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The New Obama Ad:
This new Obama ad is really going to hurt Obama among 80s retro voters. But then I have both a turntable and a Rubik's cube in my office, so maybe I am overestimating the demographic.
Poster:
Interesting.

Normally, the McCain camp would respond with false claims of victimhood.

But they can't do so here, because--even though this time they wouldn't be crying wolf--they are desperately afraid of drawing attention to the fact that the old man might drop off and leave Caribou Barbie in charge.
9.12.2008 5:55pm
George Lyon (mail):
I cannot wait for her to be in charge. Not that I would wish anything unforeseen to McCain, who I greatly respect.
9.12.2008 5:57pm
smitty1e:
That would be "Governor" Caribou Barbie to you, Poster-child.
9.12.2008 6:00pm
Poster:
Sure. But you're not a swing voter (I'd guess).
9.12.2008 6:01pm
MadHatChemist:
McCain can always respond with what Obama did in the '80's...
9.12.2008 6:01pm
Poster:
A good joke if you didn't have the decade wrong.
9.12.2008 6:03pm
finman:
That's it. I'm not voting for McCain. How are we going to survive if the President doesn't use e-mail or read the internet? Without it, how will he communicate with world leaders? (Phones don't exist anymore, do they?) More importantly, how will he know who LiLo's dating, and how will he get his porn?

I'm not sure what the point of that ad is other than to reinforce the stereotype that Obama's an elitist and further discredit his claim of introducing a "new" kind of politics of "hope" where politicians no longer launch silly attacks on their opponents.
9.12.2008 6:04pm
Virginian:
So I guess Obama is writing off the old folks (who vote in droves) and really, really hoping the college kids actually get off their asses and vote this year.
9.12.2008 6:08pm
Bruce:
That ad sucks, and I'm an Obama supporter.

Orin, you have a turntable in *your office*???! Whoa. I'm jealous. Do you have LPs there too? Students visiting your office must get flashbacks to their parents' basements.
9.12.2008 6:09pm
Houston Lawyer:
I think it's time for Obama to put down the crack pipe.
9.12.2008 6:09pm
KWC (mail):
No, finman, I think there's no doubt that a President who can't use the internet or email in 2008 is pretty much not qualified.

It's like saying we should elect a President who refuses to fly on airplanes but instead prefers to travel by boat. Would you think that's okay? You probably would.

That said, the ad is bad. The oldies are not going to like this ad.
9.12.2008 6:13pm
byomtov (mail):
I'm with Bruce. Not a good ad. Counterproductive even.
9.12.2008 6:13pm
OrinKerr:
Bruce,

Yeah, I do. Fortunately no student has ever asked, "Hey, what's that?" Not yet anyway.
9.12.2008 6:17pm
tgb1000 (mail):
It's a pretty dull ad, but the idea that the content of such ads has any real effect on voters is, well, unconvincing. Does anyone know how much Obama spends getting his hair cut?
9.12.2008 6:25pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

The oldies are not going to like this ad.


The oldies will never see it if it is a Youtube-only ad.
9.12.2008 6:25pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
[Deleted by OK]
9.12.2008 6:27pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
What was Obama doing in the 80s? Oh right, he was helping community organizations suck on the teat of government more effectively.

Barack Obama didn't bring change to Chicago politics. He bought right into it and never made a peep about the rampant corruption. In fact, he scored a house from his dealings with local slum lord Tony Rezko.

Barack Obama didn't bring change in the IL legislature or the US Senate. He continued to parrot the far left party slogans from day one until a few months ago. He's about as non-partisan as a WWII resistance fighter.
9.12.2008 6:29pm
Bruce F. Webster (mail) (www):
It's a bad ad all the way around. There are a lot of CEOs who don't use e-mail and barely touch their own computers; that's what secretaries are for. Frankly, there are I suspect a lot of senators who don't use computers or e-mail as well. As noted above, there are a lot of older people who either don't use their computer or wish they didn't have to. And, frankly, my kids (20s to 30s) tend to use IM and TXT rather than e-mail.

Frankly, how many people expect the President to spend time sitting in front of a computer? Or handle his own e-mail? Didn't Bill Clinton send only two e-mails during his entire 8 years in office, or am I thinking of someone else?

The cutesy music doesn't help much, either. ..bruce..
9.12.2008 6:32pm
A.W. (mail):
Orin

It won't help in Florida, though. I guess they are writing that state off.

And for the rest of it, I say its pretty amazing anyone doesn't use computers these days, but it's still pretty thin gruel.

And can I ask a dumb question? Does he have the full use of his hands anyway? I mean if his arms are so messed up from the torture he endured he can't even salute anymore, you have to wonder if his hands function normally. The two don't automatically follow, but it makes you wonder. Mind you that's not relevant to the job he is applying for (a classic example of something that is NOT a BFOQ), but it might be relevant as to why he doesn't use email.

Anyway, clearly he has a lot of very tech savvy people around him because his web campaign is beating obama's like a bongo drum.

Poser

> Normally, the McCain camp would respond with false claims of victimhood.

True, ageism is one the last accepted forms of bigotry. I mean it is a sign of how desperate they are getting when they say, "oh yeah, well you are old." Yeah, Barack, and so is your brand of liberalism. He is coming off as the second coming of Mondale.

> they are desperately afraid of drawing attention to the fact that the old man might drop off and leave Caribou Barbie in charge.

Are you joking? Most people say the fear he might die is not a bug but a feature.

Not that she would be my first choice for president (Giuliani was), but between McCain, Biden, and Obama, um... yeah, I would much rather have her as president.

And please insulting her for her looks. Try this joke I overheard. What is the difference between Barack Obama and Sarah Palin? One is an attractive, well turned out, and, let's be honest, downright sexy piece of eye candy. The other kills her own food.

I mean my God, I don't want a vice president who spends too much time on the hair and makeup, but you guys nominated John Edwards anyway. Barbie meet the Ken doll.

[But I will admit that is a funny turn of phrase "Caribou Barbie."]

See, the dirty little secret in the ninjitsu being performed here is that it takes away some of the "history" factor from Obama. You can balance the issue more. You can say, "sure, McCain will give us another white guy as president, but at least we get a woman as veep." You aren't making history as much but balanced against other consideration (for instance, he is the first genuine hero to become president in a long time—probably my whole life), maybe they will vote for mccain. And more than a few people feel that making her veep is like a "down payment" on finally having a woman president, namely because we expect in 2012 or 2016, that she will run on her own.

