Thursday, May 22, 2008

McCain in New Orleans

McCain’s wanderings around the lower 9th ward of New Orleans during his campaign travels are just as clumsy as his wanderings around non-Green zone Baghdad during his campaign travels. Except he has more hope for Baghdad than he does for New Orleans. Let’s see if you can figure out which city he’s talking about in the quotes below:

1. "Things are better and there are encouraging signs."

2. “What we don't read about and what is new is a lot of the good news -- the drop in the murders.”

3. “What we need is to have a conversation about what to do – rebuild it, tear it down, you know, whatever it is.

When you’re watching McCain tour “indigenous” neighborhoods with a trail of staff and press and National Guards, as if he were touring Baghdad without the flak jacket, it comes off as the most obvious pre-prepped photo-op imaginable.

Especially the people set out on their New Orleans porches to “visit” with him. At the end of this video he approaches a woman sitting on her porch and attempts to follow her into her home. You know, the one they should just “tear down” or “whatever.” She’s seen all the tours come through her neighborhood before so, as this presidential candidate confidently walks up to her front door with all the momentum of someone expecting to enter without interruption, she puts her hand up. And he stops abruptly, waiting on the porch like a door-to-door salesman. A door-to-door salesman who happens to be leading a mass of media and politicians into her front yard. She knew exactly what he was there for. What any good salesman needs: a prop.

So he stood out on the porch until she rolled out a woman in a wheelchair. And all you could hear was a PR lady off camera: “Okay, one shot and then let’s move. Let’s just get one shot.” You know that that is the PR lady job but you don’t need to hear it.

CNN has been doing this a lot lately. You go to look at a prepackaged link and you end up with B-roll with no audio or just continual footage with no newscaster commentary. Why do they give raw footage to the public? I mean, usually it’s a high speed chase or a six-legged cat frolicking about the yard. But when it’s McCain’s press secretary shuffling him along like he’s on an award show red carpet, it’s not humane.

Pay attention, McCain, you’re not giving Mary Hart from Entertainment Tonight “just one shot.”

Pay attention, McCain, New Orleans IS being rebuilt.

Pay attention, McCain.


1. Baghdad

2. Baghdad

3. New Orleans – Yes, “tear it down” as he walks through areas being rebuilt by residents and volunteers.