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When Gotcha Questions Go Bad

With the eyes of the entire nation on you for your moment in the sun, your chance to ask candidate McCain a question … you fall on your face:

As his interrogator started to pose a question Monday, it initially sounded like the man had done some homework and McCain would have to defend his national security credentials.
“I understand that you were part of a group of senators that self-admittedly did not read the entire pre-Iraq intelligence report,” said the self-described Iraq war veteran.
But his question took a detour, as he ended up asking, “so I was wondering, can you at least tell me who the poet laureate of the state of Arizona is?”
The crowd immediately erupted into laughter before the man expanded his question to ask if McCain could name either his state or the U.S. poet laureate.
“I give up,” McCain quickly responded. “Want to tell me?”
The man, who also referred to himself as a poet, named Robert Pinsky as the nation’s poet laureate.
The problem: Pinsky no longer serves as U.S. poet laureate–he held that post from 1997-2000 and at least five individuals have since served in that capacity–and Arizona is among the states that do not name a poet laureate. In fact a December 2006 article in Mesa’s East Valley Tribune notes that a poetry web site held a contest to name “unofficial” poets laureate for a handful of states, including Arizona.


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