KWC

> It's like saying we should elect a President who refuses to fly on airplanes but instead prefers to travel by boat. Would you think that's okay? You probably would.

Oh give me a break. McCain uses email, just not personally. He has other people look at it, show him what is important and he dictates replies. Yeah, its retro, but so what? What, are you afraid that there will be a crisis and Iran will send him an email trying to ameliorate it and he won't get it?

And you compare it to be unwilling to travel by plane? Talk about apples and oranges.

But you know how McCain should respond. He should say, "you know what? He's right. I will learn it now." Then he will show his flexibility, even willingness to constructively take criticism, and obama will look like the small man he is.

Opher

Let's keep his skin color out of it. Let's judge him not by the color of his skin but the content of his character. And his character sucks. :-)

Bruce Webster

You are right about Clinton and he claimed never to use the internet. Which, given its role in promoting porn seems hard to believe.
9.12.2008 6:35pm
JK:
What an odd ad, maybe the Obama campaign people are just a lot smarter than me, but I just can't see this being very effective. Hopefully I'm wrong, because I really don't want to go to war with Russia... but I guess that's too wonkish for an ad.
9.12.2008 6:36pm
finman:

I think there's no doubt that a President who can't use the internet or email in 2008 is pretty much not qualified.

It's like saying we should elect a President who refuses to fly on airplanes but instead prefers to travel by boat. Would you think that's okay? You probably would.


Great analogy. Insisting on taking boats would obviously interfere with international travel, which is an important Presidential duty. I guess I must be ignorant because I can't think of an essential Presidential duty that requires the President be able to send e-mail or use the internet. (I'm assuming his staff will be able to use the internet unless he pledges to have an internet-free White House.)
9.12.2008 6:37pm
Nifonged:
Anyone critizing an executive's (whether in the private or public spectrum) unwillingness to use e-mail likely hasn't paid attention to the scores of e-mail scandals in the past.

CHUNG IS KING!
9.12.2008 6:37pm
tgb1000 (mail):
Careful, Opher, you're not supposed to let your true feelings show like that. You got the memo, didn't you? Say "community organizer" instead, OK?
9.12.2008 6:39pm
DCH (www):
I think this ad more or less targets the youth demographic. I do think that McCain does not use computers is a topic which can be effective for criticism. It does say "I am out of touch" a little bit. I think the Bush part at the end was pretty effective, and that all in all, it is a good piece of marketing for their demographic.

However, the general childishness of all election ads has started just making me laugh.

STARK BLEAK PICTURE
[MEAN CAPTION WITH CLAIMS TO FACT]

STARK BLEAK PICTURE
[MEAN CAPTION WITH CLAIMS TO FACT]

STARK BLEAK PICTURE
[MEAN CAPTION WITH CLAIMS TO FACT]

PICTURE OF UNPOPULAR PRESIDENT + OTHER CANDIDATE
[NEGATIVE TRANSFERENCE STATEMENT]

I do not know which is more depressing -- that this is the level of thought by the ads, or that this is the level of thought that actual works and reaches people.
9.12.2008 6:40pm
JK:

I guess I must be ignorant because I can't think of an essential Presidential duty that requires the President be able to send e-mail or use the internet. (I'm assuming his staff will be able to use the internet unless he pledges to have an internet-free White House.)

I would consider efficiency to be a presidential duty. While being computer illiterate might not prevent him from completing any substantive duty, it will make doing all sorts of things much slower.
9.12.2008 6:43pm
EH (mail):
Is this ad actually running, or is it a press/blog poke a la the "Teaching Sex Ed To Kindergartners" ad McCain is using?
9.12.2008 6:45pm
CB55 (mail):
I like the Ad. It says to me that McCain does not know the Internet like he does not know mush about Sunnis vs Shias, Iran nor it's borders, like he said he does not know much about the economy (he is allowing Phil Enron Gramm to fill him in on that one) and does not know how many homes he owns.

I'm just waiting for some village idiot to connect the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act with our massive economic crisis and the genius of Wall Street hang him.
9.12.2008 6:45pm
Old Phart:
Silly season is truly upon us.

But seriously, e-mail? Obama's showing his age - the college crowd gave that up long ago in favor of texting and putting stuff on Facebook page walls. Then again, that's just what I'm told by those in the know, since I'm fully as over-the-hill and decrepit as Obama.

Looking at it in another way: not using e-mail may be a wise political move for anybody working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Anybody been paying attention to the White House archives flap lately? Scooter Libby? Heck, even Ollie North and John Poindexter during Iran-Contra waaaaaaay back before today's college kids were born?
9.12.2008 6:46pm
Nifonged:
"I would consider efficiency to be a presidential duty."

I type 75 WPM (I never used a secretary, in private practice or currently), should I throw my hat in the ring.

Joking aside, aren't people here lawyers who have worked in BIGLAW firms? How much gruntwork did you see the head partner on a deal actually do? Even when I was a senior associate I worked for partners who created about one document a month (other than billing invoices).
9.12.2008 6:47pm
finman:

While being computer illiterate might not prevent him from completing any substantive duty, it will make doing all sorts of things much slower.


Such as..... ?
9.12.2008 6:48pm
tgb1000 (mail):
Somebody somewhere told a joke about Sarah Palin's appearance. Therefore, all Democrats are doing it and, by extension I assume, hate America. Got it.
9.12.2008 6:49pm
A Stoner (mail):
I think it hurts across the board. We all have parents who are in the same position as McCain. It certainly makes me a little peaved that someone would say that my grandmother is any less because she does not use a computer. People forget that all of these devices for most Americans, including government officials, are luxury items, not staples and certainly not requirements.
9.12.2008 6:49pm
A.S.:
I'd like to know which LPs Orin has in his office. I'm willing to admit that I have LPs of J Geils Band's Freeze Frame and REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity at home (but not at the office!). Come on, Orin, give 'em up...
9.12.2008 6:53pm
mls (www):
This ad strikes me as really dumb. Its mean, silly and ineffective at the same time. Maybe it will resonate with some younger voters, but I bet it alienates older voters more.

