WASHINGTON--Sen. John McCain, in an effort to woo women voters, watched "The Holiday," at a D.C. area Cineplex, following up with a town hall style meeting to "share feelings" about the movie.
He opened the meeting by commenting, "I thought Cameron Diaz looked a lot older than in that movie where she gets all that stuff stuck to her hair and it sticks straight up-Something About Mary, I think it was. That was a funny one."
Reminded of his own age, 78, he replied, "Yeah well, it doesn't matter so much for men. To be honest, the last chick flick I really enjoyed was Sleepless in Seattle."
Women, a key voting bloc that is leaning Democratic, pose a difficulty for McCain in the general election. A recent Beltway Report article said that, according to a poll conducted by the Pew Center for Figuring Out Women, 49% of women don't like John McCain because he has "flabby neck skin", 68% dislike him because he "reminds me of my chauvinistic and opinionated father", and 37% dislike him because he is "likely to continue the disastrous war policy of the Bush administration". On the other hand, 27% do like him because he "seems friendly", while another 0.17% like him because he is "likely to continue the policies of the Bush administration." Only 3% said they think he "understands women's problems."
McCain disputes that he does not understand "women's problems". "Hey, I've been married twice. Let me tell you, I know all about PMS and menopause and all the rest-and let me tell you, if there are any men out there who think they can ignore it, you women will make it our problem too."
McCain has been working with his GOP handlers lately, cultivating his feminine side in an effort to convey a compassionate Republican image. He claims he has learned to hug, share feelings, and sympathize with others. However, when an attendee of the town hall style event urged him to show his vulnerable side, he said that his vulnerable side was where he took shrapnel during the Vietnam War, but that he couldn't show it in public.
To many women, McCain appears as a one-issue candidate in his support of the Iraq War. When one woman at the event tried to address sex education and birth control, specifically noting that proper use of condoms would be preferable to the "withdrawal method" that many young people use, McCain loudly interjected, "I am opposed to withdrawal! I will never pull out until the job is done!"
"But many young women pay the price for failure to withdraw in time," the woman responded.
"If we need to be in there for 100 years, then we will be. Our young men should never pull out unless it is with victory and honor!" McCain countered.
Campaign staffers later confirmed the statement, but said the candidate had been "emotionally touched by the movie" and as a result hadn't been paying any attention to what the woman was talking about.