May 9th, 2008
10:49 AM ET

Is John McCain depressed?

Editor's note: WARNING!!! This is not just a little tongue & cheek...it is A LOT of cheek!!! While the news events described did occur...Tanya Acker took little creative liberty with the dialogue...

Tanya Acker
Attorney, political analyst and Obama supporter

John McCain must be very depressed. What do people in the public service live for, except a little attention from those they “serve”? (Oh, and the chance to “serve” in the first instance, of course. Silly me).

In any event, he can’t get a second look from the press if he tried.

Case in point: during a Middle East tour, he makes the claim that al Qaeda, a Sunni terrorist group, is getting funding from Shiite Iran. (Just a little footnote here – Sunnis and Shiites don’t get along so well, see... e.g., the current civil war in Iraq). Hearing the stumble and eager to get things back on track, Joe Lieberman whispers a correction in his ear.
(Thank God for that trusty old Joe.)

“Oops,” the senator says, acknowledging his mistake. “Of course I didn’t mean that . . .”

Or did he? Remember, this is John “master of foreign policy” McCain, he who knows all about all things off-shore. Might this slip-up have been a ploy to direct some attention in this frenetic election season back to himself? A desperate cry for help (or at least news coverage) from the media masters? A passionate plea: “pay attention to me! Enough of the lady and the black guy!”

The press corps responds in turn. “Is it a ‘senior moment’ or something more sinister?” certain media inquisitors wonder aloud. “Might John McCain not have a handle on one of the key conflicts now informing much of American foreign policy?” inquire others (between breaking news segments about the all important flag lapel pin question.)

“Nope,” says the McCain campaign. “He just misspoke.”

“Oh, okay.” Says the press corps. “Thanks for the clarification. Now, back to the real news. About that flag pin issue . . .”

“dammit!” says john McCain. “Let’s try this again.”

Cut to a senate armed services committee meeting. Senator McCain is questioning general Petraeus about the presence of foreign fighters in Iraq.

“Here’s my chance,” the senator thinks to himself.

JOHN MCCAIN: "There are numerous threats to security in Iraq and the future of Iraq. Do you still view al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?"

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: "It is a major threat. Though it is certainly as not as major a threat as it was say, 15 months ago."

MCCAIN: "Certainly not an obscure sect of the Shias overall?

PETRAEUS: "No, sir."

MCCAIN: "Or Sunnis or anybody else then?

“I did it!” the senator silently exclaims. “Someone will certainly notice that I have once again confused the Sunnis and Shiites! I can most assuredly expect cycle upon cycle of news coverage now! Victory!”

Indeed, the media does take up the question. “Is this another McCain ‘senior moment’ or is he really not aware of the historic enmity between Shiites and Sunnis?” inquiring media minds inquire.

“Neither.” Says the McCain campaign. “He simply stumbled on his words.”

“Oh, okay, thanks.” Says the media. “Sorry to have bothered you. But if you’ll excuse us, we’d really like to get back to the story about the lady (who, as luck would have it, is up for the same job as the Senator) claiming that she dodged gunfire in Bosnia. We’ve got endless news cycles to fill and need to get cracking. Thanks for your time. Later.”

“Blast it!” says McCain.

But wait. Another hopeful opportunity springs from the horizon. Turns out an angry black preacher said some outrageous stuff, and the black guy (who, as luck would have it, is up for the same job as the Senator) went to his church. Questions surface about loyalty to country, government conspiracies, and hating white people (never mind the fact that the black guy is only a half-black guy and that he was raised by his white mother and white grandparents with whom he was incredibly close).

“Aha!!” says the senator from Arizona. “This is my moment. If crazy preachers saying outrageous stuff are the talk of the town, then surely someone will pay attention to me now! I chased after an endorsement from this guy Hagee – who said that the catholic church is the “great whore” and that victims of hurricane Katrina have only their gay-loving selves to blame! He’s crazy too, right?! Someone will have to pay attention to me now, right?!”

Wrong. The fiery black preacher commands quite a bit of attention (in the interest of brevity, some points here are deliberately understated. I apologize for any confusion.) In any event, the fiery white one turns out to be not such good TV.

“Foiled again!” laments the senior Senator from Arizona.

And then the (half) black guy says that Americans are “bitter” and the next set of news stories breaks. The (half) black guy is an “elitist.” Raised by a single (white) mother on food stamps, he is “out of touch.”

“What about me??” exclaims our hero. “My wife is a gazillionaire beer heiress and we won’t turn over her tax returns!! Isn’t it apparent we are trying to hide our massive wealth – wealth that puts us in a league of elites of which most Americans cannot conceive! Now is my chance! I will get news coverage! I will! I will! I will!”

Well, not really. Turns out that when it comes to “elites,” the (half) black guy – raised by the single mother on food stamps – is a much better story. Indeed, who are the “elites” but those who don’t bowl well or chug beer properly? Our hero’s community fortune (the Mrs. estimated worth being something in the neighborhood of $100 million) pales in comparison.


