. It is McCain that upped the ante to suspending the campaigns. Obama declined saying a President must be able to handle multiple things at the same time.

    “But then they say they can do both, but is they can do both, then why ask mccain to suspend the campaign. Then Harry Reid the idiot says we don’t need their input. Yes, why would anyone want the next leader of the country to have a say in the bailout package they will have to carryout and our children will have to live with.”

    Dude slow down! You are Rambling. The Democrats have Chris Dodd to negotiate this stuff, who knows more about these things. McCain and Obama are meeting with President Bush this afternoon.

    “Why would anyone expect the people who are being paid $160k a year to go to washington and actually do their jobs of representing their constituents in this most of serious times.”

    McCain is my Senator, I do not mind him being there at all. Hopefully he will stay my Senator next year.

  14. Buzz says:

    Being the guy with the IQ of 100 in a room full of IQ75’s can make you think you’re the Smartest Guy In The Room. And while that might be technically correct in Bush Doctorine terms, it won’t wash as soon as the room is seen to be the whole country.

    No wonder the media is rife with stories about how the New John McCain is nothing like the Old John McCain, except, perhaps, older.

  15. jskrill says:

    McCain will win no matter what. All he has to be doing on election day is breathing. The reason is simple but nobody wants to believe it. The reason? He’s white and the other guy ain’t.

    Me I will vote for the other guy even if he is dead.

    Think about it. Obama should be ahead by double digits and right now it’s to close to call. That HAS to tell you something.

  16. QB says:

    My guess (just a guess) is that McCain did another knee jerk decision without thinking of consequences. I bet his campaign staff was caught flat footed (again). Expect an administration like that.

    As for Sarah Palin – she just isn’t the brightest light on the Christmas tree. They are doing the best with what they have.

  17. amodedoma says:

    Oh c’mon Mr. D, he ain’t surrounded by idiots – he is the idiot, and if he can’t manage his own campaign I sure as hell don’t see how he’s gonna be able to manage the country. Personally I don’t like either candidate. Politicians are just clowns propped up in the public eye to distract attention from the true power – $$$$$$$.

  18. SilentH says:

    #20… Poor John? You got to be kidding. The real reason for the cancellation on Letterman was so he could cancel the Friday debate where he surely would have been faced with some economy question along the lines of, “John, with 8 houses and 13 cars plus a private jet at your disposal, the economy isn’t hurting you, is it?”

  19. Malcolm says:

    “They just invited such a barrage and they are going to have to live with the possibility that one of these nightly jokes will stick in the American public’s psyche and kill the election for McCain.”

    I hope you’re a Prophet, John.

  20. Bill says:

    Maybe it’s “Post Trumatic Stress Sindram!”

    Hey!!!!! I’m sick of all of this!!!!!!

    LET’S VOTE!!!!

  21. brendal says:

    BTW, David is not vindictive…he’s an Aries. That’s worse.

  22. Cap'nKangaro says:

    Way back early in the primaries, McCain would do a stop, then get back on his bus and talk openly with the press in the back while travelling to the next stop. The press loved him for his openess and candor. A few slips of the tongue occured, but no major fumbles.

    Then when it was obvious he would win the nomination, the big boys swooped in to take over and run the campaign. Those back of the bus gatherings were gone. Now you have a “paint by numbers” candidate who spouts phrase 1 to appeal to this demographic and phrase 2 to appeal to that demographic. They have ruined the strength of the real John McCain in order to attract a few voting blocks in a couple of battleground states.

    This latest screwup is more of the same crap. It may well be that the “professionals” behind the scenes are actually trying to torpedo their own candidate.

  23. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    It’s really a shame that McCain wasn’t able to see the potential disaster that could result from lying to Letterman. If McCain’s mom was on the road with him, I’m sure she’d teach him to stand up to his handlers. That woman has grit, and she should also be his choice for VP.

    I’d like to see how far we could take this. If a campaign handler tells McCain to wear clown makeup and big floppy shoes for the coming debate, do you think he’ll do it? This could be the most memorable debate in history, and I don’t even have HDTV yet 😉

  24. Jägermeister says:

    #52 – brendal – he’s an Aries. That’s worse.

    Astrology, religion, witchcraft… all fine examples of superstition.

  25. #52 HEY I’m an Aries! (Actually within a day of Letterman). And I’m not that way! Another post like this and you’re BANNED!!!

  26. QB says:

    Did anyone see the Palin/Couric interview?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4476649n

    McCain wants to suspend the first presidential debate to October 2nd. But October 2nd is the date for the vice presidential debate.

    Hmmmmmm. There can’t be a connection? Naaaaaah…

  27. QB says:

    Here’s the connection. McCain went on Couric later to try and fly cover after the fact. And he’s suspended his campaign.

    JCD thought that Obama was going to throw Biden over the side. McCain is trying to figure out how to throw Palin over the side. He’ll use the “financial crisis” as cover to do it – replace her with someone who “understands Wall Street”.

    I just love figuring our conspiracy theories.

  28. QB says:

    Even better! Palin resigns from the campaign for “good of the country” so McCain can put someone like Mitt Romney in as VP candidate.

    I call dibs on this theory.

  29. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    QB wrote “McCain is trying to figure out how to throw Palin over the side.”

    After McCain throws Palin overboard, the brilliant choice for VP would be his mother. In one move, he retains the feminist vote, he nails down the “loves his mother” vote, and Biden wouldn’t dare attack his mother in a debate. But possibly best of all, on a ticket with his mother, suddenly McCain gets tagged as “the young one.”

    I know, I should be a campaign strategist.

  30. OvenMaster says:

    I have always enjoyed Letterman and his no-bullshit attitude. This is priceless and spot-on, showing up McCain for the blatant hypocrite and opportunist he is to the late night TV crowd.

    Another nail in McCain’s election day coffin, I hope.


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