Monday, July 14, 2008

McCain and the Interwebby Thing

Successful politicians, politicians who win national elections, are, more often than not, in touch with the Zeitgeist. Those who are detached or seen as not understanding modern lifestyles tend to lose. And so it was that we learned today that Senator John McCain never uses email and doesn't know how to surf the internet. The only websites he ever looks at are shown to him by his staff.

McCain's age is already a factor in the Presidential election. This revelation adds to the already existing impression - one cheerfully promulgated by the American media - that he is not quite a man of our age. American hero he may be, but in touch with today's America? Perhaps not. Or perhaps he is just a bit too honest for his own good.


Newmania said...

Lets just hope he does not go all"arctic monkeys " and try to be something he is not.

Anonymous said...

If Brown's various disastrous forays into the new medium, like Gordon Brown for Britain or Ask the PM right here on YouTube!, are anything to go by, maybe it's better McCain sticks to what he knows. But only looking at websites his staff show him surely limits his worldview and puts excessive power in his staff's hands to block and filter information.

Stu said...

This is as opposed to Sen. Ted Stevens, in charge of the regulator commision on e-commerce who described the internet as "not a big truck, it's not something you just dump something on, it's a... a... Series of Tubes!"

Taken up by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show to great effect.

I don't think McCain's the most technologically illiterate person in government by a long shot.

Lola said...

...but his wife family have a beer ditribution business and he IS a genuine war hero. Really, what more do you need?

Anonymous said...

I don't see what all the fuss is about. I am continually amazed at how shocked people are when I tell them I don't have a television - as though my 'life support system' had been taken away.

The Queen probably manages very well without, as she has a team of people working for her. A boss of mine said she had no interest in learning the intricacies of PC use, as she had people to do that for her - and her job was managing people - not computers. Look at the recent BT ads and she may well have a point..

If John McCain was f@rt@r$ing around with a huge email inbox and 'blogging' he wouldn't get anything done. He is running to be President of the United States. You are 'in touch with the zeitgeist' yet you are not even a prospective MP.

As Mr McCain might very well say -
'Go Figure!'

Unknown said...

Whether he uses the web himself or not, I have no idea, but when I met McCain during the 2000 campaign (after he had dropped out) I discussed his use of the web with him then, as his first campaign was widely recognised to be groundbreaking in that respect. He explained how he had used email and his website to raise huge amounts of cash after his New Hampshire win and how the internet allowed him to by pass traditional forms of media.

Given he has not been in government in the past ten years, cosseted by civil servants, I bet he has a much better idea of the advances made than say Blair or Brown.

Letters From A Tory said...

I cannot believe his advisers let him anywhere near this interview - this is incredibly damaging to his prospects.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Tony Bliar famously couldn't switch a PC on, Brown is a complete internet fool ... who are the the British to make comments on a potential leader's ability to do the intermong?

Anonymous said...

McCain is simply too old, pure and simple. He is not a man of the present and he will not take America where it needs to go. His health will prove a liability which will do neither him nor the American people any favours. He should do the decent thing and enjoy his family and take up golf of gardening - but preferable nothing too strenuous.

Edmund Ironside said...

You people should get out more. First, they have these things called books, magazines and newspapers that can bought for a small consideration, containing information of great use in politics and day-to-day life. Second, the great bulk of Americans who vote are aged over forty. If you think I'm lying, check the stats. Most older folk would NEVER allow such a trivial thing as web-conversance to affect their vote. Third, the polls in the US are almost a dead heat- so I guess all the other red herring issues brought up in the comments are massively persuasive among the average voter.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, neither does Richard Branson, nor Bob Geldof, or Bliar.

In fact some of the most effective & productive people I know don't go near the net. They like to read books and talk to real people directly.

They keep informed by talking to real people, reading books, and having lots of other real people do all their research for them.

In my mind, this makes McCaineven more electable!

Yak40 said...

At least he won't be wasting his time surfing the web and playing online games !

People go on and on about productivity but which was actually the more productive, a secretary typing up memos for a department of, say a dozen high priced pros, or having everyone do their own on a PC ? PCs & the Internet are great but can also be great time wasters.

Anonymous said...

Prediction - Obama will win by a landslide.

McCain is about the past. Watch what happens come September when serious polling starts.

McCain is toast.

Obama to win.

Anonymous said...

"McCain and the Interwebby Thing "

An interesting new description for the honycomb comb-over!

Helen said...

What on earth does it matter whether McCain uses the internet or not? What matters is whether his campaign does it and what the internet - media and blogosphere -says about him and Obama. If you read it with any attention you will see that it has been ever less complimentary about Obama - the man of change you can believe in - and his support is slowly going down. That is what matters. Plenty of time for that to change before November but also plenty of time for the trend to strengthen. No way of telling, according to Michael Barone, who knows a thing or two about American elections.

conscious robot said...

This is not as big an issue as the press is making it out, but it does seem mighty confusing.

McCain seems unnervingly useless with the fourth estate; this is the umpteenth time he has come across as confused and out-of-touch with his own press campaign.

Where were his advisors? He has very little to gain from this and potentially a lot to lose against a candidate like Obama.