And so it goes. How will this story end? Will the hopes and dreams of one of America’s great statesmen go unfulfilled? Will he languish in obscurity, only to be redeemed by the promise of some future post in which, all other aspirants having been vanquished, he can now command the attention of a news cycle for more than half a day (or so)?

Stay tuned.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • John McCain • Raw Politics • Tanya Acker
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. G.B.

    PC – TV This Demo-Prime thing is in part about race.... You still have alot of white people that just won't vote for Obama because of his race. YES America, we still have this problem today BIG TIME. That's one of the big reasons Clinton is still in it. You guys on TV won't say it for what it is, but we at home know..... That's why Iowa is so cool, we've gotten past that for the most part. Now it's time for the rest of the country to catch up!!!

    May 14, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  2. Gerald Thebeau

    I'm and independent voter. Saw Tanya on Larry King May 13. I believe the reason many Hillary supporters would vote for McCain if Obama wins the nomination is simple competency. I believe Obama is a good man with a golden future but all he speaks of are platitudes, goals, etc etc. He is naive on foreign relations. "All hat and no cattle".

    I support Hillary because she is seasoned and tough as nails. She appears to be a bit to liberal, but we all know that once elected, presidents usually do what it takes to get along. (George Bush is an exception and the worst thing to happen to the world in decades). If she does not get the nomination, it will be logical for millions of us to vote for McCain as a man with experience and savvy.

    May 14, 2008 at 1:00 am |
  3. David Brice

    you know I remember I was 10 years old and the media played up Jimmy Carter like he was a Rock Star and all the kids loved him, but apparantly we had no clue what the issues were or how he could affect our country. Sounds like De ja Vue to me.

    I am a full fledged supporter of John McCain. If Obama hasnt even completed the first term he was elected to in the senate why does he even think he will be a good president.

    May 12, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  4. Nichelle Thomas

    Maybe someone asked him why he is not wearing the United States of America Lapel Pin.

    May 12, 2008 at 8:40 pm |
  5. Claudia

    John McCain makes me depressed just thinking about the fact he's been a do nothing sitting Senator for 30 years or more at tax payers expense(don't forget he also gets about $35,000 in social security benefits) and now he want us to vote for him at our expense. Yes, he depresses me because he is not the solution but part of the problem.

    May 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  6. Apple in Tampa

    I really think that most people don't find Sen McCain a very interesting person and therefore really do not listen with a lot of enthusiasm when he speaks. From descriptions of his younger years he appeared to live quite large so he probably is having a hard time accepting that he does not command attention any longer. Re: age his of 71 - it is sort of peculiar that government workers have to retire long before 71.

    May 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  7. Zoey

    Sen. John McCain..........the next President of the U.S.!!!!

    May 10, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  8. Jessica

    Haha this is a well-done bit of humor. It's kind of ironic that by writing this, you are in a way giving him some media coverage...

    May 10, 2008 at 4:02 pm |

    To: Janet Gray in FL (2:15p comment)

    Anthum is spelled 'Anthem'
    If wearing an American flag on your lapel makes you 'American', well, that's frankly very weak, and those people who wear them are the REAL 'Slick Willys', as you say.
    As for Mrs. Obama- is she not free to speak her mind in America if her opinion is not the same as others? Because she may have had different experiences than others, and sees certain things differently- that makes her UN-American? Hmmm, get a clue and think for yourself.
    Are you responsible for any of your friends' comments?
    I'm an American, and everything that has taken place in the last eight years has made me BITTER!! And guess what, I thought that waaaaay before the Senator said it.

    Signed: Stupid Obama supporter who DIDN'T want to our people going to war......

    May 10, 2008 at 3:03 am |
  10. Sally Vazquez

    I agree that Sen. Clinton should bow out graciously and let the process of this campaign move forward.

    What is this? We seem to forget that we fought the revolutionary war to get rid of dynasties or we would be British today.

    Sen. Clinton does not seem to get it, her reign is over and last I heard, the Clintons do not own the White House. She has already made history, by running in this election and lying about escaping enemy fire. She would not make a credible First Lady.

    If she would get the Presidency, heads would roll, because she is vindictive and a sore looser, and now seems to need to use the race card.

    I originally was going to vote for Sen. Clinton, but the more I listen to her, the more disappointed I am with her speeches. I am now giving my vote to Sen. Obama. He is patient, credible and tough, not afraid of speaking the truth when commenting to accusations from Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain.

    Sen. Obama is the one to watch. He will beat Hillary and McCain. He will be the next President of the United States. Sen. Obama will unite the United States and will make America proud if given a chance.

    Sorry Sen. Clinton, I gave you a chance! Your time in the lime light has passed. Who in your family do you have in mind to run in future elections?

    May 10, 2008 at 2:59 am |
  11. David

    Who’s been drinking the Kool-Aid? Obama has never completed a full-term in office. There is no history of his political achievements. How can anybody believe he can change Washington? We are in two wars and Lebanon has just been taken over. I will not vote for someone that runs on words alone- I will be voting for someone with experience and when push comes to shove so will most Democrats. Obama reminds me of the pipe piper.

    May 10, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  12. Terry

    This man is not "right" in the head.

    May 9, 2008 at 11:49 pm |
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