The Biggest Lesson From This Week’s Events–Don’t Screw With Letterman

John McCain was scheduled to appear on The Late Show With David Letterman but he told Dave he had to race off to Washington and canceled. Letterman was not very happy when he found that McCain had lied to him and was actually being interviewed by Katie Couric at the time. During a show with packed with criticism of McCain (video above), Letterman asked McCain over the video of him having make up applied,  “Hey, John, I’ve got a question: You need a ride to the airport?”

Letterman was clearly unhappy with the candidate who had previously announced his plans to run on his show. Letterman said, “When you call up and you call up at the last minute and you cancel a show, ladies and gentlemen, that’s starting to smell. I mean, this is not the John McCain I know, by God, it makes me believe something’s gone haywire with the campaign.” He also figured out the real reason why McCain wanted to suspend the campaign asking, “Are we suspending it because there’s an economic crisis or because the poll numbers are sliding?”

As noted in the previous post, Letterman was critical of McCain for trying to cancel Friday’s debate and suspend his campaign. He even suggested that if he had to return to Washington he should put in his second string quarterback, Sarah Palin, and have her handle the campaign. This sounds absurd, but it is less absurd than to think Palin could take over for him as president should this ever become necessary.As Letterman said when he argued that Palin should be ready, “the poor guy is getting a little older.”

Letterman needed to quickly replace his scheduled lead guest and fortunately did come up with a replacement for McCain–Keith Olbermann. Olbermann told Letterman, ““He ditched you” and was happy to join Letterman in his criticism of McCain, which I suspect might continue through election day. Letterman jokingly claimed that “the road to the White House runs right through me,” and we should not underestimate the effect that the late night talk shows have on public opinion.

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