The McCain camp has been proud to note the Senator’s close ties to the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s foreign policy aide, boasted “McCain and the Georgian leader rode jet skis together” while visiting his presidential villa on the Black Sea. McCain even nominated Saakashvili for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. But in a speech yesterday, McCain mispronounced his name three times. Stephen Hayes, editor of the Weekly Standard, defended McCain by saying “he knows the players even if he mispronounces the name.” Watch a compilation:
As Matt Duss at the Wonk Room has noted, McCain’s close affiliation with the Georgian President would impair his ability to be an honest broker in dealing with the conflict. And Matt Yglesias notes that McCain’s rhetorical bluster does nothing to actually help Georgia.