Someone had a good line that McCain's not running for IT support guy.
9.12.2008 6:54pm
Larry Sheldon:
Obama. The one that can't order a cheeseburger without a TelePrompter.
9.12.2008 6:55pm
Redman:

Fifty years ago, would we have said that a man was not qualified to be president if he couldn't type?
9.12.2008 6:56pm
Nifonged:
Heh, just watched the video, the e-mail/computer part is lame but I'm not sure the rest is much better. Promising $$$$$ of corporate tax cuts (note there's no cite given) but doing nothing for the middle class? Does employment count? I'm pretty sure if I'm getting abatements for an expansion (as opposed to not) there is certainly more willingness on my end to expand my business into new markets and employ more people and you know, contribute a bit more to the economy (plus said employees would contribute and pay taxes as well).
9.12.2008 6:59pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Incidentally, there's a pretty strong (and non-luddite) audiophile movement that maintains LPs can sound much better than CDs.
9.12.2008 7:06pm
Donna B. (mail) (www):
Personally I'm glad that McCain doesn't use the internet or email. Do we want him spending his days shopping on Amazon? Deleting Nigerian scam emails? Deleting multiply forwarded inspirational messages?

I'm assuming that much of what the President will need to know isn't on the internet anyway. At least, I hope not.

Seriously, except for reading the Volokh Conspiracy, how much of your computer time is "efficiently" spent?
9.12.2008 7:09pm
Nifonged:
"Do we want him spending his days shopping on Amazon? Deleting Nigerian scam emails? Deleting multiply forwarded inspirational messages? "

Those are good points but please consider the negative ramifications. He might be unaware that gang-member initiations involve flashing their brights in his rear-view mirror or that he might get stuck with an HIV-infested needle at the gas pump.
9.12.2008 7:13pm
JK:
My guess is that this is an internet only add, so it will probably only be viewed by people who are likely to be sympathetic to the idea.

Joking aside, aren't people here lawyers who have worked in BIGLAW firms? How much gruntwork did you see the head partner on a deal actually do? Even when I was a senior associate I worked for partners who created about one document a month (other than billing invoices).

I suppose, but is that really bar we want to set for the president? The lazy older partner who thinks he's done is dues and can now make other people do all the work? I don't think that's a very fair assessment of either Obama or McCain.
9.12.2008 7:13pm
KWC (mail):
Secretary: "Mr. President, Putin just sent you an email 45 minutes ago while I was at lunch."

Would-Be Pres. McCain: "Oh, okay show me."

Secretary: "Here it is. Take a look" (turns computer toward McCain).

McCain: "What! Moscow's been bombed by Iran and .... Where's the rest?"

Secretary: "You gotta scroll down."

McCain: "What? What?"

Secretary: "Here, let me help you. Just tell me when you are ready for more and I'll push this arrow down so that you can read this email."

McCain: "Thanks!"

[Palin barging in]

Palin: "President, President, did you get the email?"

McCain: "Still reading it."

Palin: "Oh, hurry, we need to figure out what to do. I thought we killed Saddam Hussein, how'd he bomb Moscow? I better go back and review my the flashcards y'all made me for that Gibson interview! I'm so confused."

McCain: "Don't worry."

Palin: "People! Hockey Mom! God! Pitbull! Community Organizer! Hockey Mom! Lipstick!"

McCain: "What?!"

Palin: "I'm just doing what you hired me to do, repeat key terms in a shameless attempt to use my looks, relgious fanatacism, and motherly qualities to appeal to voters. What, you'd thought I'd be of any help in this type of crisis?!"
9.12.2008 7:15pm
Nifonged:
"The lazy older partner who thinks he's done is dues and can now make other people do all the work?"

That wasn't remotely the point I was trying to make. My seven years in BIGLAW weren't always the greatest days of my life, but I never worked for a partner I didn't respect. They just didn't do gruntwork, that was delegated to their employees. They were executives, they were briefed on what was going on and made the executive decisions.
9.12.2008 7:16pm
DCH (www):
Donna B, my time use is amazingly efficient. I am now a Level 70 Druid on world of warcraft with 7000 Facebook Friends and when my Nigerian Transaction goes through, I'll be a millionaire -- all I had to do was send a few thousand dollars.

McCain is missing out on a lot of opportunities.
9.12.2008 7:17pm
KWC (mail):
[Partners in my Biglaw Law Firm knew how to send and receive emails.]
9.12.2008 7:17pm
KWC (mail):
YES! Let's all make fun of the usefulness and unimportance of the internet while commenting on an internet blog. And let's not even realize the irony!
9.12.2008 7:19pm
EH (mail):
Um, my takeaway is that there are technological issues facing the country (copyright, DRM, phishing, etc.) and someone who doesn't use a computer isn't going to have the understanding and nuance required to make smart decisions in those areas. Granted, a lot of these are legislative issues but it certainly holds that the President's technology policy can be (and to me, is) related to their own uses of same. In technology parlance, McCain is a clueless n00b.
9.12.2008 7:22pm
Nifonged:
"And let's not even realize the irony!"

The irony that all of the posts on this blog are about as important to our global society as the squirrel eating my hosta in my backyard as I type this?

Only a BIGLAW attorney would be so self-important.
9.12.2008 7:24pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Very poor ad. Tone deaf. Lots of people don't use a computer including Bill Clinton. Why insult any voters? Stale message of class warfare. We heard most of this stuff from Walter Mondale.
9.12.2008 7:24pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
A.W.


Poser

> Normally, the McCain camp would respond with false claims of victimhood.



You've got the wrong guy. That wasn't me. That was Poster.
9.12.2008 7:37pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
I personally welcome a president that wants to do as little as possible. That was the sole redeeming quality I saw in Fred Thomson. A lazy president is far less likely to screw things up than one who takes minute interest in every detail of government.
9.12.2008 7:38pm
Oren:

How are we going to survive if the President doesn't use e-mail or read the internet?

It's not a matter of survival, it shows a complete lack of interest in learning something new that might be useful. I, for one, would like to have a president that does his utmost to keep up with the latest in all technological developments as an integral part of understanding a changing world.
9.12.2008 7:38pm
Nifonged:
"It's not a matter of survival, it shows a complete lack of interest in learning something new that might be useful. "

Sophism. How do you know its a lack of interest as opposed to a weighed choice?

Analogy: I don't facebook. My wife (MBA) does, virtualy all of her friends do, many of my co-workers/employees do, everyone I know under 25 does. I've had numerous people ask why I don't have a facebook page...its not that I'm uninterested, I've seen the benefits from people that have them and have noticed attributes about it I don't like. I think its unprofessional for the image I want to present, I think it would be time consuming for any value-added, I'm not that good looking. I could be wrong, but its still a choice I made after consideration, not lack of interes.
9.12.2008 7:51pm
Nibbles:



McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.


