I'm in the middle of writing a very important blog post, which is to say, a blog post that I'm inspired to write, and we're coming up on the time for one of these conference calls I sometimes get invited to do. I usually blow them off, but I said I'd do this one, on the second inquiry, because it's John McCain. How can you not tap into a conference call with John McCain? You can ask him a question. Okay. Well. But the funny thing is: I've been thinking about it and I don't have a question. I mean, not a question I could ask him personally. And you can't exactly horse around. They say you're cantankerous. Are you too cantankerous to be President? To some extent, is cantankerousness a good thing in a President?
As you know, I'm big on the separation between blog and campaign. The bloggers are flattered by the appearance of access, and it must be worth it to the candidate to get publicity and a greater likelihood of favorable coverage. I resist all that, but I have called in. I'll let you know how it works out. I'm on music hold right now. The song: "I Think I'm Going Out of My Head."
ADDED: Now, we're in "listen only" mode, which means we're a captive audience for McCain's statement. He says he's going to be talking with bloggers like this every two weeks.
... He's just talking about where he's been, naming towns, and he declines to go on about any issues, saying he knows bloggers like to ask questions and goes right to the questions, which I appreciate.
... The first question is about going after bin Ladin, which McCain, of course, intends to do.
... The second question is about the bill on funding the war in Iraq. He says he'd veto it, not just because of the time limit, but because of the pork. "What does $25 million for peanut storage have to do with the war in Iraq?"
... Lorie Byrd compliments him for his form of expression, specifically the way he said "Lighten up and get a life." McCain says he's going to keep being himself and keep his sense of humor. He mentions having bloggers on the campaign bus. He's not going to blame the media if things don't go well for him.
... Ah. I got my question in just now, which was to invite him to talk about what sort of person he would put on the Supreme Court, and specifically if he would strengthen a conservative majority or if he would work with liberals and others who care about preserving the balance that we've had on the Court for so long. He said he wanted, above all, a person with "a proven record of strict construction." This is "probably a conservative position, but," he said, "I'm proud of that position." He wants judges who won't "legislate." Then, he added that "this is new" and something we may not have heard: he'd like someone who had not just judicial experience but also "some other life experiences," such as time in the military, in a corporation, or in a small business. He would like to see "not just vast judicial knowledge, but also knowledge of the world."
... Someone asks about the Electoral College and what new states could be put in play. He emphasizes California and also mentions Pennsylvania and New York. "We gotta put more states in play."
... Someone asks about taxes and I can't hear it, but I can hear the answer, which includes a description of how taxes are collected in Estonia. You go onto a website that informs you what you owe, and you click "yes" or "no." They have nearly 100% compliance. I liked that detail.
... These notes don't cover everything that was asked. He took a lot, answered them all seriously, and sounded sharp and serious and not pompous. Several times he finished the answer with "see my point?" All together, he spoke to us for more than half an hour, nearly all of it on the questions.
So, was I coopted?