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Questions About McCain's Tech Savvy Worry Bloggers on the Right

By Jose Antonio Vargas
AUSTIN -- It's blog central here this weekend. In the Texas hill country, at the Renaissance hotel, is the first of two days of the inaugural RightOnline, the conservative answer to Netroots Nation, being held less than 12 miles away in downtown Austin.

And outside the rightroots v. Netroots match-up -- which, as Erik Telford of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity pointed out, is "like comparing apples to oranges" -- online GOPers worry that Sen. John McCain has continually fallen behind Sen. Barack Obama in utilizing the Web. Just as important, they say, is a growing perception that McCain, who turns 72 next month, doesn't "get" the Web at a time when more voters are going online to engage in the campaign.

Asked earlier this year if he uses a Mac or PC, McCain replied: "Neither. I'm an illiterate who has to rely on my wife for all the assistance I can get." The running McCain-doesn't-get-the-Web meme climbed a steeper hill nearly a month ago when a McCain aide -- his deputy eCampaign director, no less -- told a bipartisan gathering of online political activists: "John McCain is aware of the Internet." And last Sunday, in an interview with the New York Times, McCain said he doesn't e-mail.

Said Michael Turk, who ran President Bush's eCampaign team in 2004 before joining the Republican National Committee as its eCampaign director: "While I don't believe they disqualify him from being president, these comments do play into the hands of those who say McCain is too old to be president. He has essentially said he's too old a dog to learn new tricks -- to understand and adapt to the way the world now communicates."

Matt Lewis of Townhall.com, the popular conservative site, said that while "we're not hiring a blogger in chief, but the leader of the free world ... the real danger for McCain is that this narrative isn't really about technology -- it's an excuse to talk about his age."

The perception wouldn't matter as much, conservatives say, if McCain's site matched Obama's in mobilizing and organizing his supporters. The primary goals of a candidate's site, after all, are raising money and getting voters engaged. On both counts, McCain lags behind Obama, they add. Said a GOP online strategist who asked not to named: "There were tools and strategies tested in 2004 and 2006" -- such as house party organizing, virtual phone bank and door-to-door tools -- "and they have not been realized at the campaign."

"Barack Obama had 4,000 house parties going on nationwide for his first national house party effort a few weeks ago," the strategist added. "What is McCain doing?"

Posted at 4:24 PM ET on Jul 18, 2008  | Category:  The Clickocracy
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Comments

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We got 2 people running for POS that don't know diddly squat so vote 3rd party or write-in.

Posted by: Bob | July 19, 2008 4:01 PM

The post and the comments that I scanned don't seem to mention the major problem with McCain not being net-savvy: he's not listening to any of us. Here's how you can help bring him to his senses:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007827.html

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 19, 2008 1:20 AM

Where to begin?

There is a very real reason McAmnesty has so little support for him becomming the President.

It STARTS, with the FACT he should be the VICE President!

Wanna Surf the Net?

mittromney.com!

Go there, or be Square!(You know-McCainish! ;~)

LOL!

Libbies:

The Dingleberries of Politics!

Bet Hippie Hollow is filled to capacity! The Alternative Lifestyle crowd Loves the place! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT-The | July 19, 2008 12:22 AM

All your comments are dead-on about this feeble Luddite John McCain. But let me tell you, folks, I never thought the American people would re-elect Bush. After that happened, I lost faith in the American people's ability to choose wisely. Sadly, race is still a potent factor in our country.

Posted by: Ron Page | July 18, 2008 9:00 PM

Truly frightening. It shows how little interest he has in the basic technology that drives so much of the information economy. What presidents aren't interested in, you don't get good policy on. Look at how uninterested Bush Sr. was in economic policy, and how uninterested Bill Clinton was in foreign policy. Both were bad in these respective areas. And then look at how incurious W. is in pretty much everything, and look at the quality of the policy!

Bottom line: having staff who is interested in an area is never the same as having the president engaged in a given area. It is not McCain's age that prevents him from understanding information technology, it is his complete lack of interest.

Posted by: YHW | July 18, 2008 8:49 PM

Thank you. Glad to help.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 18, 2008 7:33 PM

I pretty much never click on the links people provide because they are usually just a bunch of one sided crap. That was very interesting and worth people taking a look at. Nice to know what kind of people are running our country.


