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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

McCain conference call

I was invited to take part in another blogger conference call with John McCain today. If you remember the last time this happened, I admitted to being pretty pleased with myself, and therefore not exactly following what you’d call the objective ideal.

Well, that hasn’t worn off. Me, John McCain, a bunch of famous bloggers…it was just cool.

Questions came from the likes of Jennifer Rubin and Jim Geraghty again, as well as Dan Nowicki and Matt Lewis. Not quite your tippy-top-of-the-heap A-plus-list high-powered bloggers, maybe, but close enough. Closer than me, that’s for sure.

I do note that all the questions came from guys like them: better-known bloggers and/or bigger news sources. That makes an obvious amount of sense: they have, by far, the bigger readerships, and are thus more important to a political campaign.

On the other hand, it might be nice if they’d make a point to give a “smaller blogger” a chance to ask a question.

Slogger? Smogger?

I assume I wasn’t the only one of those on the call, and that I wasn’t the only one hoping to ask a question.

If I was, well, the point still stands. Moreso, even, since I’d be the direct beneficiary.

Please note: this does not constitute whiny pouting about how it’s all just so unfair. It does constitute me trying to be a squeaky wheel.

Anyway, on to the call: the thing got started about 15 minutes late, so McCain kept his own comments short. He congratulated both Clinton and Obama, and said he’s already invited Obama to take part in a series of townhall-style meetings.

The first one, he said, would be held at Federal Hall in New York City, June 12. They’d have one a week up until the Democratic National Convention.

I’m not holding my breath for Obama to accept.

McCain also took a shot at Obama, saying he continues to deny that the surge is working in Iraq, that it’s now 788 days since Obama has been there, and that he’s never asked to meet with General Petraus to be briefed. He said Obama displays a lack of judgment he won’t be able to hide from the American people.

I’m not going to go through each question and answer: Jim Geraghty has a good rundown over at NRO – go ahead and click over. They could use the traffic.

I will add to Matt Lewis’ post, though, in which Lewis says things got "slightly heated."

Quin Hillyer of the Washington Examiner asked McCain about the perception some conservatives have that "McCain has been disrespectful to them in the past." Hillyer said specifically that McCain had compared opponents on immigration to “Jim Crow” supporters.

McCain took exception and said he didn’t recall ever saying that. At one point, I thought I heard McCain ask someone on his end to check if he’d ever actually used those words (UPDATE – Geraghty couldn’t find it).

Lewis asked about Juan Hernandez, one of McCain’s advisors, who has apparently made statements about “Mexico first” and open borders. McCain said he wasn’t aware of such statements, that he takes advice from a wide range of people, some of whom he disagrees with, and if such disagreements ever became too big, he’d ask that person to step down.

You could characterize the exchanges as heated or testy, I guess. Seemed like good clean fun to me. We have harsher exchanges at family picnics. Lewis has the transcript posted - you can read it and decide for yourself.

If I’d had a chance to ask a question (SQUEAK!), I’d have asked him about his position on global warming – he’s sticking to his guns on that, despite the fact that it puts him way too close to Al Gore for your average conservative's comfort - versus his position on tax cuts. He seems to have changed his tune on that, to get more in line with mainstream conservative thought.

What’s the difference? Why soften on one but not the other?

I expect he’d have said he hasn’t changed his position on tax cuts (and hopefully explained why I’m wrong to think so) and probably taken the opportunity to go through some pro-tax cut talking points.

Question or no, I'm honored to be taking part and can't wait for the next one.