Obama should be making fun of the fact that McLame can't even tie his shoes. That would be even funnier!
9.12.2008 7:55pm
Donna B. (mail) (www):

I personally welcome a president that wants to do as little as possible. That was the sole redeeming quality I saw in Fred Thomson. A lazy president is far less likely to screw things up than one who takes minute interest in every detail of government.


haha, I used to say about Clinton, "Thank goodness he's lazy!"


It's not a matter of survival, it shows a complete lack of interest in learning something new that might be useful. I, for one, would like to have a president that does his utmost to keep up with the latest in all technological developments as an integral part of understanding a changing world.


You're being sarcastic, right?
9.12.2008 7:57pm
disgusted:
Yes, the ad is clearly referring to his injusries, there can be no doubt.
9.12.2008 8:02pm
KWC (mail):
Nifonged:

Self-importance is annoying, I agree. Let's use every posting opportunity to brag about our former days at BIGLAW and how far we've come by escaping it.
9.12.2008 8:15pm
Sam H (mail):
"Incidentally, there's a pretty strong (and non-luddite) audiophile movement that maintains LPs can sound much better than CDs."

The sound is "different" because the artifacts of the recording/playback systems are different. In my younger years, I listened to a lot of both on studio grade equipment. I think that both can be very good, but more care is needed with the records. You need a good turntable system that is correctly adjusted and it will cost much more than a good CD player.
9.12.2008 8:17pm
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
Lame ad, but what Bill Poser said. It's targeted so that the dissed demographic isn't going to see it.
9.12.2008 8:24pm
Patent Lawyer:
All the partners at my BigLaw firm that I've met are quite capable with their computers. But we specialize in patent law, so that may not count.

Ideally, I'd like my candidate for president to be tech-savvy, and in the best case scenario, I'd like him/her to be a gamer. That's far from the most important issue, though, and while Huckabee was actually one of the best in this campaign on both counts (There were pictures of him playing Guitar Hero on the campaign trail, and he had copies of Rock Band running at his campaign's resignation party), his actual policies were so out there as to be disqualifying.
9.12.2008 8:25pm
Patent Lawyer:
Oh, and also: I doubt the ad will hurt Obama with 80's voters. Or at least, he can make it up by reminding you that the last video game he played was Pong (that was his answer in a pop culture questionnaire.)
9.12.2008 8:26pm
DJK (mail):
People, you can excuse McCain for not using a computer and email all you want, but really, is it not at least a small negative that he doesn't know much about the common usage of computers and communication technology? He has a teenage daughter and he can't text (what does that say about his parenting)? He can use his thumbs despite his was wounds.

This isn't going to make much, if any difference to me, but to the extent I think about it it's not a good thing. My 69 year-old mother (former CEO who had a staff to do things for her) thinks it's pretty lame he avoids technology.

I think it's telling that a guy whose worked pretty hard to impose regulations on various segments of the communications and media industries doesn't understand how the things work. If only his lack of tech savvy was combined with a humility that made him unlikely to regulate that which he doesn't understand.

And yes, I understand that Obama's superficial understanding of technology adds to a hubris that makes him even more likely to inject Himself into technological competition.
9.12.2008 8:34pm
trad and anon:
It's fine with me that McCain doesn't know how to use email, as long as he never learns. I don't want him giving out the U.S. Treasury's bank account number to a trusted Nigerian.
9.12.2008 8:35pm
CB55 (mail):
America is a weird place where few corporations will hire any one over 72 save for jobs (such) to clean toilets, flip burgers, open doors or tell the CEO where he can find some one younger, but will fight and defend to the death the right to hire old men for the president of the United States.
9.12.2008 8:35pm
A.W. (mail):
Nibbles has made it clear that this is related to his disability.

Then this is what McCain can do. Shoot an add, and have him look directly into the camera:

"when I was a prisoner in Vietnam they broke my arms and never allowed them to set. To this day I cannot raise my hands above my head; I cannot salute; and I can't use a keyboard. Barack Obama has chosen to attack me because of this handicap. We are better than this."

And it really makes all of the comments criticizing his failure to use a computer as nothing more than criticizing him for having a handicap, which he gained in service for his country.

I admit, I am too amused by the sheer stupidity to actually be offended. Its offensive, and its increasingly clear he is a major turd, but right now I am just cackling laughter.
9.12.2008 8:38pm
John_R:
UH, according to a an article in the Boston Globe from 2000:


...McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.


Joe Biden asks a paraplegic to stand up, and now Obama puts out an ad criticizing a man that can't use a keyboard for not e-mailing.
9.12.2008 8:43pm
theobromophile (www):
I have a slide rule but don't have an iPod, so my take on the ad might be slightly biased... but WTF? With A.W. on this - does Obama really, really want to lose in Florida?

Besides the retro vote and the old folk's vote, what about the people who think, "Omigosh, my grandfather is the same way, and don't you knock him, Barack Obama!"
9.12.2008 8:47pm
A.W. (mail):
John R.

Ah, well, I forgive Biden for that stupid thing. I am sure he just didn't realize he was in a wheelchair. There is a certain "there but for the grace of God go I" quality to that gaffe.

But I don't forgive Obama for this. He didn't honestly have much chance of getting my vote, but now he REALLY won't get it.
9.12.2008 9:36pm
Sally:
From an interview McCain did with the NY Times: (One should be impressed that he seems to understand the value of blogs, correct?):

Q: What websites if any do you look at regularly?

Mr. McCain: Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously, everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes.

(Mrs. McCain and Ms. Buchanan both interject: "Meagan's blog!")

Mr. McCain: Excuse me, Meagan's blog. And we also look at the blogs from Michael and from you that may not be in the newspaper, that are just part of your blog.

Q: But do you go on line for yourself?

Mr. McCain: They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don't expect to be a great communicator, I don't expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need -- including going to my daughter's blog first, before anything else.

Q: Do you use a blackberry or email?

Mr. McCain: No

Mark Salter: He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.

Mr. McCain: I use the Blackberry, but I don't e-mail, I've never felt the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them literally all the time. We now have a phone on the plane that is usable on the plane, so I just never really felt a need to do it. But I do -- could I just say, really -- I understand the impact of blogs on American politics today and political campaigns. I understand that. And I understand that something appears on one blog, can ricochet all around and get into the evening news, the front page of The New York Times. So, I do pay attention to the blogs. And I am not in any way unappreciative of the impact that they have on entire campaigns and world opinion.

