For the past month, one strategy of the McCain campaign has been to paint Barack Obama as a "worldwide celebrity." Someone who is as idolized as much as a rock star, but who is - using their tagline - "not ready to lead." Pundits and pollsters seem to agree that this has been a successful strategy and has resulted in a leveling of poll numbers.
Despite this, however, McCain spent a lot of time with his own celebrities yesterday.
First it was Daddy Yankee, the reggaeton star, who endorsed the Senator at a Phoenix High School -- which prompted a few of the less-contemporary readers of this blog to write things like "who the heck is Daddy Yankee?" There were plenty of readers who seemed to like the singer. One visitor had an amusing and somewhat quizzical analogy:
"Haha! Daddy Yankee is the Sausage Haus of popular music," wrote Agamemnon.
Next up, McCain hit the Jay Leno show - a program he has appeared on numerous times. Fact is, McCain's a good guest.
And he was last night. Of course, it helps when you're under the public microscope. It gives comedians plenty of fodder.
Leno piled on from the beginning.
From the monologue:
"â€śTropical Storm Fay has soaked Florida ... ruining thousands of homes, most of them belonging to John McCain,â€ť he said. â€śIn fact, to make Sen. McCain feel at home tonight, I gave him 7 dressing rooms.â€ť
Age was a fair target (or Leno made it so). Again, during the monologue:
â€śIt was this week in 1814, British troops set fire to the White House. Did you know that?â€ť Leno asked. â€śThe White House was saved, it was saved thanks to the actions of one brave young soldier, John McCain.â€ť
McCain himself stepped back further in to time by adding, "You forgot when I warned the people about the British coming."
So old is he, McCain said, "My social security number is 8."
The topic of McCain's forthcoming vice presidential pick came up, and McCain provided some insight.
"I know you have been asking about who I want to be as my running mate," McCain told Leno. "Now wouldnâ€™t it be good to have a person, you donâ€™t know what party theyâ€™re with, they have no political principles whatsoever, they may need a job about that time. Who could I be referring to?"
McCain was referring to Leno, whose contract is expiring. Could we see a McCain-Leno ticket? The comedian declined, stating he could make more money in Las Vegas in one week.
McCain threw up a softball by countering "the house is nice."
Without hesitation, Leno said, "You have enough of those."
There was a serious moment between the two when discussing last week's much talked about housing gaffe.
â€śCould I just mention to you, Jay, that, at a moment of seriousness,â€ť McCain said, â€śI spent five-and-a-half years in a prison cell. I didn't have a house. I didn't have a kitchen table. I didn't have a table. I didn't have a chair. And I didn't spend those five-and-a-half years because, not because I wanted to get a house when I got out.
After the afternoon taping, McCain rounded out the day by attending a Hollywood fundraiser with -- actual celebrities. They may be a small group, but the list - courtesy of FOX News - includes
Craig T. Nelson
â€śI would like to thank so many brave and courageous people who are here that happen to be in the business of Hollywood who are risking their entire futures and careers,â€ť McCain told the group.