Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Calling McCain dumb

I've seen a number of blog posts recently -- including some interesting pieces from Digby and from Josh Marshall -- suggesting that John McCain is a wee bit dim. This actually surprised me a bit. We've all seen him in countless interviews. He handles some better than others, but he's always struck me as articulate, quick with a comeback, and self-effacing, traits that I, perhaps wrongly, associate with intelligence.

But could he be stupid? He's said some pretty stupid things lately, alleging that Al Qaeda is conspiring with Iran, suggesting that the solution to Iraq is to get Sunnis and Shiites together in a room and tell them to "stop the bullshit," conceding that he doesn't understand economics, etc. And it seems clear from his statements on the housing crisis that he doesn't have much of a grasp on that, either.

Of course, sometimes what appears stupid may be strategic (the Iran/Al Qaeda screwup may be a good example of that) or just a good old fashioned case of telling people what they want to hear, even if it's inconsistent with what you just told the last group of people.

There are a lot of ways that Democrats can win this presidential election. McCain seems determined to keep himself tied to an unpopular war (not that he could really untie himself at this point), and Democrats should not hesitate to point that out. Democrats could also lose this election.

May I suggest that calling the Republican nominee stupid is not a good way to win? Does anyone remember how well this strategy worked on Reagan and W.?

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