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Painting the Red State Purple.

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McCain Gets BUSTED by David Letterman

Posted by ALmod on September 24, 2008

John McCain was supposed to appear on David Letterman’s show tonight.  That’s nothing new.  The senator from Arizona had already used the show to announce that he was running for president.  But when he decided today to “suspend” his campaign, he called Letterman saying that he was on his way to get on a plane and head back to D.C.  Letterman understood and scheduled Keith Olbermann to take his place.

Then came the interview with Olbermann.  And during that interview, someone informed Letterman that John McCain was not in D.C.  In fact, he was still in New York.  In fact, he was only a few blocks away, and he was prepping for an interview with Katie Couric.  Now that’s some suspended campaign.

How did Letterman react?  Well, see for yourself:

Like Letterman says, it’s like we’ve caught him getting a manicure.

And here’s the thing.  I don’t believe for one second that John McCain has suspended his campaign.  I think that he’s just shifted his campaign.  Here he is being interviewed by Katie Couric when he specifically told David Letterman that he was getting on a plane and going to Washington.  Now, if he’s busy working on this bill, what on earth is he doing in New York being interviewed by Katie Couric?  If that bill is so important to him, why on earth would he put it off?

Letterman also said some things that made me think.  Here’s the first:

“You don’t suspend your campaign…  Do you suspend your campaign? No, because that makes me think, well, you know, maybe there will be other things down the road –- if he’s in the White House, he might just suspend being president. I mean, we’ve got a guy like that now!” (LA Times)

He makes another great point.  Joe Biden is a senator, but Sarah Palin is a governor.  Even if McCain is unable to campaign because he’s dealing with something else, why is Palin not out there campaigning in his stead?  That’s what a vice president is supposed to do, is it not?  Isn’t she supposed to be ready to handle these things when he can’t?  Where on earth is she?


5 Responses to “McCain Gets BUSTED by David Letterman”

  1. Don said

    I really don’t have a dog in this fight because I won’t vote for McCain or Obama.

    That said: Did the interview with Couric actually take place, and on what date and what time was it recorded?

    If it did [a] was it a campaign appearance or just an interview?, and [b] how significant is it that McCain delayed getting back to Washington for a few hours at the time when there may not have been anything taking place regarding the bailout legislation there?, and [c] I read somewhere that both McCain and Obama had been asked by the president to return to Washington to take part in the bailout discussions, so was Obama there already while McCain was still in NYC with Couric?, and [d] could it be possible that McCain had committed to be on both Couric’s and Letterman’s shows and his schedule had him with Couric before Letterman, but he had to leave for Washington before his appointment with Letterman?

    It’s been many years since I watched Letterman or any of the other late night shows. When I did, Letterman always appeared to be a laid-back sort of guy. On this video he appeared to me to be almost hyper. Has he been smoking something lately?

    I’m not trying to dispute or pick apart your perception of this: it’s just that an uninformed enquiring mind wants to know.

  2. […] That was particularly painful to watch.  But then McCain did an interview with Couric as well.  You can watch that here. Not only did the interview go badly, but then later last night, it was time for David Letterman’s show to air. […]

  3. ALmod said

    Don, that was a mouthful, but I’ll try to answer everything.

    First, it was recorded sometime yesterday afternoon AFTER the McCain campaign had made the announcement that he was suspending his campaign. The announcement was only made yesterday, so there’s no way that it could have been recorded earlier. Also, McCain did have an interview with Couric yesterday. That is actual live footage that Letterman was showing during his show. The Couric interview is also available to watch, and I have a link to it in another post.

    a. Any interview is a campaign appearance. For that reason, it was both.

    b. It wasn’t significant. In fact, there really was no need for McCain to suspend his campaign at all. That’s the point. The legislation is near completion already. McCain knew that there was not sense of urgency for him to physically be in D.C., and the fact that he stayed in New York to do interviews highlights that he knew that the situation wasn’t that dire.

    c. Both candidates were asked by President Bush to come back to D.C. and meet with him. I do not know the extent of that situation just yet, but neither candidate returned to Washington until today.

    d. It could be possible if it weren’t for the fact that these things are scheduled weeks in advance. That’s simply not what happened here. McCain had been scheduled with Letterman for some time, then he canceled the appearance with Letterman (telling him that he was on the way to the airport) and instead stayed in New York and had an impromptu interview with Couric.

  4. Don said

    Thanks for filling me in on details I haden’t heard.

    Jennifer: “Any interview is a campaign appearance. For that reason, it was both.”

    Thats a matter of definition. Remember “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is”? Using that logic, the appearances of Obama and McCain in Washington to take part in the bailout discussions might be called campaign appearances also.

    I have no idea why McCain stiffed Letterman. All we have is the word of a late night comedic show personality that McCain said he was on his way to the airport, or whatever. I haven’t seen anything about what McCain did between the time he was with Couric and this (Thursday)morning, when he made what a Washington Post article (’s posted on McCain’s campaign website described as a “campaign stop” to speak at a conference on global issues organized by former president Bill Clinton which is called the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), after which he “is scheduled to return to Washington and his Senate office to begin discussions about the economic rescue package. Later in the afternoon, McCain and his rival, Sen. Barack Obama, are scheduled to meet at the White House with President Bush and congressional leaders.”

    Perhaps McCain thought it was more important to get his speech for the CGI conference polished for that appearance, and to get some rest, more than it was to appear on Letterman’s show. Or maybe Cindy told him the Letterman show was past his bedtime. 🙂

    From the description of what McCain said at the conference I wouldn’t call it a campaign stop. He wasn’t promoting his campaign platform or asking for support. The Washington Post isn’t exactly a supporter of McCain’s presidential aspirations.

    A strange thing: I can’t find any mention of McCain on the Clinton Global Initiative website @ It’s all about Clinton and other world potentates.

    Jennifer: “…..the fact that he stayed in New York to do interviews highlights that he knew that the situation wasn’t that dire.”

    If that’s so, either McCain is dumber than I had given him credit for being, or the word “dire” needs to be re-defined.

  5. ALmod said

    My apologies, Don. You apparently got stuck in my spam filter, earlier.

    Unfortunately, any public appearance/interview by either senator at this point will be used in some way for his campaign. They have to look and sound presidential, and that’s the last thing that these negotiations need– further complications due to using the issue to further a campaign.

    Was their meeting today a campaign appearance? You bet your sweet bippy it was.

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