How to Get Your Questions Answered on McCain Conference Calls ...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jul 08, 2008 12:12 PM
David Corn at Mother Jones suggests that during a recent McCain campaign conference call, the McCain campaign screened-out tough questions -- and intentionally took questions from only Ed Morrissey and yours truly.

First, the idea that I would throw McCain's team a softball is laughable.  In fact, my last contact with McCain (prior to the call in question), involved my asking him pointedly about Juan Hernandez -- a topic he would prefer not to discuss.  What is more, the question I did ask concerned whether or not Wes Clark's controversial comments were part of a concerted effort by the Obama team to bash the military.  This could easily have generated a newsworthy response -- and one that would have been potentially bad for McCain, I might add. 

Second, Corn notes that the McCain surrogates only answered two questions, but he doesn't mention that the likely reason is because it took them forever to answer those two questions.  This probably had to do with the fact that the surrogates (Col. Swindle and Sen. Lindsay Graham) droned on and on (and on).  My guess is that the McCain campaign would have preferred the surrogates be a bit less loquacious, so they could take more calls.  But they eventually had to wrap things up.

Lastly, I must confess I have a little secret for getting to ask so many questions on conference calls.  You see, we are instructed to wait for the operator before hitting *1. 

...  I start hitting *1 immediately. 

Update:  I forgot to also mention that I've been on many McCain conference calls in which I didn't get to ask a question -- though I tried my *1 technique.  Moreover, many of the questions often do come from MSMers.  I seem to recall a recent call, for example, where Dana Bash (I believe it was her) and Andrea Mitchell both asked questions ...