Playing The Age Card

June 11th, 2008at 08:46pm Posted by Eli

Well, it looks like this is something to look forward: Any time a Democrat says that McCain literally doesn’t know what he’s talking about, the media, Republicans and the McCain campaign are going to cry ageism:

I can appreciate the fact that the McCain campaign and Republicans in general are a little touchy about the senator’s age — running to be the oldest president in U.S. history will do that — but that’s no reason to characterize every critical adjective in the language as some kind of slight about McCain’s septuagenarian status.

Poll after poll shows that more voters trust Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on matters of national security than they do Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois. Hoping to bridge that chasm, the Obama campaign and Democrats harped on comments McCain made on the Today show this morning, repeatedly calling the 71-year-old presumptive GOP presidential nominee “confused,” seeming to feed into concerns voters might have about the Arizonan’s age.

After McCain said this morning that it’s “not too important” when U.S. troops come home from Iraq, Obama aide Susan Rice said on a conference call that McCain’s comments reveal a “real confusion and lack of understanding of the situation in Iraq” and the larger region. She added that McCain’s series of errors of fact and judgment are “reflective of a pattern of lack of understanding and lack of strategic depth.”

Reporters, apparently having internalized McCain’s talking points, asked Rice if she was attacking McCain’s age by calling him “confused.” She responded, “[W]hat I meant by that is very simple — on critical, factual questions that are fundamental to understanding what’s going on in Iraq and the region, Sen. McCain has gotten it wrong. And not just once but repeatedly.”

This comes a month after Obama, responding to an ugly attack by McCain about Hamas, told CNN, “[F]or him to toss out comments like that I think is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination.” McCain, Lieberman, and their GOP allies said this was a shot at McCain’s age.

Look, this is silly. Every criticism is not a veiled reference to McCain turning 72. “Losing his bearings” has nothing to do with age — it refers to someone who has lost their way. They’re off track. They’re moving in the wrong direction. Likewise, people of all ages get “confused.”

Maybe McCain and the media can draw up a list of acceptable adjectives that McCain critics can use?


Tell you what, reporters and McCain campaign, pick a better adjective for us. “Confused” sounds like an attack on his age? Fine. You tell me. Befuddled? Bewildered? Baffled?

The problem isn’t that McCain’s critics are picking loaded terms; the problem is McCain doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about when it comes to his signature issue.

Why we’re not supposed to mention this is a mystery. I guess I’m confused.

Of course, it’s not about word choice, it’s about making Democrats afraid to point out that McCain is either lying, stupid, or flat-out crazy, which he often is.  Take that line of attack away, and what do we have left?

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

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