Q: You read newspapers then.

Mr. McCain: I read them most all every day.
9.12.2008 9:37pm
Stolidus:
I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of the people posting here already have a pretty good idea of who they are going to vote for. This ad isn't targeted at any of us.

Another thing to consider is that political ads don't have to seem effective to be effective. No one will admit to being influenced by the Britney ad. Yet it introduced a meme that has framed much of the discussion of Obama.

How about this for a question: what kind of political ad could you imagine that would change your mind about this election? If you can't define that, what would constitute a good political ad?
9.12.2008 9:38pm
elim:
there you go again, bringing up that handicap and pow status, milking it for all it's worth, JM. oh, wait, you mean that Obama wasn't smart enough to research little things like your ability to use a keyboard (from a 2000 article in a democratic newspaper).
9.12.2008 9:40pm
elim:
by the way, do presidents email. I can't imagine, for security reasons, them doing any such thing. Perhaps BHO can call up Kwame Kilpatrick and discuss the wisdom of executive texting.
9.12.2008 9:43pm
A.W. (mail):
I think the most effective thing McCain could do is an ad quoting Obama on fuel prices, saying that gas prices rose faster than he would like. He didn't object to $4 a gallon gas, just to the speed at which we got there earlier in the summer.
9.12.2008 9:45pm
Russ (mail):
I thought Obama was the smartest person on Earth. Well, I guess he's not smart enough to do a five minute Google or Nexis search.
9.12.2008 9:53pm
mls (www):
Joe Biden asks a paraplegic to stand up

Shouldn't Obama be the one telling the paragplegic to stand up?
9.12.2008 9:55pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Sounds from the interview that McCain can type.

9.12.2008 6:24pm
(link)
A. Zarkov (mail):
Very poor ad. Tone deaf. Lots of people don't use a computer including Bill Clinton.


On the other hand, my neighbor once got an e-mail from Socks the Cat. Although I think Socks had a secretary to do that for him.

Does McCain have a cat to e-mail for him?
9.12.2008 10:04pm
John_R:
AW,
I understand about Biden, sort of a "Well, that's Joe."

Obama has touted managing his campaign as constituting executive experience, ergo we should judge him by his campaign. He hit an obstacle and now his campaign looks mean, knee-jerk, and out of control. I have to say, I'm thoroughly underwhelmed by his "executive" prowess.
9.12.2008 10:05pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

This is absolutely amazing, not only does Obama managed to alienate older voters who turn out in droves for pretty much every election, he also inadvertently reminds voters that John McCain can't type because he had his arms broken in a POW camp while serving our country and makes himself look like an absolute douche bag in the process.

I guess we now know what happened to Karl Rove's mind control ray.
9.12.2008 10:06pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):
The real question, Professor, is the Rubik's Cube solved?
9.12.2008 10:09pm
byomtov (mail):
Thorley Winston:

John McCain can't type because he had his arms broken in a POW camp while serving our country

John McCain:

I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself.

Even when McCain doesn't use the POW card Thorley does it for him.
9.12.2008 10:18pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"He can use his thumbs despite his was wounds."

How on earth do you know? Can you give us a quick rundown on the things he cannot do due to his injuries?
9.12.2008 10:28pm
rbj2 (mail):
And more from Forbes:


In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate's savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. "She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious," McCain admits.


http://www.forbes.com/asap/2000/0529/053_print.html

Soooo, those who think knowing technology is important want to retract their statements re: McCain now?

And should we worry more about an Obama administration that can't even do basic research on one of Sen. Obama's fellow senators? Major unforced error by Barack. And Gov. Palin's already mentioned Ebay, so we know she's "down with technology" as the kids say.

Orin, I still have most of my music on LP, though there's a fair amount on CD — none on the computer. I've also got a 2x2x2 and a 4x4x4 Rubik's cube.
9.12.2008 10:38pm
Toby:
Let's see, although a computer analyst, and one who actually remamnber creating systems to move universities to email, no matter how I resist, I still know that

1) Blackberry use cefftively drops one's IQ by 10 points (greater than coming to work stoned) (As they say, JFGI)
or you could accept this summary
2) The average clericalworker takes 16 minutes to return to productivity after responding to an email (I think that one even made slahdot)

So, I want the president to be a blackberrying fiend because.....
9.12.2008 10:50pm
A.W. (mail):
Mmm, yes, now question his disabilities.

First rule on holes... stop digging.
9.12.2008 11:02pm
BladeDoc (mail):
Admit it -- this ad was Bill and Hillary's latest suggestion to "help" Obama.
9.12.2008 11:03pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
Perhaps this is an indication of the possibility that Obama's research and advisory staff would advise starting a war with Russia in Georgia because Atlanta must be saved.
9.12.2008 11:22pm
hawkins:

Incidentally, there's a pretty strong (and non-luddite) audiophile movement that maintains LPs can sound much better than CDs.


I think this qualifies more as conventional wisdom
9.12.2008 11:50pm
hawkins:
I agree its a pretty weak ad. But the visual of McCain at the very beginning is priceless.
9.12.2008 11:51pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
That is absolutely the dumbest ad I have seen in years. Whether the reference to the inability to send an e-mail was unintentional, and as such unknowing of the signficant injuries McCain suffered in Vietnam, or an intentional rip of McCain as old AND disabled, which I think is more likely, either way Obama is an idiot for putting it out. Of course, if he gets heat for it, he'll just blame his staff like he always does.

Also, a commenter above said:


Incidentally, there's a pretty strong (and non-luddite) audiophile movement that maintains LPs can sound much better than CDs


Count me as one of those guys, especially with songs with strong and/or heavy basslines. I was a nightclub DJ from 1988 until 2002 in and around Philly and loved using vinyl. I miss the feel and sound of it.

By leaving the DJ business and going to law school and becoming a lawyer, I now make less money, have kess fun, and get less respect. What was I thinking?
9.13.2008 12:12am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Obama probably would have inflicted less damage on himself if instead of spending untold tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a television ad mocking his opponent's war injuries, he had just paid someone to hit him repeatedly in the crotch with a sledge hammer.
9.13.2008 12:25am
LM (mail):
When Romney was supposed to get the VP spot I thought it would be cute if McCain made his campaign car an AMC Gremlin. So no, I don't think being a good President requires proficiency with current technology. It's one of those jobs where your time is valuable enough to make it cost-efficient to use other people's labor for pretty much anything you don't do well yourself.

