Saturday, October 4, 2008

McCain's former Brazilian girlfriend offered as evidence of his foreign policy experience

First we learn that Alaska's proximity to Russia gives Sarah Palin foreign policy experience. Now we hear from McCain's foreign policy advisor that McCain's romance 50 years ago with a Brazilian woman is evidence of his foreign policy experience in Latin American. Just how shameless can the McCain campaign get?

The Miami Herald reports that while speaking at an Americas Conference panel discussion Friday, McCain senior foreign policy advisor Richard Fontaine was asked about McCain's experience in Latin America and said,

''Talking a little about his personal experience, he was famously born in Panama and has traveled all over the hemisphere for many years. In fact, I saw, I guess it was last week, that his old girlfriend in Brazil has been found from his early days when he was in the Navy and was interviewed. She's a somewhat older woman now than she was then, but it sorta speaks to the long experience he has had in the region -- in the most positive terms.''

When questioned by the Herald about the ridiculous comment, Fontaine backtracked saying:

''The only thing I was trying to convey was that his experience goes back a long way. He was born in Panama, which illustrates a lifetime spent in Latin America. He has known a lot of people. The thing about the Brazilian girlfriend was in his first memoir, and it stuck in my brain. Look at the two candidates and contrast his extensive experience. That's the only point I was trying to make.''

McCain was born in Panama and left when he was still a child - some 60 or more years ago, so I'm not sure how that illustrates a lifetime spent in Latin America. As for the Brazilian girlfriend, they met in 1957 when McCain's ship was docked in Brazil. Hardly a triumph of foreign policy expertise. Let's see, I had Italian food last night, does that make me an expert on Italy?

The McCain campaign's illogical fairy tale spinning is understandable when it comes to Palin, otherwise they would have nothing to say. But do they really need to falsely boost McCain's resume too? I guess once you get in the habit of compulsive lying, it's hard to break.


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