In other words, McCain can't do anything right and can't catch a break.
Today's litany of gaffes and brain-dead manuevers includes referring to Vladimir Putin as the president of Germany and refusing to meet with Billy Graham.
I've seen blog comments about McCain being senile in getting Putin wrong right after goofing the al-Qaeda/Iran relation. That's nonsense and bigoted to boot. Sure McCain's 71 and kind of an old 71 because he's a physical wreck. But he was the sharpest guy in the room during the Republican debates. If McCain's senile, so are Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and hard-working Fred Thompson.
McCain's problem is more like "imperial stupidity"--not worrying about getting anything right because you think you rule the world.
It's been a common difficulty among neo-conservatives since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Blowing off Billy Graham is even worse. Billy Graham is exactly what McCain needs in an evangelical religious contact, someone who is both universally beloved and blandly generic in his religion and politics. Hell, I've even come to like Billy Graham. Compared to other evangelical religious leaders he's a tower of humanity, modesty, and decency.
Meeting with Billy Graham was exactly the kind of religious photo-op that McCain needs for his campaign. McCain's people should have jumped at the offer from Rev. Brian Jacobs to broker that kind of meeting. Instead, they basically sent Jacobs a form letter.
And then McCain's campaign topped off the disaster by lying about the whole. McCain's spokesperson claimed that the McCain campaign was trying to arrange a meeting with Billy Graham through the offices of Graham's son and evangelical heir Rev. Franklin Graham.
That would be a good story except that both Franklin Graham and Billy Graham deny that they've had any contact with the McCain campaign.
. . . Jacobs had also been in contact with senior members of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, including persons close to Franklin Graham, and was told they had heard nothing from the McCain campaign about a possible meeting.
On Monday, Larry Ross, a spokesman for Graham, issued a statement to the press confirming that Billy Graham was unaware of any communication between the McCain campaign and his office or his son's.
Lying about Franklin and Billy Graham is just egregiously stupid. Who are people going to believe when the conflicting stories come to the surface--super-prestigious religious figures like the Grahams or the McCain campaign?
But if McCain really wants to make his campaign a rerun of McGovern 1972, he has to nominate a particularly inappropriate vice-presidential candidate. How about Karl Rove? Rove's arrogance and bluster are exactly the qualities that you don't want to see in a VP. Likewise, he's almost as unpopular with Republicans as he is with Democrats and there's still a decent chance that Rove will end up in jail as a result of the various scandals with which he's associated.
If McCain was a real maverick, he'd nominate Big Karl.