That doesn't mean this ad won't be effective. I assume it relies on a subliminal association between being technologically conversant and the ability to effect change. Still, I don't see it appealing to any of the swing voter demographics.
9.13.2008 12:25am
LM (mail):
I came sooooo close to reading the post, putting my two cents in and escaping with my sanity intact. But no, I just had to go read some of the comments. Sheesh. Thorley, do you (and some others) seriously think this ad mocks McCain's war injuries? Please tell me you're talking about something off topic I missed in my hasty skim. Because if that's the spin you're putting on this ad... I guess there's no point trying to reason. Politics does strange things to people.
9.13.2008 12:47am
volokh groupie:
ok..so this ad kind of blew up in obama's face


but on the plus side the 80's image did remind me of this awesome BoC 80's video!

quintessential 80's
9.13.2008 1:18am
volokh groupie:
@LM

I think the main problem is that this ad was so poorly researched that it unintentionally and stupidly brings to light that the reason why McCain can't use email is because of torture--which feeds into his pretty compelling war narrative.

And also that the central premise--that McCain eschewed technology and the internet--was actually the opposite of the truth--and that there are articles from 2000 on documenting this.

This also doesn't feed into the claim that they want to make this campaign about the 'issues'.

It might not have been a malicious ad by the Obama campaign team but it certainly qualifies for a prominent spot on this site: failblog
9.13.2008 1:24am
D.R.M.:
LM, the other possibility is that Obama's people are so inept that they missed all the publicly-available data about McCain's use of technology and the reason he personally doesn't use email when they were doing opposition research. In that case, Obama has demonstrated incompetence in staffing his campaign by hiring incomptents to do his opposition research. Since Obama himself has declared his management of his campaign as direct evidence of his ability to handle executive responsibility, it serves as direct evidence that he's incompetent to be President.

Did anybody in the Democratic Party vet this guy before they made him the Presidential candidate?
9.13.2008 2:06am
A.W. (mail):
LM

Well, if you want to argue he is just stupid. Um, okay, but gee I thought of the issue right away, and within hours we had found verification that even today his wartime injuries make it painful to type.

So first the pig thing, and now this. Are we seeing a pattern?
9.13.2008 2:35am
bobby b (mail):
1. " . . . greater than coming to work stoned . . . " This threw me, until my paralegal said "oh, I bet he's talking about "quantity"!"

2. Albums sound different than pure digital reproduction because albums, with their friction-based playback, have to be artificially boosted in some freqs and dulled out in others to stop the dragging-a-sliver-across-a-washboard noise.

3. This ad was aimed at disaffected 20-something un-or-underemployed techies, and no one else. If, on the day before the election, someone goes on Wired and posts some fake rumor about a "new, to-be-released-tomorrow-in-limited-quantities-at-Best-Buy" video game with "control-the-naked-woman" graphics, the entire demographic becomes moot.

Okay, more moot.
9.13.2008 2:41am
Splunge:
Making fun of your opponent because he's old and can't type out e-mail because of his war injuries?

Geez, and I thought Obama was supposed to be smart, not, you know, a dumfuk sophomorically sarcastic snotty-brat Clockwork Orange boor.

I have to say, up to this point, I've always thought he's a bit of a lightweight, but generally decent and thoughtful. But if he actually really did approve his ad, he's just a juvenile shithead, and I wouldn't shake his hand, let alone vote him into any office whatsoever. That ad was disgraceful.
9.13.2008 2:48am
JC:
The quote from that Forbes article is devastating: "His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. 'She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious,' McCain admits."

Obama on offense is like watching the Rich Kotite Jets.
9.13.2008 3:20am
Steve in CA (mail):
The ad doesn't seem particularly effective to me, but I find it hilarious that people here think Obama is intentionally making fun of John McCain's war injuries. That's just preposterous. Who would do something like that? When you're running for president? If that's really the case, then I guess you guys are right, Obama must be the anti-Christ.

I wonder why McCain didn't mention this nightly e-mail
ritual in the recent interview when he said he's in the process of learning to get online and use e-mail. That's not a rhetorical question; I'm actually curious.

I don't think this is a TV ad, by the way, so I don't think a whole lot of swing voters will be seeing it. It's looks like an Internet-only deal.
9.13.2008 4:25am
JC:
Steve,

I think it is a TV ad, actually, but even so I think it's safe to say that swing voters will be hearing all about it--from the McCain campaign.
9.13.2008 4:41am
LM (mail):
Guys,

You don't have to type to use a computer.
9.13.2008 7:34am
davod (mail):
"The average clericalworker takes 16 minutes to return to productivity after responding to an email (I think that one even made slahdot)"

If used correctly e-mail is a great productivity tool. The problem is that most people feel the need to respond immediately to e-mails instead of finishing what they are doing first.
9.13.2008 8:26am
davod (mail):
"but I find it hilarious that people here think Obama is intentionally making fun of John McCain's war injuries."

Obama preaches to the multitudes that running a Presidential campaign for 18 months qualifies him to be president. Yet his executive skills leave a lot to be desired.

You can only lay off the blame to your staff so many times before people wonder if you are ready for prime time.
9.13.2008 8:33am
LM (mail):

You can only lay off the blame to your staff so many times before people wonder if you are ready for prime time.

You guys may want to familiarize yourselves with the boy who cried wolf. Yesterday's outrage came with the accusation that Obama implied Palin was a pig, a claim even Oren Hatch called ridiculous.

Today you're accusing an Obama ad that mentions McCain's computer illiteracy of ridiculing McCain's war injuries because it's painful for McCain to type. But McCain himself said recently he's learning how to get online, and there are all kinds of resources that let even quadriplegics use computers, surf the internet and send e-mail, needless to say without typing a word.

Can we just stipulate that you're offended by everything Obama and his campaign will do between now and election day?

Yesterday David Brooks commented (and I'm paraphrasing) that though neither campaign has exactly covered itself in glory, the McCain campaign's behavior has been the slightly more egregious.
9.13.2008 9:40am
rarango (mail):
LM: It appears to me no one is accusing Obama of purposely ridiculing McCain's war injuries. Obama is clearly a very intelligent man. But it also appears that his campaign, which is his executive experience, is quite inept. The point,I think, is this: The ad inadvertantly drew attention to McCain's war injuries, and diminishes Obama accordingly. That is dumb. YMMV of course.
9.13.2008 10:29am
byomtov (mail):
Can we just stipulate that you're offended by everything Obama and his campaign will do between now and election day?