+++++++
John McCain has gotten a free ride from daddy, married a rich blond, and is now in a job that lets him rob the American people. McCains internet problem is nothing compared to him having to answering questions about this. http://tomflocco.com/fs/McCainsHidingWarProfits.htm

Posted by: HemiHead | July 18, 2008 7:07 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 7:20 PM

If John McCain doesn't know how to use the internet even to watch porn, there is something wrong with him.

Posted by: Rodney | July 18, 2008 7:15 PM

You are being unfair to McCain. McCain has chosen his top technical and economic advisor to be Carly Fiorina, the fired CEO from Hewlett-Packard. Carly Fiorina knows a thing or two about computers. First she has a bachelors degree in Medeviel Philosphy (no kidding), she helped the collapse of Lucent Technologies as a VP, and severely damaged Hewlett-Packard as CEO before being fired. John McCain surrounds himself with quality people even if he knows nothing.

Posted by: Pat Tillman | July 18, 2008 7:12 PM

how can a person not be on line. For God sake, the P.C. has been around since the early '80's. Almost 30 years and not the least bit curious?

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 18, 2008 7:10 PM

John McCain has gotten a free ride from daddy, married a rich blond, and is now in a job that lets him rob the American people. McCains internet problem is nothing compared to him having to answering questions about this. http://tomflocco.com/fs/McCainsHidingWarProfits.htm

Posted by: HemiHead | July 18, 2008 7:07 PM

Explains a lot
--------

It goes back to what Mccain has always been just a lazy dunce. If you read his book he explains his his poor grades in school to the fact that he didn't do things he didn't care about. He liked history but never liked things like math and science so he didn't bother and just failed them. Lets be honest and we are the best examples, who doesn't love the internet? I could not get along with out it. Whether I am checking the news, weather, my stocks, sending emails or just doing research on any number of subjects that interest me. It shows how shallow Mccain is. How does he even function as a senator without using a computer or a blackberry? He is the same lazy mindless person who finished 894 out of 899 in his class today as he was then. He has not grown a bit.

Posted by: xxx | July 18, 2008 6:30 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 6:35 PM

Beware of websites listed here in the comments - they are not as they appear to be.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 6:33 PM

It goes back to what Mccain has always been just a lazy dunce. If you read his book he explains his his poor grades in school to the fact that he didn't do things he didn't care about. He liked history but never liked thing like math and science to he didn't bother and just failed them. Lets be honest ad we are the best examples, who doesn't love the internet? I could not get along with out it. Whether I am checking the news, weather, my stocks, sending emails or just doing research on any number of subjects that interest me. It shows how shallow Mccain is. How does he even function as a senator without using a computer or a blackberry? He is the same lazy mindless person who finished 894 out of 899 in his class today as he was then. He has not grown a bit.

Posted by: xxx | July 18, 2008 6:30 PM

McCain has lost every war he has been in.

McCain was one of the lowest scoring military students ever.

McCain has one of the worst military records one could have - even with the support of his Admiral father. He knows how to act like his father, but has nothing to back it up with upstairs.

McCain has no business experience. NONE. He's never worked a real job. He knows very little about how america works.

McCain couldn't even read this website if he wanted to - he doesn't know how to use a computer. McCain is out of touch with america. He uses servants to attend to all his needs - he lives off his wife's and our money.

Even when running for POTUS, he only works 3-4 days a week total, and has basicly ignored his congressional duties. Does he even want to be our President?!

McCain has only negative value to America as its President.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 6:29 PM

Is our Senators learning?

Not to worry. Username "rEVERSEaCE624787" will be puttering around the Series of Tubes in no time, demonstrating his awareness of all Internet Traditions.

John McCain will never surrender when it comes to learning to get on himself.

http://www.womenforjohnmccain.com/

Posted by: Christina West | July 18, 2008 6:27 PM

McBush or McLame whichever moniker you use - he's still the same antique.

Posted by: Young Blood | July 18, 2008 6:08 PM

With the protection of our critical infrastructure relying HEAVILY upon computer networks I'd prefer to have a leader who is a little more than "aware of the internet".

Posted by: JR | July 18, 2008 6:05 PM

This is just another example of how JM is just like George W. "The Internets" Bush.

Posted by: esmen | July 18, 2008 5:37 PM

Ironic, considering the internet originated in the military Arpanet...

Posted by: Bob Dobolino | July 18, 2008 5:37 PM

You guys seem to forget that not only is the Economy his weak point his Chief Economic Advisor Phil Gramm is the Senator who's wife was on the board of Enron that pushed through the bill that allowed the loophole that Enron used. And on top of that its the same loophole that has caused this nifty housing bubble.

