Sunday, August 17, 2008

Overplaying their hand, Part II

No, not the Russians this time, but John McCain:

Senator John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” on Saturday night while his rival, Senator Barack Obama, was being interviewed at the Saddleback Church in California.

Members of the McCain campaign staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed by the Rev. Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”

The matter is of interest because Mr. McCain, who followed Mr. Obama’s hourlong appearance in the forum, was asked virtually the same questions as Mr. Obama. Mr. McCain’s performance was well received, raising speculation among some viewers, especially supporters of Mr. Obama, that he was not as isolated during the Obama interview as Mr. Warren implied.

Nicolle Wallace, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, said on Sunday night that Mr. McCain had not heard the broadcast of the event while in his motorcade and heard none of the questions.

“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said.

Apparently being a prisoner of war is some kind of super-powerful magic wand. Cheat in a debate? "I was a prisoner of war!" Know nothing about economics? "I was a prisoner of war!" Don't know the difference between Sunni and Shia? "I was a prisoner of war!" Have an out-of-control temper? "I was a prisoner of war!" Vote against expanded veterans benefits for a war you Jack D. Rippered on? "I was a prisoner of war!" There is nothing you can't wave away with those magic words.

Note the byline -- Kit Seelye and Elizabeth Bumiller. Birds of a feather eventually do flock together.