And let's add the stipulation that they think everything McCain and Palin and their campaigns do and say is brilliant and correct and the soul of insight and integrity.
9.13.2008 10:49am
Neo (mail):
"So, when American workers hear John McCain talking about putting 'Country First,'" Obama said, "it's fair to ask --- which country?"

Breathless coming from "The One"
9.13.2008 10:51am
volokh groupie:
Hey LM, does that mean you'll admit that your mouth will be squarely placed around the O campaign's testicles until the end of the campaign too?

Most of the people here aren't saying obama made some malicious mistake in an ad that not only doesn't take into account McCain's war injuries (and his limitation of fine motor control - which isn't exactly a secret) but also has a completely false central premise. Instead, we're saying his campaign was unequivocally stupid in making/releasing that ad and not even doing the minimal fact checking they should have. For a person who refers to his ability to run a campaign as his experience to be a leader, these examples of ineptitude are pretty unsettling.


I don't doubt that both campaigns have been dirty -- welcome to politics.
9.13.2008 10:52am
DerHahn (mail):
Both campaigns have been dirty, but only one campaign is desperate and stuck on stupid.
9.13.2008 11:13am
Crafty Hunter (www):
Not only is Barack Hussein Obama a closet Mohammedan *and* a soft Marxist, he mocks war hero Mr. McCain for having been so hurt by Commie torturers that he can no longer easily type at all. I am decidedly not a fan of Mr. McCain and his trashing of the First Amendment, but this commercial from Obama is a new low even for a race-baiter and class-warfare machine politican from corrupt Chicago.

Because of all this, and the selection of much-maligned Ms. Palin as Veep, I will for the first time ever in my life vote for the Republican ticket for the Presidency, instead of invariably voting for the Libertarian ticket on general principles.

The Democratic Party leadership has become literally the party leadership of spoiled brats badly in need of not merely severe spankings, but outright horsewhippings.
9.13.2008 11:32am
Jack Okie (mail):
Orin, back in the dark ages I built a Radio Shack AR-15 (at that time their top of the line - supposedly better than a store bought receiver). I bought a Dual 1219 turntable for it, and mentioned to the salesperson I intended to achieve the holy grail of 1 gram tracking force. He assured me that was impossible. Well, by testing various combinations of cork, foam rubber etc with a sheet cake pan filled with water and observing the vibration patterns on the surface, I was able to get to 1 gram. I still think of that as one of my better accomplishments. CDs and DVDs sure are a lot less trouble. At 68 my hearing is still 5x5, but I wonder if I ever was discriminating enough to hear the difference between analog and digital recordings.

As someone said on another blog, it's pretty entertaining to see how many times Obama has pulled the trigger before clearing leather.
9.13.2008 11:33am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmmm.


"The ad doesn't seem particularly effective to me, but I find it hilarious that people here think Obama is intentionally making fun of John McCain's war injuries. That's just preposterous. Who would do something like that? When you're running for president? If that's really the case, then I guess you guys are right, Obama must be the anti-Christ. "


Frankly what I find curious is the the constant assurances from Obama supporters that he couldn't possibly be such an dumbass, asshole, asshat or jerk to do ... whatever the Douchebag Du Jour happens to be.

And yet it happens again and again.

IMO that "explanation" is wearing very very thin.
9.13.2008 11:45am
LM (mail):
volokh groupie:

I didn't say most people said anything. Nor did I say anyone accused the ad of ridiculing McCain maliciously. It so happens some did say that, while others said it ridiculed him without mentioning if they thought it was malicious. Others, like you, said it stupidly but inadvertently called attention to the injuries. And others still, like me, just said it wasn't a great ad. Then there were some who didn't seem to notice, much less care, that there even was an ad. They just grabbed a chance for a few gratuitous swipes at Obama. Finally, there were yet others who defended variously, Obama, the ad, analog audio and Rubik's cubes.

So no, most people didn't remotely say any one thing, and I'd be pretty stupid to suggest they did. What I said was "you guys," which under the circumstances I think was obviously directed at those who actually made the remarks I was talking about. But if that's not how you or anyone else understood "you guys," and you were offended that I'd seemingly suggest you were being frequently offended, then I apologize for not being clearer.

That said, when someone does apparently suggest some people may be feigning outrage, I'd like to point out how appropriate I think it is to accuse him of having his "mouth [...] squarely placed around the O campaign's testicles." Appropriate and proportional. And most especially, classy.

Whether the ad was a blunder of any kind depends on whether anyone not looking for fault will associate McCain's technological illiteracy with his injuries. He doesn't seem to. It didn't occur to me, and as I mentioned, anyway there are hardware and software solutions for any such impediment. But I am confident an energetic effort will be made to bring that association to everyone's attention, so if the Obama campaign didn't anticipate that, it wasn't their finest hour. But we knew that already. What, maybe two, three people on the whole thread, pro and anti-Obama, had an overall positive impression of the ad?
9.13.2008 2:18pm
byomtov (mail):
Could everyone just stop spewing nonsense about how McCain can't use a computer becuase of his war injuries. I know Jonah Goldberg said it, so you think it must be true, but let's listen to someone who might know better:

Look here.

"John McCain travels with a laptop," said McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.
9.13.2008 4:02pm
A.W. (mail):
LM

Ah, start questioning McCain's disabled status. That won't bring up any bad memories for those of us with disabilities.

The first rule of holes: stop digging.

As for the pig comment, I would find the whole thing more persuasive if Obama had only one explanation for his comment. First he said that it had nothing to do with Palin at all. Then faced with people who didn't believe that, he said, okay, it is about her, but you see Palin is the lipstick, and McCain's policies is the pig.

If that is the truth, it should have been the first thing he said. So frankly it convinced me that he meant exactly what we thought it meant: Palin is a pig. Of course, most women are saying that the real pig is obama...

And after this ad, I would tend to agree.

Volokh groupie

Actually typing is a gross motor skill. I know, I have dysgraphia, which impairs my fine motor skills but not the gross. So I can type, but not write by hand.

