Friday, April 20, 2007

McCain takes up where Sanjaya left off

About a month ago I wrote of my new-found reluctance to mock Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears "because they both seem really out of control and I think one of them may die."

I sort of feel the same way about John McCain. OK, fine, he isn't at the level of train wreck Lilo or Brit are, but he happens to be a genuine American hero, so I pull for him. I don't think anyone -- no matter what their politics -- should be happy if McCain's last act in public life is that of the confused old man. And, increasingly, I worry that may be his fate.

So acknowledging my tendency towards rose colored glasses when it comes to McCain, I wasn't at all bothered by the latest McCain "incident." For those who missed it Wednesday, McCain, when prompted to answer a question about Iran, started singing "bomb Iran, bomb, bomb, bomb . . ." to the tune of the Beach Boy's classic Barbara Ann. It was all in good fun, and the audience loved it. The critics weren't so sure.

Hmmm . . . fun . . . questionable singing voice . . . approving audience . . . skeptical critics . . . who does that remind you of? Maybe a certain curiously-haired crooner of Indian descent?

Does anyone really think it was a coincidence McCain's controversial town hall singing career began on the exact same day as Sanjaya's controversial American Idol singing career ended?

Right now, in America, we have at least a half-dozen presidential candidates who prove, on most days, that they might have what it takes to run for the highest office in the land. Only one of these candidates has given any indication he can simultaneously run for president and quickly plug an important hole in our pop cultural landscape .

McCain's YouTube singing stardom alone isn't enough to return the Arizona Senator and war hero to the front-runner status he once claimed. But it could be the first step. It took Sanjaya a lot further than anybody thought he could go.

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