"Remember, He lost"

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Steve Benen makes a good point about the ubiquity of Sen. John McCain on the Sunday morning talk shows this year. And the point is this: The guy lost in November, and since when does the Beltway press dote on losers?

Apparently there are new rules for McCain because the Arizona Republican's scheduled to appear on ABC's This Week. It will be his 11th Sunday morning talk show appearance in eight months, but Chris Cillizza at the WasPost still thinks the sit-down is a very big deal. He thinks it's "Must Watch TV."

But why? Set aside the fact that McCain recently lost in a electoral landslide last November. The hot issue on the table right now, of course, is health care. And as Benen points out, McCain is pretty much the definition of a non-player in the health care debate right now:

He's not a member of the Republican leadership, and he's not on the Senate Finance Committee. McCain hasn't unveiled any relevant or important pieces of legislation, and he's not being targeted as a possible swing vote on any major bills.

McCain is a spectator in the health care debate, plain and simple. But ABC News is eager to have him on to pontificate about legislation over which he has virtually no say, let alone control.

But back to the loser angle real quick. Again, after Sunday, McCain will have made eleven Sunday morning talk show appearances this year. Asks Benen, "Refresh my memory: was there this much interest in John Kerry's take on current events in 2005?

Answer: There was not. In 2005, between Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This week, Fox News Sunday and CNN's Late Edition (which has basically morphed into today's State of the Union), John Kerry made a total of three appearances on those program during the first eight months of 2005, according to a search of Nexis.

Or, to put it another way, after Kerry lost in November, the press walked away from him. After McCain lost in November, the press still crowds around him.

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