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A Recipe for Confusion: McCain, Rain and a Metal Mexico City Roof

By Juliet Eilperin
MEXICO CITY -- In what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) termed "certainly the most unusual" press conference he's ever held, the presumptive GOP nominee addressed reporters gathered at his feet as rain pounded the roof of the helicopter hanger where he was speaking.

McCain had journeyed to the Ixtapalapa federal judicial police command center, a sparkling new facility in a western neighborhood of Mexico City, to examine how the Mexican government was fighting the drug war.

The sparkling new facility, which had just opened for business on June 16, seemed like the perfect setting for a press briefing: shiny blue-and-white helicopters and cop cars sat behind the podium, soft jazz versions of popular '80s tunes, including Madonna's "Material Girl" and Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sushine," piped in through loudspeakers before the senator's arrival and servers doled out finger sandwiches along with fruit salad in martini glasses. Mexican commandos rapelled down ropes from two separate helicopters outside the hanger, just before McCain, his wife and Senate colleagues Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took the stage.

But shortly before the lawmakers entered a drizzle had started, which rapidly turned into a torrent. As the rain hit the facility's metal roof it reached a deafening roar, making it nearly impossible for the senator, his translator and the journalists to hear each other.

At first McCain cracked a joke, saying, "In Arizona we always think it's lucky when it rains."

The translator couldn't hear him.

The senator said it again, emphasizing "the good fortune" that comes with rain in the drought-plagued Southwest.

At that point, a Mexican journalist from the paper La Jornada asked a lengthy question involving both drugs and immigration, which was unintelligible in the midst of the downpour.

McCain merely smiled, shrugged, and declared, "I agree."

At that point, after pausing to see if the rain would let up, McCain and his aide Brooke Buchanan motioned that the reporters should all move up to the stage and crouch before it, so the press conference could continue.

After a couple of minutes, the Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler asked about the recent shake-up in McCain's campaign staff but then added, "On a lighter note, is this the oddest press conference you've ever conducted?"

"The answer to the second question," McCain said, right off the bat, "it's certainly the most unusual."

Posted at 5:56 PM ET on Jul 3, 2008
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Comments

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So a "War on Drugs" plastic parade was rained on. Maybe God IS watching. Prohibition ever was, and remains, a cynical farce. When it isn't shooting down small planes carrying Christian missionaries, or funding guerilla wars (both sides) in South America and Central Asia, it still spreads corruption and violence everywhere it reigns. And it IS prohibition that does these things; they are not essential elements of trade in drugs, even in narcotics, generally...only when particular drugs are legally prohibited or strictly controlled does trade in them become so profitable, and so conducive to violence and corruption.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | July 7, 2008 12:48 PM

OK ... who's paying for the finger sandwiches and "congressional" delegation consisting of McCain and his tumors, er, buddies Sens. Graham and LIEberman? Yeah, earmarks are bad -- unless they benefit John McCain directly!

Posted by: straight talk my a** | July 6, 2008 11:15 PM

The place McAmnesty should have gone, is Amsterdam. All the futile and wrong-headed wasteful spending on the Fascist "War on Drugs" does, is keep supplies tight, competition down, and Prices Up!

McClown should read about Prohibition. It did not work for the EXACT same reasons!

"Controlled Substances" is an Oxymoron used by Morons! Alcohol, and Tobacco, are "Controlled".

Nobody is really even interested in trying to compete illegally. The Money is all in the "Controlled Drugs" Morons imagine actually are! :-(

But hey! Those US Military Manufacturers got to GIVE Mexico Toys at our Expense!

THAT, is what McSellout is all about!

Please, GET HIM OFF THE TICKET!

Just say NO-to any Congressman for President! What part of they have an 11% Approval Vs. Bushie's 33% don't all of you UNDERSTAND?

mittromney.com

No registration required(Unlike O'Flip-Floppa's), and plain simple but intelligent Issues laid out!

BEFORE, it IS, actually too late!

Posted by: SAINT---The | July 5, 2008 1:37 PM

He's gone to South America only to get photo ops for the campaign to aim at the latino voters from Sept thru Oct. He doesn't give a fig about making speeches. His minders, Lieberman and Graham are along to keep him from putting his foot in his mouth.

Posted by: afgail | July 5, 2008 12:16 AM

He's gone to South America only to get photo ops for the campaign to aim at the latino voters from Sept thru Oct. He doesn't give a fig about making speeches. His minders, Lieberman and Graham are along to keep him from putting his foot in his mouth.

