Has there ever been a presidential campaign in which more advisers caused more trouble for their candidates? I’ve now lost count of how many experts for the Clinton, Obama, and McCain campaigns have been fired, transferred to the mail room, tossed under the bus and otherwise “distanced from.” Back in the spring, Hillary was excommunicating advisers right and left for impolitic remarks about Obama.
Now it’s Phil Gramm, the pugnacious human snapping turtle and former U. S. Senator from Texas going all tone-deaf with his comments about “a nation of whiners.” Many of us Lone Starrians grew up listening to Gramm’s cornpone accent and his endless stories about “mah mamma” and his ink-stained buddy Dickey Flatt, so we’re not surprised to see him thrust the big Size 13 boot deep in his gullet.
Obviously Gramm has had a long public career, and he’s known to love attention. Back when he was in the Senate, pundits told this joke:
“What’s the most dangerous spot in Washington?”
Answer: “Between Phil Gramm and a TV camera.”
In the immediate aftermath, what seemed worse than the remark itself (which, of course, has some truth to it, and does at least nibble on the question of whether we’ve grown too accustomed to expecting government solutions to all life’s problems) was McCain’s response to the flap, coupled with his response to the Viagra/birth control pills question, both of which seemed to just flummox him.
Aren’t you supposed to wait until you actually win the White House to start that rapid-fire aging process we always see in presidents? McCain seems to age by the week, and he’s started to take on that sad, slightly confused look you see on the faces of senior citizens grappling with a world grown too complex. Reminded me of a poor woman at the grocery store the other day who simply couldn’t understand the checker’s patient explanation of why her coupon didn’t entitle her to an extra bag of potato chips.
Add on to this the revelation the other day that McCain has never used a personal computer, doesn’t know how. There go the remaining 82 people under the age of 40 who were supporting him.
I hate to believe that sideshow distractions and tangentials sway the votes of millions, but I believe that sideshow distractions and tangential sway the votes of millions. A couple more of these Viagra/PC incidents, coupled with McCain’s penchant for wearing those giant Granny-at-Luby’s Cafeteria sunglasses, and not even his attractive and oft-photographed wife will be able to offset the charges of premature senility. America today is no country for old men, especially old men who want to be president.