As part of our ongoing coverage of the race for the White House, The Contrarian recently sat down with Senator John McCain aboard his campaign jet, The Straight Talk Express, immediately following his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. Below are excerpts from the 16 hour long interview.
The Contrarian: This week, President Bush gave his endorsement speech for you via video from the White House. Given your contentious past with the president, did he phone it in?
Sen. McCain: No, my friend, no phones were involved. You see, we have amazing technological ability in our great country today. For instance, the other day I was browsing the World Wide Web and came across a web page called Google, which all young people should know about. I typed in "America" and, my friend, it was fascinating.
TC: A lot has been made in recent days about your selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as your vice presidential candidate. Why did you choose her?
SM: Sarah is a great woman patriot, and she will make a great woman vice president just as she has made a loving womanly governor. Woman. Women. Hockey. Mini-vans. Pant-suits.
[An aide whispers into the senator’s ear, then signals that the interview can resume.]
TC: One of your arguments against Barack Obama is what you call his lack of foreign policy experience. How does governor Palin’s foreign policy experience stack up against Senator Obama?
SM: Alaska is like another country, so it stacks up quite well my friend.
TC: Your age and health have been at the background throughout this presidential campaign. Haven’t you brought those issues to the fore by picking a vice presidential candidate who is, by and large, unknown and untested to the American public?
SM: My friend, I was in the middle of Ohio the other day — literally the geographical center, we measured it to make sure — and in the crowd an older man and his marginally younger wife were holding a sign that read, "MELANOMANIACS FOR MCCAIN!" My friend, I have never been as proud of my country as I was at that moment. Except maybe when I landed in that lake in Hanoi and they beat the hell out of me. Do you have any national security questions?
TC: Yes, actually we do. What will you do to make sure Americans are safe from terrorism?
SM: Americans can sleep safe at night knowing that in John McCain they have a commander-in-chief who supported the well-thought-out and superbly-executed Iraq war from before the beginning, and who will reinvigorate that war with an injection of pride. Oh, also: 9/11.
TC: Your wife Cindy is extraordinarily wealthy. Doesn’t that undercut the argument that you’re an average American?
SM: Not at all, my friend. You see, my wife got her money from the beer business. By contrast, my opponent – who I could buy and sell 300 times over – got his money from the book business. So America, you have a choice: beer or books. You can have a cold beer with me, or you can read a stupid book with my opponent. The choice is yours, my friends.
TC: Throughout your campaign, your supporters have pointed to your service in Vietnam as a point of honor. While service to country is undoubtedly honorable, that conflict is now widely regarded as a tragic mistake. What is the importance of distiguishing between service and the conflict served in?
SM: My friend, I don’t understand the question.
TC: Neither do we!
[Laughter all around]
TC: By the way, Senator, it’s a little chilly in here. Could you hand me that blanket from the overhead compartment above you?
SM: Screw you, you little jerk!