The Rain In Spain Mainly Falling on McCain

September 18, 2008 12:29 a.m.

To recap, tonight we’ve been discussing Sen. McCain’s bizarre interview in which he appeared not to know who Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero was and, in an effort to wing it, assumed he must be another left-wing, anti-American leader from Latin America. In the Spanish press analysis of the interview, at least, many seem uncertain whether McCain even knows where Spain is, though that strikes me as a bit excessive.

Just how this will get played in the American press will be interesting to see because it cuts to two of McCain’s key vulnerabilities — the first being his apparently rather shaky foreign policy experience if can’t identify the leader of a major NATO ally and the second being what I guess we would call declining mental acuity.

Now, bear in mind that so far we’ve only been able to clearly hear the audio of the interview in the translations provided by the Spanish radio station that conducted the interview. But the interview, which was conducted entirely in English, was recorded. I’d assume that if this story gets any traction some media outlet here will prevail on the Spanish news organization to release the English language recording of the interview.

All of the Spanish language speakers I’ve heard from who’ve listened to the interview think there’s no doubt that McCain just got confused and didn’t know who Zapatero was or possibly didn’t even know where Spain was. But again, in the released audio, you just hear the translator, with the original English sufficiently far in the background as to be largely inaudible. So we probably won’t know just what happened until we hear the original.

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