The DNC is spamming this out this morning:
Holtz-Eakin: McCain helped create BlackBerry
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.”
They’re going with an Al Gore joke but the boast* is even weirder than that: Research in Motion (the makers of the BlackBerry) is a Canadian company. Which does, as a handsome Dem operative pointed out, make them part of “America’s hat,” mandatory headgear in times of crisis. So it all comes full circle.
* Mandatory disclosure: He did not actually claim to have invented the internet.
UPDATE: All snark aside, McCain’s role vis-a-vis the BlackBerry isn’t made up out of whole cloth. While I’m not up totally on wireless/tech politics, he has been advocate for opening up the wireless spectrum auction, and for dedicating half of the newly opened spectrum to public safety. I’ll be checking Threat Level for followups on this. (If anyone else has recommendations for further reading, please leave in the comments!)