McCain is VERY bad for the economy.

The next funny part.... Republicantt's saying things like "Obama wants to talk to terrorists! Obama wants to give away the country".

Then presto chango... The republican administration is now going to use Diplomacy with Iran.. you know that thing Obama was getting put down for suggesting.. you know the thing a government is SUPPOSED to do.

Posted by: TimL | July 18, 2008 5:31 PM

John McCain never had to earn a penny on his own. He's not competent to be the head of this country.

He's been a prostitute all his life... selling out this way and that for whatever benefited him at the moment.

He sold out his first wife for his current rich one. He even cheated on her and in so doing made an enemy of Nancy Reagan.

He sold out his fellow soldiers in captivity when he got back by claiming no more of them were still MIA.

He sold out his country when he supported Nixon and fought Democrats trying to end the Vietnam War.

He sold out his own campaign finance legislation when he applied for public financing in early 2008 in order to get a loan and then backed out illegally.

He's never stood for anything but what would benefit him personally at the moment.

Posted by: James McDouglas | July 18, 2008 5:27 PM

Wow. That is almost unbelievable.

Posted by: JK | July 18, 2008 5:25 PM

Let's say John McCain was a 25 year old kid looking for a job in today's world. Imagine him telling a prospective employer that he din't know how to use a computer and relly wasn't intereted in wanting to learn! Now there's a kid I would want to hire right on the spot! Way to go John McCain! You're a winner that know how to win wars! Too bad you won't know when that happens since someone will have to print up a hardcopy of the email to you and deliver it to you. If you;re lucky maybe we can reinstaed the Pony Express and get it to you with lightening speed! How about reverting to Morse Code too while we're at it! Get news in the White HOuse by a ticker tape machine?!?! This is outrageous! I can;t believe anyone in their right mind would vote for this guy!!

Posted by: Human Resources, USA | July 18, 2008 5:22 PM

Bob Dole...part deux

Posted by: Le chien | July 18, 2008 5:18 PM

I'm stunned that McCain has lost touch with the mere existence of technology for the past 20+ years. How can any CEO or Commander in Chief be computer-illiterate, unable to use email. It just shows that McCain is too old and should not be trusted with our economy, which is something else he admits he doesn't know much about.

Although I respect any soldier who has been captured and held as POW, I think it's become a crutch for McCain. Time to stop using that ancient history as the reason to vote for him as our leader. Now if he had escaped his captives, well that would be a different story.

Posted by: arizona | July 18, 2008 5:17 PM

Let me ask you this: If you were hiring someone to work for your company and during the interview the job candidate said," I don't know how to operate a computer" wouldn't you kindly, and without fan-fair, show him to the door and say, "Don't call us, we'll call you... that is, since we can't email you!"

A candidate running for the President of the United States in 2008 that can't open a MS Word document or send an Email! Yikes!

Posted by: Factory Worker, Akron, Ohio | July 18, 2008 5:14 PM

Oh well... he didn't know that Czechoslovakia didn't exist anymore either.

I mean, the guy graduated 5th from the bottom of 1,000 at the Naval Academy.

McBush... another dimwit we can't afford.

Posted by: James McDouglas | July 18, 2008 5:12 PM

John McCain's wife is a recovering drug addict... so we're going to rely on her groggy hungover self when John McCain is forced to deal with that emergency at 3am?

The terrorists of the future are going to not only be targeting physical locations but virtual and monetary ones as well.

This mummy can't keep us safe. He simply doesn't have the skill set.

Posted by: James McDouglas | July 18, 2008 5:09 PM

The more you know about McCain, the more you realize what a horrible president he would be.

Posted by: Gobama | July 18, 2008 5:09 PM

I'm thinking the email challenge is easily mastered. It must be pointed out I am certain Sen. McCain knows exactly how many states are in our great country.

Kay B. Day
The US Report

Posted by: Kay B. Day | July 18, 2008 5:07 PM

Typical Republican.

Uninterested in learning... uninterested in remaining relevant. They just can't be bothered. They can just pay someone with our tax dollars to do it for them.

So it's no surprise when their policies sound like they're rooted in the dark ages and continue to not only ruin our economy but destroy our international standing and leave our military depleted.

Posted by: James McDouglas | July 18, 2008 5:07 PM


Can you believe the Republican nominated a guy who doesn't even know how to send an e-mail?

But he's not too old or out-of-touch with the 21st-century or anything. Nope! No Siree!

LOL.

Posted by: sequoia | July 18, 2008 4:50 PM

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