It seems the Post’s Karen DeYoung isn’t buying Randy Scheunemann’s line that McCain wasn’t confused just hardcore (from an online chat this morning) …
McCain seemed sort of foggy in the interview, much of which was about U.S. relations with Latin American baddies Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. Then interviewer asked about Zapatero and McCain seemed to be winging it, appearing to think that Zapatero was the leader of someplace in Latin America and reciting the same rote answer as for the others about not meeting with leaders who don’t support freedom and the U.S.
Meanwhile, Joe Klein thinks it’s not such a hot idea to put “a chill in the relationship with one of our NATO allies simply because McCain misheard a question.”
Meanwhile, Marc Ambinder gave Randy Scheunemann another bite at the apple after it became clear that McCain said precisely the opposite in April of what Scheunemann says he intended to say yesterday. Saith Schuenemann …
In this week’s interview, Senator McCain did not rule in or rule out a White House meeting with President Zapatero, a NATO ally. If elected, he will meet with a wide range of allies in a wide variety of venues but is not going to spell out scheduling and meeting location specifics in advance. He also is not going to make reckless promises to meet America’s adversaries. It’s called keeping youtr options open, unlike Senator Obama who has publically committed to meeting some of the world’s worst dictators unconditionally in his first year in office.
So saying he might meet with Zapatero might amount to making “reckless promises to meet America’s adversaries”? It’s not easy being as deep in a hole as Randy is at the moment. But America’s adversaries? He might want to take a glance back at the NATO charter, which of course commits the United States to treating any attack on Spain as an attack on America. He’s really willing to create a diplomatic incident just to avoid admitting that McCain got confused about what he was being asked. On the other hand, I guess Randy’s nonchalance about binding NATO treating obligations puts his insistence on getting Georgia into NATO into a rather different light.
For the moment I guess he’s sticking to the line that McCain actually has Spain on probation as a potential member of the Axis of Evil 2.0. And on this US News has some helpful follow up.