Making Hay out of Gustav

“It’s time to take our Republican hats off and put our American hats on.”  So saideth John McCain.  And so, much of the Day 1 schedule of the Republican National Convention was to be scaled back or cancelled.  I can almost hear Dana Carvey’s George H.W. Bush: “Wouldn’t be prudent!”  I guess John felt he had to do something – short of he and Sarah flying to Louisiana and filling up sandbags – considering his ranch is where George W was, when Katrina came down, and New Orleans went out.  And, of course, there was more high-minded talk about how we won’t make the same mistakes this time, as were made before, during, and after Katrina.  The thing is though, John McCain was making these statements as though he was already the President.  This was kind of McCain’s Al Haig moment.  No offense, John . . . but you’re not in charge.

Another odd aspect of this sober and magnanimous move was that the way the story broke it appeared that John McCain had preempted the President!  You’d figure that one would let the President announce that he and V.P. Cheney were delaying things, due to Gustav preparations, well in advance of making your own presidential announcement.  Or, at the very least, mention that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney were backing out.  I guess this was John’s first big step in trying to distance himself from George Bush.  It almost make me feel bad for George.  Almost.

This was an opportunistic move by the McCain camp.  (Nearly as calculated and cynical as his choosing Governor Palin as his running mate.)  The words and actions were meant to convey a solid resolve, but they mostly rang hollow.  As hollow as hay.


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September 2008

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