Obama Campaign Mocks McCain for Not Using a Computer

Today the Obama campaign released a new campaign ad that mocks John McCain for not using a computer or sending email. Here’s a description of the computer illiterate ad and more details. I quote a portion of the ad below:

He admits he still doesn’t know how to use a computer, can’t send an e-mail . . .

Great effort is made in this political ad to paint the 72 year old McCain as old and out of touch. However, there just might be a good reason why McCain doesn’t use a computer. Mary Leonard of the Boston Globe reported on March 4, 2000 that:

McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. (Emphasis added.)

By war injuries, Leonard was referring to the beatings and torture McCain received at the hands of the Viet Cong during his five years of captivity as a prisoner of war.

I first learned of this side of the story today through the Drudge Report which referenced a Jonah Goldberg article on NationalReview.com. Goldberg aptly pointed out that under McCain’s unique circumstances, mocking him for not using a computer would be like expressing outrage that the blind governor of New York, David Patterson, doesn’t know how to drive a car and would thus be ignorant of transportation issues.

Goldberg also cited a 2000 Slate article from Jacob Weisberg (who interestingly is identified as “pro-Obama”). I quote from this article:

Six months ago, no one would have pegged McCain as the most cybersavvy of this year’s crop of candidates. At 63, he is the oldest of the bunch and because of his war injuries, he is limited in his ability to wield a keyboard.

Goldberg’s article concludes with an interesting analogy between McCain’s lack of computer usage and Obama’s lack of military experience. I quote in part:

[H]ow stupid is it for the Obama campaign to claim that McCain is unqualified to be president because he can’t grasp cyber-security issues based on the fact he has never sent an email when the McCain campaign can just as easily say Obama can’t understand first order national security issues because he’s never fired a rife, flown a plane, commanded men in battle, or faced an enemy? I mean which prepares someone to be commander in chief better, hitting “send” on AOL or fighting a war?

I suggest the Obama campaign should think about the sizeable experience gap in their candidate relative to McCain before mocking McCain about his lack of email usage.  They would be wise to consider who they throw rocks at since they are the ones who live in the glass house.

5 thoughts on “Obama Campaign Mocks McCain for Not Using a Computer”

  1. Pingback: Why Doesn’t John McCain Use a Computer? : Barack Obama 2.0 - the Real Obama

  2. I support Obama, but I do think that suggesting McCain’s too old is a bit much. It makes a little more sense when you think of whom he picked as a running mate, but not a lot more.

    As for McCain and the net — you can understand without having your fingers on the keyboard. He’s said he relies on his wife to do that hands-on stuff. Why doesn’t he take that tack, I wonder.

  3. Bill, there were some interviews with John McCain published on July 13, 2008 in The New York Times. I quote from the transcript (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13text-mccain.htm):

    Q: What websites if any do you look at regularly?

    Mr. McCain: Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously, everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes.

    (Mrs. McCain and Ms. Buchanan both interject: “Meagan’s blog!”)

    Mr. McCain: Excuse me, Meagan’s blog. And we also look at the blogs from Michael and from you that may not be in the newspaper, that are just part of your blog.

    Q: But do you go on line for yourself?

    Mr. McCain: They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need – including going to my daughter’s blog first, before anything else.

    Q: Do you use a blackberry or email?

    Mr. McCain: No

    Mark Salter: He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.

    Mr. McCain: I use the Blackberry, but I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them literally all the time. We now have a phone on the plane that is usable on the plane, so I just never really felt a need to do it. But I do – could I just say, really – I understand the impact of blogs on American politics today and political campaigns. I understand that. And I understand that something appears on one blog, can ricochet all around and get into the evening news, the front page of The New York Times. So, I do pay attention to the blogs. And I am not in any way unappreciative of the impact that they have on entire campaigns and world opinion.

  4. As a Navy wife, (hubby headed into his 9th yr of service) it pains me to think about our POW’s and the torture they have gone through to protect our flag and what it stands for.

    I get extremely emotional, usually to the point of crying, when I read about McCain’s war injuries. I did not know that he couldn’t comb his hair, type on a keyboard, or tie his shoes due to his extreme injuries.

    It equally angers me that the Obama campaign would be so rude to suggest that he is “old and out of touch” when it comes to computers, when the fact of the matter is, he can’t physically type. I think Obama’s camp owes McCain a very sincere apology, and a big THANK YOU for serving 23 yrs in the US Navy – especially considering that Obama never got off of his socialistic ASS to do it himself.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.