Exhibit A In How Not To Target Women Voters

This morning, John McCain kicked off a campaign event in Wisconsin, the focus of which “will be women in business and the economic challenges they face.”

It makes sense that McCain would target women voters, who, if polls are any indication, prefer Barack Obama by a fairly strong margin. But I don’t think McCain appreciates just how awkward his outreach to women is going to be.

This week, Carly Fiorina, a leading McCain advisor/surrogate and the Republican National Committee’s “Victory Chairman,” was discussing consumer-driven health insurance when she proposed “a real, live example which I’ve been hearing a lot about from women: There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won’t cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice.”

On Wednesday afternoon, a reporter asked McCain if he agrees with his top advisor, and the senator was hopelessly, embarrassingly lost. On MSNBC last night, Rachael Maddow and The Nation’s Chris Hayes highlighted just how big a headache this is becoming for McCain.

Of all the embarrassments McCain has had this week — and there have been many (more on this later) — I thought calling Social Security a “disgrace” would be the one that stuck. But there’s just something hilarious about watching McCain squirm.

Nico Pitney had an important item last night on the political consequences of all of this.


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