Joe Biden once said, In the finest political zinger this side of Lloyd Bentsen (coincidentally also a Democratic VP nominee), that there are three components to every sentence Rudy Giuliani delivers: a noun, a verb, and 9-11. John McCain never caught the highly-infectious 9-11 Tourette's Syndrome, but I think it has been replaced with something even more pathetic: POW Tourette's. I think that by the end of this campaign we will be seeing exchanges like this:
Waiter: Would you prefer the dressing on the side, Senator?
McCain: Well, I don't know. I was a POW after the plane I was flying got shot down during the Vietnam War, which I served in. So the five years I was a POW mean that I missed a lot of the big trends in salad dressings – the Vietcong didn't give us dressing, and I know that because I flew a plane that got shot down and I was a POW.
Lieberman: He'll have ranch.
Hyperbole? You decide. After all, he responded to a question about his favorite band with his POW tale.
“If there is anything I am lacking in, I’ve got to tell you, it is taste in music and art and other great things in life,” McCain joked. “I’ve got to say that a lot of my taste in music stopped about the time I impacted a surface-to-air missile with my own airplane and never caught up again.”
Read that several times and explain to me how "I like ABBA because they're bitchin'" is not an acceptable, complete answer. Of what possible relevance are those five years he spent in Vietnam, now nearly four decades ago? Did he not have a favorite band before that? Has he been denied the opportunity to listen to music since 1974? I think a few albums have come out since then. Let me check.
Yep. At least four.
ABBA (or Waylon Jennings or old Prussian marching music or whatever McCain actually listens to when he isn't trying to court suburban female voters) is a perfectly acceptable answer for a 71 year old man who was an adult in 1976. It is an acceptable whether he was a POW or a free man. In a coma or wide awake. It just isn't relevant. But I'm going to assume that we're in for quite a bit more of this in the next 8-10 weeks.