You’ve Probably Never Heard of It
I was intrigued by this post from Oliver Clark, an ordinary person like yourself who was invited to participate in the second presidential debate as a citizen-questioner.
Clark asked the candidates to explain how the recent bailout will help the average person (his question and the candidates’ responses can be seen here). In his response, John McCain mentioned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying “You probably never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before this.”
Here is Clark’s reply:
Well Senator, I actually did. I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person. I have a bachelor degree in Political Science from Tennessee State, so I try to keep myself up to date with current affairs. I have a Master degree in Legal Studies from Southern Illinois University, a few years in law school, and I am currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration from the University of Memphis. In defense of the Senator from Arizona I would say he is an older guy, and may have made an underestimation of my age. Honest mistake. However, it could be because I am a young African-American male. Whatever the case may be it was somewhat condescending regardless of my age to make an assumption regarding whether I was knowledgeable about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
It could be that McCain has spent so much time with people like the McCain/Palin supporters in this video that he mistakenly believes all of the “little people” are equally uninformed:
UPDATE: The Obama campaign has put together a “behind-the-scenes” video in an attempt to reach voters who only heard of Barack Obama within the past year, who don’t care to investigate the candidates’ policy proposals, who vote with their hypothalmus. I’d like to say I think that’s a small group of people, but I fear it isn’t.
I don’t vote with my hypothalmus, but I still enjoyed the video, which is titled Four Days in Denver:
Image courtesy of the New York Times.