Guess who claims he invented the BlackBerry? No, not Al Gore; it’s John McCain.
Speaking to reporters about his candidate’s economic experience, GOP advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin stressed McCain, as chairman of the commerce committee, did not have jurisdiction over financial markets. And then The New York Times said this happened.
“But [McCain] did this,’’ Holtz-Eakin said, holding up what looked like a BlackBerry. “The telecommunications of the United States, the premier innovation of the past 15 years, comes right through the commerce committee. So you’re looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create. And that’s what he did.’’
So John McCain invented the BlackBerry! Take that Obama campaign and your “John McCain doesn’t get it” ads. Ha!
OK, OK, so that’s not at all what he meant, although it does sound similar to statements by Gore that continue to dog him. Here’s what Gore told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer back in 2000:
“During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.”
McCain (via his advisor) and Gore meant their legislative actions helped pave the way for BlackBerry and Internet technologies. Placed in the hands of campaign spin doctors and an irresponsible press that became, “Gore claims he invented the Internet.”
Will McCain get slapped with a similar rap? That’s doubtful, although the story (a Times blog post) sat on the Times homepage all day Tuesday.
Looks like everyone’s a little more responsible this election—ahem.
The Los Angeles Times—whose employees, by the way, are suing their boss Sam Zell— said McCain laughed off the remark. Matt McDonald, a senior campaign aide, said, “This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer.”
Speaking of BlackBerrys, a recent study claims 35 percent of professionals would choose their BlackBerry or similar PDA device over their spouse. Sheraton Hotel and Resorts conducted this work-life study.
It also found 87 percent take their PDAs to bed. The study didn’t cover what happens after they take it to bed.