What makes 2008 different — and why I think Mr. McCain can be called the first postmodernist presidential candidate — is his acknowledgment of the symbiosis between himself and the press and, more important, his willingness, even eagerness, to let the press in on his own machinations of them. On the bus, Mr. McCain openly talks about his press gambits. According to Mr. Lizza, Mr. McCain proudly brandished an index card with a “gotcha” quote from Mitt Romney that the senator had given Tim Russert of “Meet the Press,” a journalist few would expect to need help in finding candidates’ gaffes. In exposing his two-way relationship with the press this way, he reveals the absurdity of the political process as a big game. He also reveals his own gleeful cynicism about it.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
A Pillow for McCain?
Did you hear the gaffe recently that John McCain made, the one that Joe Lieberman had to correct? Did you hear many questions in the press as to whether this was a sign that maybe he doesn't know as much as he leads us to believe? If you saw the first, you probably didn't hear much about the latter. Although he has flip-flopped with the best of them, you don't hear much about him being a panderer -- that straight talk express keeps going, with nary a question.
It would seem that John McCain and the press are pals. They love him because he gives such great access. They hang out with him on the bus and join him for BBQ's at his Sedona Ranch. They seem to think that his recent "conservative" streak is simply a primary necessity and that the Maverick will emerge in November. We'll see, but in the mean time, maybe a few questions. If the press was treating Obama with kid gloves as SNL seemed to suggest, what about McCain? Is he being vetted. Now, I like John McCain, but I don't think he's our best choice to be president, but as Neil Gabler writes in the NY Times today, he does appear to be the first "post-modern candidate."
Obama may be the wave of the future, but McCain, despite his advanced age, seems to have understood the modern political game better than most. He has figured out how to lasso the press in ways few others have. He is the candidate of the the Colbert era!