John McCain Invented the BlackBerry?

If Al Gore were dead, he would be spinning in his grave:

Asked what work John McCain did as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee that helped him understand the financial markets, the candidate’s top economic adviser wielded visual evidence: his BlackBerry.
“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.
Sigh. Actually, Democrats probably shouldn’t sigh either….

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6 Responses to John McCain Invented the BlackBerry?

  1. Tobasco da Gama
    Joshua says:

    Well, when you spend 5.5 years in the Hanoi Hilton, you have a lot of time to invent handheld electronic devices.

  2. georgewiman – Older technology guy with photography and history background
    decrepitoldfool says:

    Al Gore didn’t say he invented the Internet, and John McCain didn’t say he invented the Blackberry. But Holtz-Eakin is apparently a twit. McCain has a lot of twits working for him, which goes to his ability to staff the Executive branch.

  3. CBBB says:

    Except the Blackberry was invented by Canadian Mike Lazaridis and is owned and manufactured by Research In Motion, based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
    So much for American innovation spurred on by John Mccain and the Commerce committee.

  4. crf says:

    Holtz-Eakin actually probably knew the story about Gore. So he thought he would give McCain a similar story, based on his guess that RIM was American. Unfortunately, unlike Gore’s claim about specific legislative support leading to the internet, which was true, any support McCain gave to tech development (which he broadly gave, I imagine, just like most any other Senator) could not possibly have led to RIM’s development either specifically, or even in a more round about way, because RIM was invented in Canada.
    So, there is some good take-away here. Holtz-Eakin seems to acknowledge that the tale: “Gore’s a liar, he said he invented the internet”, was just a slime. To be fair, the Republicans never invented this tale, it was concocted and spread almost wholly by the supposedly neutral and competent press. But Gore’s Republican rivals have never before provided him any support, I don’t think.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not only is RIM a Canadian company, they didn’t invent the pocketable device with a QWERTY keyboard and wireless phone connection. The first such thing was Nokia’s Communicator, published in 1996.
    RIM’s important patents are about the infrastructure that is needed to deliver push mail. That’s something you can’t pull out of your pocket to show to the masses.

  6. TomJoe says:

    A day late and a dollar short Mike.

    Senior McCain aide Matt McDonald said that the senator “laughed” when he heard the comment about the BlackBerry.
    “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.

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