First he told us he was the driving force behind Wi-Fi and cell phones. Now John McCain — who in July was still "learning how to get online" — has another tech feather in his cap: the BlackBerry.
The CrackBerry is "the miracle that John McCain helped create," an advisor to the GOP presidential nominee told reporters yesterday, adding to the snickering around McCain's statement earlier this week that "under my guiding hand, Congress developed a wireless spectrum policy that spurred the rapid rise of mobile phones and Wi-Fi technology."
With advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin's words echoing through cyberspace, the Al Gore comparisons are coming fast and furiously now — though we'd like to pat ourselves on the back for noting the similarity on Monday to the former VP's infamous declaration: "I took the initiative in creating the Internet."
Holtz-Eakin was talking U.S. telecom policy and the role of Congress in setting it when he held up his own BlackBerry and said of McCain: "He did this. Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years — comes right through the Commerce Committee — so you're looking at the miracle John McCain helped create, and that's what he did." (McCain twice chaired the Committee on Commerce, Transportation and Science when Republicans held the reins in Congress.)
The McCain camp realizes that Holtz-Eakin gaffed; another aide later called his statement "a boneheaded joke by a staffer."
McCain "would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry,’’ Matt McDonald later told pool reporters, according to the New York Times. The Arizona senator, who told the Times in July that he is "becoming computer literate" and doesn’t use a BlackBerry or e-mail, "laughed" when he heard Holtz-Eakin's remark, McDonald said.
But could McCain have some BlackBerry envy? According to a transcript of the Times July interview, an aide clarified that what McCain meant to say was, "He uses a BlackBerry, just ours." Oh, really?
(BlackBerry Bold by Research in Motion)