Since Eisenhower first ran for president in 1952, it has been a common strategy for Democrats and media members -- as if there's much of a difference these days! -- to depict Republican presidential candidates as too stupid to hold the office.
On Thursday, CNN's Jeanne Moos made the case that because John McCain is not computer savvy, he's not qualified to be president. She even disgracefully quipped -- as a video of a stripper appeared on the screen! -- "At least John McCain knows the difference between a laptop and a lap dance."
Not surprisingly, she also took the time to demonstrate just how much of a techie Barack Obama is while adding a dash of Bush-bash. Pretty good for a two and a half minute segment, dontcha think?
Sick-making transcript follows, video available here, h/t NBer Jeff Eldred:
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We don't expect the president to be the Liberace of the keyboard. But still --
Should the next president of the United States know how to work a computer?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I mean, yes, I guess so. It would be helpful. Why not?
MOOS: Ask John McCain. Here's how he describes his computer skills.
MCCAIN: I am an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance that I can get.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that's absolutely ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's 21st century, and you should know how to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got people to do that. He's got to be thinking of more important things.
MOOS: While Cindy McCain has been spotted scrolling her BlackBerry, John McCain tends to be handed a BlackBerry to talk on. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is one of those guys so intent on reading his BlackBerry that he could run into something.
He is a BlackBerry fiend says his spokesperson. Has a laptop on the road and sometimes uses it to talk to his daughters and surfs the Web when he is in need of important information such as sports scores.
A far cry from this guy.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hear there's rumors on the Internets.
One of the things I've used on the Google --
MOOS: Just the other day, President Bush did it again.
BUSH: They can go on their computers and dial up volunteer.org.
MOOS: At least John McCain isn't still dialing up. And he knows to leave off the "the".
MCCAIN: I guess you could do on Google.
MOOS: But McCain's admission that he is computer illiterate was fodder for debate with something called the Personal Democracy Forum. The online expert who had worked for John Edwards got into it with the Internet expert from the McCain campaign.
MARK SOOHOO, MCCAIN DEPUTY INTERNET DIRECTOR: You don't necessarily have to use a computer to understand how it shapes the country. And I think he has.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's just the point, though. You do.
MOOS: But when McCain's guy said this --
SOOHOO: John McCain is aware of the Internet.
MOOS: John McCain is aware of the Internet became a joke on the Internet.
(on camera): But do we really want a president who sits around the oval office googling all day? This 74-year-old likes to Google.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, this is such an easy thing to learn. I taught myself how to use the computer.
MOOS (voice-over): At least John McCain...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taking laptop computers --
MOOS: ...knows the difference between a laptop and a lap dance, even if jokesters made a mock of McCain's real Web site with how does this thing work and should I double click here?
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
Nice reporting, Jeanne. You're a real pro.