May 18, 2008

John McCain on "Saturday Night Live" — joking about gaydar and — as a conlawprof I love this — federalism.

"$160 million to the Department of Defense for developing a device that can jam gaydar. Now, I don't know if this is anti-gay or pro-gay or if such a device would even work, but I do know this. Jamming gaydar is not a federal responsibility. That's something best left to state and local government."

Joking about gaydar, he's cuing the young audience that he's not a social conservative. Now, maybe he is, but if he's joking about it, he's at least not sternly determined about traditional morality.

Overall, that was nicely done. Lots of self-deprecation. It's fear of self-deprecation that makes it so hard for politicians to be funny.

McCain was on twice. Here's the bit from Weekend Update:

"Imagine the excitement of leaving the convention and STILL not knowing who the nominee was!"


Trevor Jackson said...

The Weekend Update bit was much better than the first bit.

But did he really say in the first bit that he believed in passing on a "freedom from debt" to future generations? That was probably his most hilarious line.

downtownlad said...

But he still favors constitutional amendments (and votes for them) that make gays second class citizens.

So it's irrelevant what he thinks. What's important is what he does.

George said...

That sense of humor probably kept him alive in the POW camp. He's resilient.

dick said...


Shame you don't use the same standards on the LLL dems (DADT was, after all, passed by the democratic congress and senate and signed by the democratic president and then when he came back and told you allhe was going to do for the gays you stood in line like good little automatons and voted for the dems again). Same with DOMA.

Then take a look at the positions of the LLL dems running for president and they are the same as McCain but I guess because they are dems that does not matter.

Damn but you are easy!!

vbspurs said...

LOL! "You might want to kick the tyres on him one more time".

Did you see how the audience responded to him?

Trevor, I liked the second one better two, but I got this eerie feeling in the first one, with the flagpoles behind him, and the presidential desk in front, that we just saw what the next 4 years will look like on television.

You know, at this moment John McCain isn't running versus Obama or Hillary. He's running against himself.

By poking fun at himself, as Ann said, it is actually a good thing.

It refocuses attention the electorate have on "the other guys" unto himself. He should really keep up the self-deprecation.


blake said...

Ace is running this along with a Hil(l)ary/Obama commercial which is sorta cute, too.

I love McCain's smile during the Weekend Update bit. It looks very, very genuine.

John Stodder said...


Am I misremembering history or did McCain crucially block consideration of a US constitutional amendment barring gay marriage? I seem to recall this happening in about 2002 or 2003, and the social conservatives getting very steamed at him as a result.

Dick is right. By your definition, all three candidates view gays as "second class citizens." There isn't a shred of daylight among them. But arguably, McCain is the bravest of the three, given his age and party affiliation. As Dick points out, Obama and Clinton never get called, ever, for talking out of both sides of their mouths.

wgh said...

His timing was perfect on that Weekend Update bit. My wife remarked that his was the funniest piece of the night. We were rolling when he talked about how exciting it would be to have no nominee after the convention. On another note, it was almost shocking how unfunny the rest of the season finale was.

vbspurs said...

Wgh, just read that this season finale was the highest rated in YEARS. The NYT writer alluded to the fact it could've been Steve Carell. Yeah right.

BTW, I don't watch SNL and haven't for a while. I heard mostly 40 yo's and over watch it these days.

peter hoh said...

Steve Carrell was an awful host.

McCain did very well. I'd like to see more of this side of him.

Seven Machos said...

You know, Saturday Night Live used to be a lot funnier.

(I'm trying to think of a way to get across the fact that this is sarcasm, and that we have heard this statement for the last 40 years or so, but I can't.)

Chus said...