Speaking to reporters today, McCain campaign adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin claimed that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is responsible for the “miracle” of PDAs. Politico reports:
“He did this,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters this morning, holding up his BlackBerry. “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.”
Although he doesn’t e-mail, McCain told the New York Times in July that he does “use the Blackberry.” Campaign aide Mark Salter added, “He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.”
According to the AP, Holtz-Eakin also pointed today to McCain’s service leadership of the Senate Commerce Committee, which “put him at the intersection of a number of economic interests, including the telecommunications industry.” Similarly, McCain yesterday told scienceblogs.com:
Under my guiding hand, Congress developed a wireless spectrum policy that spurred the rapid rise of mobile phones and Wi-Fi technology that enables Americans to surf the web while sitting at a coffee shop, airport lounge, or public park.
However, what McCain failed to accomplish has left a bigger impression on tech experts than anything that McCain actually did. “The thing that stands out for his entire tenure is that he has never had a priority, and has never had, to my knowledge, any accomplishment of any kind at all,” former FCC chairman Reed Hundt told Salon last month. When McCain took over his second tenure of Senate Commerce Committee, the United States ranked fourth in broadband penetration. In 2007, two years after he had given up that position, the United States had dropped to 15th in the world.
Note to the McCain campaign: The Blackberry was invented in Canada.
Washington Wire reports that according to senior McCain aide Matt McDonald, the senator “laughed” when told about Holtz-Eakin’s comment. “He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry. This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer,” McDonald said.
,In 1999, McCain made fun of Al Gore for allegedly saying that he invented the Internet.