June 05, 2008
Buddy Flick

Having written for a president who was terrific at town meetings and terrible at prepared speeches, this Gail Collins op-ed made me feel a tiny — barely perceptible actually — twinge of sympathy for McCain’s speechwriters. McCain, you’ll remember, wants to do a sort of buddy road flick with Obama, the two of them spending the summer together doing weekly town hall appearances:

But for all the talk about McCain wanting a “higher level of discourse,” the bottom line is that he is begging to be rescued from the big problem his campaign has encountered: which is that the only thing their candidate is good at is town-hall meetings.

This was driven home Tuesday night when the Republicans decided to try to insert a McCain speech into the Democrats’ final primary night. They were hoping to steal thunder from the moment when Obama clinched the nomination. The actual effect was to offer viewers a chance to compare the skills of the greatest orator in modern American politics with a guy who has never really learned how to read a teleprompter…


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at June 05, 2008 10:20 AM
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Commentary on that column included some deficits in McCain's town hall prowess: When a questioner contradicts McCain, he goes into "Get off my grass, you young whippersnapper" mode. When another candidate is on the stage to contradict him, he will inevitably at some point throw a temper tantrum that will go on YouTube. Remember, a large swath of the religious right leadership is on record as unwilling to support him because of his cursing (which is why he's had to chase some of the more bizarre televangelists for endorsements?).

As for the Carter speeches you wrote, I could never understand what he said. Therefore, I voted for Ford the first time and Carter the second time, part of my perfect record of never voting for a presidential candidate who won.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on June 8, 2008 6:52 AM
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