Tag Archives: John McCain

Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone body meld with John McCain at the Democratic National Convention

What are the Democrats going to do after they humiliate the 72 year old at the ballot box?

Perhaps they’ll need to find more old people to ridicule.

This unauthorized Flintstone’s body morph was a big seller at the Democrat National Convention.

If you like offbeat political and pop culture memorabilia like this, then please check out my new Slate magazine slideshow devoted to the fake presidential bids of Archie Bunker, Fred Flintstone, Snoopy, Charile Brown, Lucy Van Pelt, Linus Van Pelt, Barbie, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mr. Clean, Captain Morgan the Rum Pirate, Fonzie, Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, Huckleberry Hound, Magilla Gorilla, and MAD magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman!


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Filed under Election 2008, politics

No stomach for drinking games? Try presidential debate BINGO!

Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press:

Given the debate is on a Wednesday night, this is a much smarter recreational choice than the political drinking games. A much smarter choice for those of us who work for a living, i.e. Republicans.

Kidding! — I’ve voted for both parties and truly believe neither one has a monopoly on schmucks.

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Filed under Election 2008, politics

An open letter to John McCain: Send Jennifer Garner to Pakistan!

Dear Sen. McCain:

Barack Obama obviously doesn’t have your military experience. And he’s not dumb enough to pose for pictures in a tank. But why do you continue to mock his warnings to Pakistan about harboring al-Qaeda terrorists?

You say that a leader shouldn’t “telegraph” their intentions, that he or she should keep it a secret. If Pakistan is being mean to us, are you going to whisper “Cut it out! Stop it!” in the Pakistani leader’s ear?

Here’s a snippet from the official CNN transcript of the second presidential debate:

Question: Should the United States respect Pakistani sovereignty and not pursue al Qaeda terrorists who maintain bases there, or should we ignore their borders and pursue our enemies like we did in Cambodia during the Vietnam War?

Obama: “I do believe that we have to change our policies with Pakistan. We can’t coddle, as we did, a dictator, give him billions of dollars and then he’s making peace treaties with the Taliban and militants.

What I’ve said is we’re going to encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our nonmilitary aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants.

And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden; we will crush Al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.”


McCain: “You know, my hero is a guy named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt used to say walk softly — talk softly, but carry a big stick. Sen. Obama likes to talk loudly.

In fact, he said he wants to announce that he’s going to attack Pakistan. Remarkable… When you announce that you’re going to launch an attack into another country, it’s pretty obvious that you have the effect that it had in Pakistan: It turns public opinion against us.”

Sen. McCain, Pakistani public opinion was SO not pro-America before 9/11, which is why they were harboring the Taliban in the first place. And in the early days, it seemed like the only American who seemed pissed at how the Taliban treated women was Jay Leno’s wife, Mavis.

Also, everytime you call Obama trigger happy, he’s gonna come back at ya with the “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Iran!” song you sang to the tune of the Beach Boys (channeling Ronald Reagan’s joke about bombing the Soviet Union). Head down this road during the third debate and you’re destined to lose the same debate points you lost in the first two.

Obama: “Nobody called for the invasion of Pakistan. Sen. McCain continues to repeat this.

What I said was the same thing that the audience here today heard me say, which is, if Pakistan is unable or unwilling to hunt down bin Laden and take him out, then we should… Now, Sen. McCain suggests that somehow, you know, I’m green behind the ears and, you know, I’m just spouting off, and he’s somber and responsible.

Sen. McCain, this is the guy who sang, “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don’t think is an example of “speaking softly.”

As for the unpleasant issue of using military force within the borders of a “friendly” nation, both Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama need to study the Jennifer Garner precedent set in 2007.

In the action suspense thriller, “The Kingdom,” Garner and Jamie Foxx lead a commando team that goes deep into the “friendly” nation of Saudi Arabia.

Garner takes on some of the world’s meanest terrorists and still looks fantastic on the red carpet at night.

According to People magazine, Ms. Garner is a “witty, clever” advocate for Obama. Perhaps she could also help beef up his national security street cred.

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Filed under Election 2008, Foreign Affairs, politics

Election 2008: How many Jewish best friends do you have?

Barack Obama once was tucked in at night by a Jewish camp counselor.

Hillary Clinton has a deceased Jewish aunt (not to be confused with Halle Barry’s Jewish cousin).

