(Knoxville-TN) Republican Presidential nominee John McCain made what some think is his most telling statement to capture the young vote. It regarded the star of Disney's mega-popular "Hannah Montana" TV franchise, Miley Cyrus, particularly her new CD, "Breakout."
McCain was speaking on Afghanistan at a recent town hall meeting in Tennessee. "It's time for a little straight talk, and by that I don't mean any slight to my gay constituents. It's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border." The comment would have gone unnoticed had it not been for Enid Alsop, a native Jamaican care-giver who came to the event because the woman for whom she was caring had recently lost her Medicaid benefits under the new approved U.S. budget. Alsop pointed out that "Iraq doesn't border Pakistan."
McCain first attempted a bit of Reagan charm. "Ma'am, I hear from your accent that you're not from these parts. I'm thinking maybe Kentucky?" It didn't work, especially after an aide said that Alsop was correct. McCain then made his now much discussed statement. "Right you are, Ma'am. But how about that Miley Cyrus? I tell you I heard that "Breakout" cassette on my Walkman while I was jogging, and I think that's one fine singer." The response seemed to satisfy Alsop, if her reaction of "that's one crazy white man" is considered satisfaction. However, McCain was unruffled. "Crazy, but not out of touch with today's young America. Word."
At first both Democrats and Republicans thought McCain's comment was "him being his usual, lunatic self," as was summed up for both parties by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But McCain has mentioned Cyrus several times since the Knoxville incident.
Most visibly, on CNN's "Situation Room", while speaking on the current mortgage crisis. "It is an area of concern, but change is possible," said McCain. "Look at Miley Cyrus. This gal has gone from bobby sox to nylons. There's not anyone who can listen to that "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" cover and not agree with that." And McCain refused to relent even after Blitzer's follow-up. "Senator, I fail to see what Miley Cyrus has to do with the current mortgage crisis." McCain's response, "You don't need to see Wolf. You need to listen…to the young people."
Ill advised strategy to court the young voter or just a creepy fixation on a young pop star? The jury and the voters are still out. But it has made enough of an impact for presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama to take time out from winning over thousands of non-voting Germans by telling them the U.S. finally apologizes for "Hogan's Heroes" to comment. Said Obama, "I don't know what my opponent is attempting to do. But if he thinks Miley Cyrus' cover of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" proves change is possible. Then he hasn't heard "The Driveway."