Walter Reed Middle School Becomes Political Backdrop and National Talking Point

John McCain’s campaign is getting a lot of flak over showing a picture of Walter Reed Middle School, located in Los Angeles rather than Washington’s Walter Reed Medical Center. Of course, it was a lot better than Senator Sen. Lindsey Graham speaking about how successful the Administration has been with a backdrop of row after row of graves.

For the original picture, you will find it on the home page of the middle school.

Look it could be worse. I worked on the Kennedy presidential campaign in 1980 when the campaign purchased a cutting edge live television package directed by a famous director for the Wisconsin primary. Everything seemed to go wrong (a signature for the campaign) and, at one point, an astronaut seemed to be walking on the Senator’s face. It is the perils of interactive speeches. The GOP, like Kennedy’s people, may have gotten a bit too inventive and ambitious in the technology.

For the full story, click here.

15 thoughts on “Walter Reed Middle School Becomes Political Backdrop and National Talking Point”

  1. Thats a nice picture of my middle, looks alot better and cleaner than it did back in 1973, 🙂

    McCain is truely out of touch, and so are the baffoons that work for him; clearly they can’t research their facts.

    Obama for president is the Clear Choice, you don’t see him making such petty mistakes.

  2. It’s distraction.

    The MSM can be quite ‘the little sewing circle’ and they know their target audience.

    As I said earlier, I w’d have appreciated seeing clip art of
    ‘Old Faithful’ more.

    It’s about as relevant and makes about as much sense as having a ‘geezer’ in the oval office – only funnier

  3. Jill nailed it. It’s spin. Show the pretty building with same name as the uglier building that is pissing people off. The measure of effectiveness of this kind of manipulation is how far below the radar does it fly? How many people know or care it’s disinformation? It’s baby spin, but it is spin. Just as words can have loaded value, so can images. I should have been clearer in seconding deejay. It’s the picture selection, not the attendees (unless it was some kind of bizarre GOP Ubermench baby farm), that is purposeful.

  4. Bob Esq.,

    I think it has this angle to it: 1. either computer geek “shut-ins” a. have no idea what the real Walter Reed is, or b. took it from the West Wing to show McCain as presidential, either of which is funny but does show incompetence or, 2. the worst senario–McCain’s supporters are often talking about how great the war is, right war, right time, yeah god and USA #1…but they are neither willing to serve in the war or raise their taxes to give our soldiers the equipment and subsequent treatment they deserve upon return. If anyone thinks this war is great but is only willing to have other people fight it, and won’t support our troops with their money, that person is disgusting. What if it’s these ignorant ya-ya, war for god types who are so out of touch with reality that they don’t even know what Walter Reed is? Then you’ve gone beyond incompetence.

  5. It is interesting to see yet another example of the incompetent McCain campaign. Deejay, please educate the rest of us as to who else attended that school.

  6. This is all I could find! This enquiring
    mind wants to know also Deejay…
    “The general assumption is that it should have been a picture of Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the McCain campaign mis-Googled.

    The story gets even more interesting when some people figured out that this image was used in another campaign:

    McCain’s Speech Backdrop Was Used In Matt Santos’ West Wing Presidential Announcement via TPM
    Meanwhile, here’s another fun wrinkle: It turns out that the building behind McCain was also used as the backdrop for Matt Santos’ announcement of his presidential candidacy on The West Wing.

    Also, the people at Walter Reed Middle School are not happy about this:
    via their blog, Principal Donna Tobin made the following statement:
    “It has been brought to the school’s attention that a picture of the front of our school, Walter Reed Middle School, was used as a backdrop at the Republican National Convention. Permission to use the front of our school for the Republican National Convention was not given by our school nor is the use of our school’s picture an endorsement of any political party or view.”

    Neither is Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Tamar Galatzan (via TPM):
    “Though I am flattered that Senator McCain chose to use a school from my district as backdrop to his remarks at the Republican National Convention, I wished he had checked with me first. As a strong believer in public education, I don’t think the Senator is the most appropriate person to showcase one of the premier schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is unwilling to bring fairness and equity to No Child Left Behind and ensure that schools like Reed get the resources they need from the Federal Government. From what I’ve heard, that’s not a priority for the McCain/Palin ticket.”

    And, former students are not happy either:
    What’s McCain doing in front of my junior high?
    And, just a memo to the McCain campaign, forcing me to relive my junior high years is not generally a good way to get my vote.”

  7. Deejay

    To the largest extent I don’t see that it matters who attended the school. The impact of the picture and with nothing official coming from the RNC or the McBush campaign, it remains that using Walter Reed Jr. High School looks like yet another McSame campaign gaffe.

    The Wikipedia site for Walter Reed Jr. High lists only conductor/composer, Michael Tilson Thomas as a notable graduate. Perhaps you can enlighten us further.

  8. Psst. Hate to break it to you but they had that building in the video on purpose.

    Maybe you should ask who attended the school and no it wasn’t McCain or Palin.

  9. These gaffes make sense when you read that the McCain campaign has used copyrighted songs without the artists prior approval on 5 different occasions. McCain is just like Bush in that he thinks he doesn’t have to worry about laws.

  10. I would have appreciated seeing clip art of ‘Old Faith’
    Afterall, ‘geezers’ are some of our greatest national resources…

  11. I’m not so sure putting a picture of Walter Reed Hospital would be appropriate at a GOP convention either. With the travesty of the administration’s lack of concern for veterans’ health–until caught–and John Bush’s unflinching support for all things Bush, a photo of Walter Reed Hospital mught have been a larger controversy. Had that happened they’d look callous and hypocritical. This way they only appear stupid and incompetent.

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