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One of those quotes ...
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm a bit concerned that I've end up defending John McCain twice in one afternoon. But I think a quote that has the leftosphere, and some of the rightosphere pontificating has been misinterpreted.

The question and the quote:
Q: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?

A: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.

I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. I communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.
The common critique is McCain is claiming he doesn't know the price of gas and doesn't see why that matters.

Says James Joyner:
I get that McCain is sheltered from many of the mundane details of everyday life because of his position. It wouldn’t bother me in the least if he didn’t know how to operate a modern gas pump. Nor would I expect him to know the price with the specificity that those of us who pump it regularly do. But, given the amazing amount of attention this issue has gotten in recent months — so much so that he’s pandering about “gas tax holidays” and the like — it’s not unreasonable to expect him to answer with something like, “It’s been so long since I pumped my own gas that I don’t remember what it cost. But I do know that it’s now over $4 a gallon and people are pissed.”
But as I read the quote, McCain never even got to addressing the price of gas.

Let's parse the quote. He's first ask when he last pumped his own gas then what the price of a gallon of gas is.

He begins by saying, "Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection."

What would Secret Service protection have to do with the price of gas? Nothing. Would it have something to do with is pumping gas instead of McCain doing it? Yes.

He next says, "But I’ve done it for many, many years."

What, set or monitored gas prices at the pump? No, pumped his own gas.

And he finishes with, "I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters."

What doesn't he recall? What was he just talking about?

Pumping his own gas ... and furthermore, he wonders why it matters when he last pumped his own gas. Frankly, I agree.

He never got to price of gas.

James updates his post with this:
Patrick Frey points out that John McCain knew the price of gas four days before the interview quoted above:
“The price of a gallon of gas in America stands at more than four dollars. Yesterday, a barrel of oil cost about 134 dollars” said McCain. “And various oil ministers and investment firms have confidently informed us that soon we can expect to pay 200 dollars for every barrel, and as much as seven dollars for every gallon of gas.”
It stands to reason, then, that McCain knew the price at the time of the interview, then. It would seem, then, that he’s guilty merely of giving an irritated and dismissive answer to what he perceived as a “gotcha” question rather than being out of touch. He’d have been far better off, however, giving the answer I suggested above.
Actually his answer was just fine as concerns pumping gas.

He never got to the price of gas, although it is clear he knows quite well what it costs.
 
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Via Patterico:

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jun2008/2008-06-18-01.asp
WASHINGTON, DC, June 18, 2008

...

"The price of a gallon of gas in America stands at more than four dollars. Yesterday, a barrel of oil cost about 134 dollarsm" said McCain. "And various oil ministers and investment firms have confidently informed us that soon we can expect to pay 200 dollars for every barrel, and as much as seven dollars for every gallon of gas."
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The quote is already in the body of the post JPM. I noted it in James Joyner’s update to his own post and remarked "it is clear he knows quite well what it costs" based on that quote.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Whoops missed the last quote.

In the words of Emily Litella, Nevermind.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I’m sure most of our august congress- Sen. Lightworker included- is guilty of something similar.

How come nobody ever asked that of Kerry last election? I’m sure we can all think of similar questions to ask Sen. Messiah that will elicit a similar response.

Oh, silly me. Gotchas only flow one way I guess.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Just be glad they don’t pick up that phrase "I don’t remember" and start announcing he has Alzheimer’s.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://kishnevi.wordpress.com
"But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters."

Me either. I just pumped my own gas two days ago and all I know is that it was somewhere around $4.00/gal., give or take a dime. So what? Am I supposed to negotiate a price or something? In Oregon and New Jersey, by the way, nobody pumps their own gas, it is illegal to do so. Next week they ask the important question, "boxers or briefs?".
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Hey, McQ, I’m not taking issue with your post, I tend to agree, but, one thing I want to point out is near the begining of the article
(Background noise.) (Wiskol)Am I getting you in your limo as you’re leaving the airport?

(McCain) No, actually I just got off the airplane. I’m in an SUV. We now have Secret Service. I was just walking off the airplane, my friend, and we’re getting ready to head on in to town here.
I believe that McCain’s mention of the USSS in the quote that is getting all the left the vapors is just an insert by McCain when he saw more of the USSS joining him.
 
Written By: William Teach
URL: http://www.thepiratescove.us
Is Sey Hersh a "dup" in a disinformation operation designed to make the Iranians a bit twitchy as they go looking for an American over every sand dune ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
It’s not that McCain never "got around to" answering the question about the price of gas — he was never asked about the current price of gas, only the price when he last pumped his own. And if he could not remember when that was, why on earth should he remember what it was.
 
Written By: Zara
URL: http://
jpm100 - hope you don’t mind, I posted your answer from autobloggreen over at a couple of other auto forums. I knew you’re handle looked familiar.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com

 
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