Last-minute help McCain can live without

It’s “gloves and bets are off” time now that the U.S. election is finally in its final leg and both campaigns are bringing out the big guns, the big favors, and the big endorsements. At least that’s the game plan. NPR’s Talk of the Nation is featuring a series of “final arguments” where invited guests ...

591774_081031_eagleburger2.jpg
591774_081031_eagleburger2.jpg

It's "gloves and bets are off" time now that the U.S. election is finally in its final leg and both campaigns are bringing out the big guns, the big favors, and the big endorsements. At least that's the game plan.

NPR's Talk of the Nation is featuring a series of "final arguments" where invited guests are given a chance to give a last pitch for their candidate. Thursday's pitchman was Lawrence Eagleburger, a McCain supporter and former secretary of state under George H.W. Bush.

Throughout most of the 17-minute segment, the gruff and sometimes sarcastic Eagleburger played his part well enough -- referring to McCain as an unquestionable "hero," offering an avuncular "good for you" to one pro-McCain caller and dismissing Obama's ideas for Iraq as "absurdities."

It’s “gloves and bets are off” time now that the U.S. election is finally in its final leg and both campaigns are bringing out the big guns, the big favors, and the big endorsements. At least that’s the game plan.

NPR’s Talk of the Nation is featuring a series of “final arguments” where invited guests are given a chance to give a last pitch for their candidate. Thursday’s pitchman was Lawrence Eagleburger, a McCain supporter and former secretary of state under George H.W. Bush.

Throughout most of the 17-minute segment, the gruff and sometimes sarcastic Eagleburger played his part well enough — referring to McCain as an unquestionable “hero,” offering an avuncular “good for you” to one pro-McCain caller and dismissing Obama’s ideas for Iraq as “absurdities.”

So far so good, right? But when NPR interviewer Neal Conan started asking about Sarah Palin, things started to go horribly wrong.

Asked if the vice-presidential nominee is ready to take the presidential reins, Eagleburger said bluntly, “Of course not.”

The real issue, Eagleburger said, is “can she learn and will she be tough enough” under such circumstances. But his response to that amended question was no more reassuring: 

Give her some time in the office and I think the answer would be she will be — adequate. I can’t say that she would be a genius in the job, but I think she would be enough to get us through a four-year… Well, I hope not, get us through whatever period was necessary and I devoutly hope that it would never be tested.”

Ouch. Listening to Eagleburger even for a few minutes, I get the sense that the man isn’t the type to suffer fools or, judging from these comments, neither does he suffer foolish VP selections. I guess we won’t be seeing him trotted out as a McCain proxy anymore?

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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