Thursday, September 18, 2008
You Say Zapatero, I Say Zapatista
There's a very simple explanation to John McCain's refusal to commit to meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero (video via TPM here) were he elected president, and it has nothing to do with whether he knows who Zapatero is or where Spain is. The tell is in McCain's reference to Mexico immediately after the question. I'd be willing to bet that McCain missed the first part of the question that referred to Spain, and after a string of questions dealing with leftist Latin American leaders thought the interviewer was referring to the Zapatista Army and its leader, Subcomandante Marcos. Whether he thought Marcos was running a drug cartel as opposed to the first "post-modern revolution" is another story, since he immediately talks about Mexican President Calderon's success in the war against drugs. But I'm pretty sure this one's being blown out of proportion.
Later, at 4:39 of the clip when the interviewer tries to make it clear she's talking about "Europe", McCain heard "you", to which he replies, "What about me?" Why the campaign wouldn't just fess up is beyond me, although maybe it has to do with the fact that the Zapatista Army hasn't been in the news for about a decade or so, lending weight to the claim that McCain is responding to the last century's strategic threats.