John McCain seems to have gotten confused in an interview about Spanish prime minister Zapatero and someone in Latin America. When pressed he kept talking about Latin America and “this hemisphere.”
Did he get mixed up with the Mexican peasant protest movement, the Zapatistas? Did he just assume the question was about one of those Latin American leftists with a Z in his name?
Josh Marshall points out that McCain in an earlier interview when his mind was less foggy had left open the possibility of a White House visit by Zapatero.
As part of NATO, Spain has 1,000 troops in Afghanistan.
McCain spokesman Randy Scheunemann, an arch-Neoconservative, insisted that McCain really did mean to diss Zapatero.
Joe Klein interprets this announcement as mere spin to keep McCain from looking confused. If so, Klein suggests that maybe it isn’t worth destroying our relationship with a NATO ally just to avoid having to admit that the 72-year-old’s mind wandered for a second. I mean, it isn’t a new thing in American politics. Ronald Reagan once went woolly-headed and imagined himself in having fought as a grunt in World War II. He just made movies about it. And Reagan was a 2 term president who got an airport named after him.
Not McCain himself but some neocons around him may really be annoyed with Spain because Spanish intelligence is in Herat province and blew the whistle on the mistake the Pentagon made in bombing the civilian village of Azizabad and killing 90 people in late August.