McCain’s inability to email not only strikes some as being another knock against his age but also on his ability to adapt to new things. After having a president that is known for being a stick-in-the-mud on a good day, most voters want someone now who is a little more flexible, and a candidate who looks so feeble with using the basics of computing is not only going to turn off the tech-mad young, but those who can’t believe a guy’s been able to survive the past decade without a computer. Even the poorest of Americans, even the ones who can’t afford a computer, let alone WiFi, usually have a MySpace or an email account they can check at the local library.
The number one perennial insult for anyone running for office must be “out of touch”, to prove that the candidate is out of step with Americans. But
How important is John McCain’s familiarity with modern technology to voters? It’s more important than Obama’s eating or exercise habits, that’s for sure. Most of the coverage has ridiculed McCain, baffling so many people as to how he’s lived the past decade or so without such basic familiarity with email. His daughter has a blog, for crissakes. Imagine trying to explain that to daddy.
Anna Quindlen has it right when she says that power is isolating, that web searching and fact-checking are for assistants, not for the boss. But it’s true that I also found it unsettling to hear that he relied on his wife to do all the basic online things. Couldn’t she teach him? It’s pretty easy to create a login name and password, and so much computer prowess is amassed from just clicking around, which of course is something the senator doesn’t have the time for. But it’s amazing that a man with seven kids is just so completely unaware of how so much of modern life is conducted on the computer. My brother and I make fun of my dad a lot because he’s pretty computer illiterate (if the AOL icon bar is not in the same place, he freaks out), but even he knows how to email. Sort of.