Friday, June 08, 2007

John Weaver, McCain's Senior Political Advisor, Does 10 And 1/2

GreenMountainPolitics1 interviewed John Weaver in New Hampshire before the GOP debate on Tuesday.

We would like to thank him for taking time out of his schedule to talk with us.

As always, our 10 and 1/2 question segment is run unedited, in its entirety and with (almost) no extra commentary.

And, as always, we tried to ask questions that every other Clacker in the world isn't already asking. Which explains the picture of the bait store. And the laughter.


GMP1. You are Senator McCain's senior political advisor. What are your day to day responsibilities for the campaign?

JW: I'm responsible for general oversight of the strategic interests of the campaign. This involves resource allocation, which is a fancy political union term for scheduling, where we spend our money and how we spend our time.
GMP1: Give a snapshot of where you think the McCain campaign is today.
JW: We are ahead of schedule in some of the early primary states. We are taking this just as you would match play in golf, one hole at a time. With a real focus on the January '08 states. Every other campaign would trade places with us and we wouldn't trade places with them.
GMP1: What is the secret of John McCain's popularity?
JW: That he is a - sometimes lonely - truth teller in politics.
GMP1: You have been with Senator McCain a long time, what is a favorite campaign memory from New Hampshire?
JW: Besides primary night, our two town halls in Peterborough. The first one we had to bribe people with free ice cream to get them to come meet the Senator and only 12 people showed up. And the last one, just prior to our Primary victory in 2000, a couple of thousand people showed up.
GMP1: What political "reality" is true today that if someone had told you a year ago would be true you would not believe them?
JW: That I would be here talking to you. (laughter)
GMP1 follow-up question: Political blogs are really taking off?
JW follow-up answer: To the point that I'm standing here talking to you. (more laughter)
GMP1: In your opinion, the two greatest challenges facing America are?
JW: Winning the war against radical Islamic fundamentalism is the most critical issue we face as a country.

Our second great challenge is improving our nation's schools so that we remain economically competitive with the rest of the world.
GMP1: You have been described as the "sledgehammer in McCain's bag". Is that an accurate representation of who you are and, if so, what does that mean?
JW: I don't know why I have that reputation. (laughter)
GMP1: Many campaign staffers who read this blog aspire to end up where you are. What words of wisdom do you have for them?
JW: Run away as fast as your little legs can carry you.

Seriously, I've been very fortunate to work and get paid in a business that I would volunteer to be in.

Its easy to be cynical. And, when you look at how some campaigns are being run, that's almost enough to make you cynical.

But I think the people who work in politics are by and large honorable. And I would say that 90% of the people I have been associated with in my career are people who I like and who are decent people.
GMP1: What is the first thing you read in the morning and the last thing you look at before you go to bed at night. (We misstated the question. We meant to say "read" twice)
JW: I read several blogs first thing in the morning. I read Real Clear Politics first thing. I occasionally read your blog first, but I do look at it everyday. And, obviously I read mainstream media.

If I'm not traveling, hopefully the last thing I look at before I go to bed is my girlfriend.
GMP1: If you weren't working in politics you would be doing what?
JW: Probably selling bait at some store. (laughter)
GMP1: Finally, would you like to say something completely inflammatory to guarantee that this interview ends up on Drudge within an hour?
JW: No.