John McCain has a Jewish best friend — a real regular Joe.

My first Cub Scout Den Mother — who honestly deserved to be named Den Mother of the Year — was African-American. My favorite pizza place is run by Greek immigrants. Neither one of those facts qualifies me to be the keynote speaker for the NAACP or earns me automatic membership in the fraternity house of my choice.

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart recently mocked the obsequious behavior of presidential candidates attending the national AIPAC conference, charging that they were all afraid to even remotely criticize Israel. The reality is that pandering is at the core of all politics.

Consider how much impact a few Spanish catch phrases had on the Hispanic vote for President Bush. Or how carefully John McCain chooses his words when talking about illegal immigration.

Personally, I recoiled at Stewart’s hokey Eastern European Jewish grandma accent, fearing the comedian might be morphing into the intolerable Jackie Mason.* But as I make the case on the Ha’Aretz Ed-Op page, The Daily Show does a stellar job in ridiculing the patronizing nature of ethnic politics in general.

After showing the audience a clip of Republican nominee John McCain not just bragging about visiting Jerusalem — but gallivanting around the Holy City with U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman — Stewart snaps: “When you go to Israel, you don’t need to bring your own Jew! There’s a wide variety of Jews there.”

He goes on to call Israel, a “Whitman’s Sampler of Jews.”

* Some mean people in the comments section of Ha’aretz said some very mean things about me. Including attacking me for the sin of not being famous — at least not famous enough to criticize Jon Stewart’s accent with any authority.

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Filed under Barack Obama, politics

Oh yeah, I have a son, too!


That’s my 5-year-old boy, Ari, at the polls on New Hampshire Primary voting day.

He had the honor of marking my ballot and feeding it into the machine, although I retained my right to pick my favorite candidate (Clue: Does not rhyme with Shmavel).

With all this global media attention unexpectedly focused on my baby girl, a casual observer might conclude that Ari has been replaced by a younger, more media-savvy sibling. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My 5-year-old boy demonstrates an extraordinary grasp on politics (he recently asked why Tom Tancredo quit his bid for president before the NH results, asking: “That doesn’t make any sense. Aren’t you always supposed to try your best?”).

But he is a 5-year-old boy and is tough to keep still during three hour forums on social security benefits and tax reform.

Here was a precious opportunity to combine a romp in the snow with an “ambush” of New Hampshire Primary winner John McCain. If you’re curious, yes that is a Dino Flintstone doll in the picture with the guys.


The media response to my “Baby Primary” photo essay for Slate Magazine has been overwhelming and astounding. Floating amidst a tidal wave of positive support, have been a few morons who have questioned my parenting skills and have accused me of “exploitation” of the baby. All I can say is that I would have been absolutely thrilled if my parents had thrust me into the arms of a grumpy LBJ or Richard Nixon.


Oh, there is one more ridiculous accusation I would like to address — Wow, this is becoming just like real politics!

I did not “steal” this idea from “some guy in Iowa.” Yes, there are lots of parents who have taken pictures of their children with politicians. I suspect the kissing babies thing goes at least as far as Teddy Roosevelt (can a presidential historian help me out here?)

I started my photography on Labor Day 2007, and really in 2003 if you count my son’s political pictures as part of the project. Mike McNarney and his wife Lauren Roth started photographing Baby William in Iowa in December. And in fact, they managed to wrap up everything (plus a Chelsea Clinton bonus) in just a week!

I’m somewhat jealous they captured the elusive Fred Thompson, the only candidate who I couldn’t nab because of his anti-Granite State attitudes (can we call it anti-Granitism?).


I met Mike and Lauren over the phone and we wholeheartedly support each other’s projects. Aside from gender, the only real difference between my photos and theirs is that mine feature the baby in the arms of the candidates. Baby William is always in the hands of his mother or father, with the notable exception of cuddly Bill Clinton.

Babies are unpredictable and force the candidate to respond outside the usual stiff cardboard pose. Personally, I don’t think it reflects poorly if a guy holds a baby like a football. Because that’s how I was before I became a father!

In any case, neither Mike nor I invented the baby photo-op. Nor did we invent the camera.

I encourage every parent who shares our fun-spirited sensibilities to take your children to a campaign event or two!


Filed under Election 2008, Family, Parenting, politics, The Baby Primary