Friday, July 11, 2008


This will certainly generate no fewer than four days, and as much as two weeks, of non-stop coverage on cable news and talk radio.

Asked what first comes to his mind when he thinks of Pittsburgh, McCain chuckled, "the Steelers. I was a mediocre high school athlete but I loved and adored the sports but the Steelers really made a huge impression on me particularly in my early years."

And then McCain told a rather moving story about his time as a P.O.W. "When I was first interrogated and really had to give some information because of the pressures, physical pressures on me, I named the starting lineup, defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers as my squadron mates."

"Did you really?" asked the reporter.

"Yes," McCain said.

"In your POW camp?" asked the reporter.

"Yes," McCain said.

"Could you do it today?" asked the reporter.

"No, unfortunately," McCain said.

Here's one reason he likely couldn't do it today -- the Steelers aren't the team whose defensive line McCain named for his Vietnamese tormentors. The Green Bay Packers are. At least according to every previous time McCain has told this story. And the McCain campaign just told ABC News that the senator made a mistake -- it was, indeed, the Packers.
If Barack Obama had told a brand-new version of an established story (about his central biographical narrative, no less) in order to pander to a local audience, it would raise questions about everything from his integrity to his patriotism to his faith in God. It would require nothing less than four days of non-stop examination from everybody within shouting distance of a microphone.

So we will now see John McCain endure the same scrutiny, right?


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