Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said “Iraq” when he apparently meant “Afghanistan” on Monday, adding to a string of mixed-up word choices that is giving ammunition to the opposition.
Just in the past three weeks, McCain has also mistaken “Somalia” for “Sudan,” and even football’s Green Bay Packers for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ironically, the errors have been concentrated in what should be his area of expertise – foreign affairs.
McCain will turn 72 the day after Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) accepts his party’s nomination for president, calling new attention to the sensitive issue of McCain’s advanced age, three days before the start of his own convention.
The McCain campaign says Obama has had plenty of flubs of his own, including a reference to “57 states” and a string of misstated place names during the primaries that Republicans gleefully sent around as YouTubes.
McCain aides point out that he spends much more time than Obama talking extemporaneously, taking questions from voters and reporters. “Being human and tripping over your tongue occasionally doesn’t mean a thing,” a top McCain official said.
But McCain’s mistakes raise a serious, if uncomfortable question: Are the gaffes the result of his age? And what could that mean in the Oval Office?
Gaffes are not the result of age, they may be the result of…
loss of focus
Laying them on the doorstep of age and age alone is wrong.