DFW on McCain (via WSJ interview)

i will miss DFW's no bullshit method of discussing the matter . . .

from Christopher John Farley's May 31, 2008 Wall Street Journal interview with David Foster Wallace, on DFW's reworking of a 2000 essay on John McCain into the book, McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope :

WSJ: You write that John McCain, in 2000, had become "the great populist hope of American politics." What parallels do you see between McCain in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008?

Mr. Wallace: There are some similarities—the ability to attract new voters, Independents; the ability to raise serious money in a grassroots way via the Web. But there are also lots of differences, many too obvious to need pointing out. Obama is an orator, for one thing—a rhetorician of the old school. To me, that seems more classically populist than McCain, who's not a good speechmaker and whose great strengths are Q&As and small-group press confabs. But there's a bigger [reason]. The truth—as I see it—is that the previous seven years and four months of the Bush Administration have been such an unmitigated horror show of rapacity, hubris, incompetence, mendacity, corruption, cynicism and contempt for the electorate* that it's very difficult to imagine how a self-identified Republican could try to position himself as a populist.

*(emphasis mine)

Comments