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McCain: I'm No "Tech Freak"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

OK, OK. We've all seen the stories: John McCain is "technology illiterate" and doesn't use e-mail. And some think it's a big problem. After all, his opponent, Barack Obama, is a BlackBerry-toting, social network-exploding, Web 2.0 kinda guy.

But in an interview, McCain said he's starting to use the computer more each day and, believe it or not, reading e-mails!

All kidding aside, I can't blame the guy too much. Sure, my 80-year-old grandfather has been on the Web longer than me and is becoming quite the salesman on eBay. But as the 71-year-old McCain notes, he doesn't like text messaging (or e-mails, I imagine) because he'd rather talk to people on the phone. I'm the same way, though both are quite handy at certain times.

"It's not as if I'm out of the loop," McCain told the San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci. "I understand the criticism, but I don't think it's fair."

He may have a point. But put up against the tech-savvy, soon-to-be-47-year-old Obama, who continues to rouse young, tech-centric, newbie voters, it's probably more of an issue than he'd like to admit.

His campaign is striking back...sort of. This little doozy came out today, and the GOP machine promptly removed all comments after Obamaphiles flooded it with mocking retorts.

But does any of this really matter? Yes, political campaign coverage does become a full-blown beauty contest, but will McCain's admitted tech naivete—or Obama's perceived tech prowess—affect your vote?

 
 
 
 

3 Comments for "McCain: I'm No "Tech Freak""

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  • Joe Labbe July 31, 2008 11:47 am

    I used to consult to law firms and constantly heard from young associates; "the partners don't get it!" The associates couldn't understand how these dinosaurs could possibly eek out any level of success without embracing the virtues of email, web-based research, OCR, etc. The bottom line is while it's hard for us in the tech industry to understand how others can get by without being as plugged-in as we are, their slower adoption of technology doesn't make them bad at what they do. A good lawyer is a good lawyer regardless of whether he personally checks email and Lexis/Nexis or has one of his plugged-in, condescending associates do it for him. No doubt, technology makes our lives easier, makes us more productive, and arguably, better at our jobs. However, rapid adoption of technology alone is hardly a guarantee of success. As an employer, I rate a job candidate first based on his smarts, common sense, cordiality and sense of humor way before I figure his desire to adopt new technologies into the equation. This election is about picking a president - not a friend on MySpace, not a Twitter pal or a Blogger-in-Chief.

  • TravisV July 30, 2008 10:53 am

    What I find especially concerning about his technology illiteracy is that it follows that there is a huge population of politicians that are not using technology in their daily lives. Are these blue hairs all faxing each other? Snail mail? Carrier pigeons? Are they using ultra-modern ballpoint pens over there, or are they dipping quail feathers in ink and writing on parchment? I wonder if the "technology illiteracy" claim was a ploy to gain votes, seriously. A lot of people take pride in shunning the Internet, email and cell phones. The U.S. has already proven that a winning campaign consists of dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator. So in fact technology illiteracy could just be a brilliant campaign maneuver.

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