I made the mistake of watching Verdict yesterday where they had a John McCain sycophant go on and on about how McCain stuck by his principles when he bucked his party on immigration. He and the host failed to note that he was lining up with the president and the business community on the issue (not exactly “bucking” the folks in charge), and when the heat came down he didn’t even support his own bill that this guy was giving him credit for. But hey, he’s a maverick, right?
Also, the guy noted that he has this great sense of humor. I gotta give him credit here and there for poking fun at his age, but for the most part, his humor is awkward at best and usually mean spirited. For example, how many folks remember this one:
Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.
For reference, this was back in 1998, when Clinton was seventeen. Nice.
Okay, that’s too far back for some of y’all. McCain made an appearance in Nevada just last month and when asked about avoiding campaigning with Governor Jim Gibbons. In response, he decided to make the old “And I’ve stopped beating my wife” gag. It wasn’t that funny back when Richard Nixon used it, and it sure as heck isn’t funny given that Gibbons was accused of assaulting a cocktail waitress just last year.
In Arizona, we’ve seen a pattern of this sort of humor. Long time Arizonenses remember the “seizure world” comment that poked fun at the elderly, ironic now that he’s the oldest candidate for president (I guess it was inevitable that it would become ironic). I managed to dig up this gem from his 1986 race for US Senate, as quoted in the Tucson Citizen:
Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’
I find rape jokes are always a sign of class, don’t you?
At the time, McCain’s spokesperson (Torrie Clark, yes, that one) alleged that this was story was some manipulation by the Richard Kimball campaign. Yep, it’s always the other guy’s fault. I wonder if the reporter on that story, Norma Coile, was treated to the screaming phone call that McCain has treated so many local reporters to when they dare write a negative story about him.
UPDATE – Because you demanded it, here is a PDF of the original article from 1986.