What happens is that disabled people often say "can't" when they really mean that it is extremely difficult or extremely painful. For instance, I said I can't write by hand a second ago. I literally can, but it is so excruciatingly slow that it is almost useless as an ability. As a result my handwriting is literally frozen at a 7th grade level. I am a law school graduate, mind you.

Or a simpler example to understand. They often say a paraplegic (paralyzed from the waist down) in a wheelchair cannot climb the stairs. But that is not usually true. They could usually drag themselves out of the chair, and pull them up the stairs by their hands. But the time and effort needed in doing such a thing makes it so it almost never worth it, no matter what is up those stairs.

I suspect that the forbes article is getting at the literal truth. He can use a keyboard, but it hurts. So he doesn't. Maybe if the whole world was going to blow up unless he types a password in a computer, mccain will grin and bear it, but um, how likely is that to happen? The rest of the time, he uses his staff in place of his hands.

By the way, did you know that the governor of New York cannot read and never actually knows what he is signing when he signs a bill into law. OMG, he is not qualified!

Of course I am being sarcastic, but that is roughly the level of intelligence being displayed on the left on this point.

Jack

> As someone said on another blog, it's pretty entertaining to see how many times Obama has pulled the trigger before clearing leather.

I have to ask, and I am really asking, what does that mean? "Clearing leather?" I am completely unfamiliar with the reference.
9.13.2008 4:08pm
A.W. (mail):
Btw, scrappleface has the double secret version of the new obama ad.

http://www.scrappleface.com/?p=3108

(and for the 5 of you who don't know, Scrappleface is a parody website.)
9.13.2008 4:18pm
Crafty Hunter (www):
The reference is such. Six-shooters (handguns, revolvers) are kept in leather holsters by cowboys. An inept cowboy may grab his six-shooter, yank it partly out and BLAM, shoot it even before he's actually gotten the blasted thing all the way out, let alone trained on his target.

A similar reference is "slap leather, pahdnah", meaning a challenge in a duel to slam one's hand to one's leather holster, preparatory momentarily to drawing the six-shooter.
9.13.2008 6:10pm
A.W. (mail):
Crafty

Ah, got it. Its always cool how much knowledge is floating around the net.
9.13.2008 6:33pm
LM (mail):
A.W.:

Ah, start questioning McCain's disabled status. That won't bring up any bad memories for those of us with disabilities.

The first rule of holes: stop digging.

Congratulations. You've just made this personal. I never questioned McCain's disabled status, and you know it, so don't play that game with me. I also have a disability, one that often prevents me from typing, and it still didn't occur to me that anything similar might be behind McCain's not using a computer. I can't say why for sure, but I assume it's for two reasons:

First, there's a way I prefer to be treated, and unless I'm told otherwise, it's how I assume others with partial disabilities prefer to be treated. Because over the years, that's what most of them have told me. And that is that if I want someone to accommodate some limitation or need, I tell them. And if I don't tell them, I prefer they not assume any limitations or needs on my behalf. That's the respect I request, and it's what I give McCain. And I'll bet you anything it's what he wants. Of course if I ever heard otherwise from him or on his behalf, I'd put him in my "presumptions on" column. But I won't hold my breath.

So when he talks about learning how to get online and mentions nothing about his disability, I don't presume to make that his problem. You may make different choices for your own life, and that's your privilege, but don't pretend I committed some politically incorrect faux pas. I know better and so should you. And if you do know anyone like McCain with a remotely similar injury, you know he's a lot more likely to wish you'd adopt my attitude toward him than I adopt yours. McCain may not be my first choice for President, but he's no disability hustler. He wouldn't stand for it in a million years.

The second reason is what I alluded to this morning. There are lots of increasingly effective, ever less costly (not that that would be an issue for McCain) computing work arounds for disabilities more severe than his. When I can't type, I don't complain about it, because typing isn't necessary. There are things I don't love about voice recognition software, but there are also things I don't love about air conditioning. That doesn't mean when it's 98 degrees I sit inside sweltering and complaining. I guarantee you John McCain has made tougher adjustments than acclimating to Naturally Speaking or some other typing alternative. And if he wants to use a computer, and his injuries are an impediment to taking the path of least resistance (typing), he won't stop there. And there's no reason he should.
9.13.2008 10:15pm
A.W. (mail):
LM

I never questioned McCain's disabled status, and you know it, so don't play that game with me.

> will associate McCain's technological illiteracy with his injuries. He doesn't seem to. It didn't occur to me, and as I mentioned, anyway there are hardware and software solutions for any such impediment.

One he is far from technologically illiterate. And pretending you know the contours of his disabilities to the point of telling him how to accommodate it is wrong. Sheesh.

For instance, Steven Hawkings uses a computer, but the cost benefits analysis is very different for him. He can't communicate, period, without one.

By contrast, one of my best friends from my law school years has a complete breakdown in motor control. He cannot even turn a page without help. While there are voice recognition programs that work better and better each day, he prefers to work with actual people when composing text. Could he do what Hawkings does? Of course. But it makes less sense for him.

> And if I don't tell them, I prefer they not assume any limitations or needs on my behalf.

Well, he's been accommodated for years. For instance, it is a nightly ritual of him and his wife to read email together every night. She is part of his accommodation. Get it?

> So when he talks about learning how to get online and mentions nothing about his disability, I don't presume to make that his problem.

Then you need to look into it more before you shoot your mouth off, because the specific reason why he doesn't use email is his disability.

> I guarantee you John McCain has made tougher adjustments than acclimating to Naturally Speaking or some other typing alternative.

I'm sure he does use a typing alternative. Its called a senate staff. And in my experience a human always does a better job that a computer program.
9.13.2008 11:37pm
LM (mail):
A.W.,

One he is far from technologically illiterate. And pretending you know the contours of his disabilities to the point of telling him how to accommodate it is wrong. Sheesh.

Well, you had a valid point in your first sentence. "Technologically illiterate" is too strong, and I shouldn't have said it. But then you proceeded immediately to put more words in my mouth, words that bore no resemblance to what I actually believe or said. So that's as far as I go. I understand that being lied to is an unavoidable hazzard in the blogosphere, but being lied about is something I only make one allowance for. Two times and it's game called on account of life's too short. So, seeya.
9.14.2008 1:48am
A.W. (mail):
LM

You didn't say that? You didn't say this?

> There are lots of increasingly effective, ever less costly (not that that would be an issue for McCain) computing work arounds for disabilities more severe than his.

Never lie when the truth can be cut and pasted.
9.14.2008 2:02pm