Posted by: afgail | July 5, 2008 12:16 AM

this should have been titled 3 losers visit another lost war zone. mad dog mc cain is not able to be president of the student council in most high schools.

Posted by: blue 111 | July 4, 2008 12:57 PM

More evidence of McBush's campaign cluelessness. Would this guy be any more organized as president?

Posted by: Danny | July 4, 2008 9:49 AM

Re: NYT

Your Trail Section is way slow. NYT reports that McCain should attack Obama, which I think premature. This is your decision, but McCain's Campaign should wait and see. NYT has its different motive as well.

As I predicted, Obama's Campaign will sink by itself. The hole (Obam'a blunder) might seem small, but could be critical.

If McCain's Campaign goes negative, then it will never work. Hillary failed because she went too negative--"messages" were not the main cause. Please read other sources.

Again this is my warning: People hate Karl Rove as much as Bush, which Obama skillfully utilized for his own victory against Hillary. Be patient--do not ruin your victory by taking the bait yet.

BTW McCain's Campaign really needs a media relations specialist. You do not need to "paint" anything, as I have suggested, but someone dressed her to look too old in Mexico. Why do you change her image so suddenly? If you try to "paint" things as David Axelrod is doing, it will never work: Your images are perceived--not something you "portray."

Posted by: peace4world | July 4, 2008 9:08 AM

Re: Lenny

You are an Obama's PR Team member. Please go away. Your team's phony approach will sink soon. You do not read other sources?

Posted by: peace4world | July 4, 2008 7:07 AM

Your right, they keep their puppet on a pretty tight string. I suspect all marching orders come from Cheney.

================
McCain does not feel safe out of the company of Lieberman and Graham. He must feel he needs their help. I don't think he can do it alone.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 3, 2008 9:27 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 4, 2008 6:52 AM

Mccain is going to Ohio to talk about jobs and the economy. Mccain is so phony. Why does he want to go to Ohio after touting Free Trade abroad? If anybody in Ohio falls for Mccains B.S. than they will get what they deserve, nothing. Hello, he was just abroad agreeing that the jobs you lost and the factories that closed down was good for America. If thats not a eye opener, I don't know what is. Wake up people and vote Obama.

Posted by: Lenny | July 4, 2008 1:00 AM

Mccain can travel all over the world but nothing is going to change this.
Judge for yourself:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=u-R5Vh5tOWk

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y395Tftgz0E

http://youtube.com/watch?v=u-R5Vh5tOWk

Posted by: Linda | July 4, 2008 12:55 AM

After his trips to Canada,Columbia, and Mexico, Mccain plans to give a speech in Ohio after traveling abroad with Free Trade. After he touts Free Trade over sea's he wants to go to Ohio and repair the damage by talking about jobs he never going to create with his 100,10,000, stay in Iraq. Mccain doesn't make sense. Maybe were expecting too much from a 72 year old.

Posted by: Dana | July 4, 2008 12:51 AM

so he didn't even know the question, and he said 'I Agree.'

inexperienced. and not taking this very seriously.

he's nervous. I lost track of the number of times he was blinking. you'll notice Obama doesn't do that, Karl Schmidt.

Posted by: kravitz | July 3, 2008 11:27 PM

McCain does not feel safe out of the company of Lieberman and Graham. He must feel he needs their help. I don't think he can do it alone.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 3, 2008 9:27 PM

How convenient for choosing which questions a candidate wants to answer.

Are they really serious about this candidate?

Posted by: Susan | July 3, 2008 9:06 PM

sureality... with a back story and a crappy soundtrack.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 3, 2008 8:39 PM

"shiny blue-and-white helicopters and cop cars sat behind the podium, soft jazz versions of popular '80s tunes, including Madonna's "Material Girl" and Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sushine [sic]," piped in through loudspeakers before the senator's arrival and servers doled out finger sandwiches along with fruit salad in martini glasses. Mexican commandos rapelled [sic] down ropes from two separate helicopters outside the hanger..."

Why ON EARTH would this seem like "the perfect setting for a press briefing" to you? It sounds so ridiculously absurd that it might as well be a scenario written by Joe Eszterhas ("Showgirls", "Jade") and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Posted by: along | July 3, 2008 7:52 PM

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