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David Foster Wallace on McCain

Does anyone remember his Rolling Stone article about his experience on the “Straight-Talk Express” in 2000? I sure do.


October 2, 2008 - Posted by | David Foster Wallace, politics


  1. I read this article awhile back in ‘Consider the Lobster,’ where it’s titled ‘Up Simba.’ Great acount of the inner workings of a major American political campaign, but I wasn’t sure how to feel about Wallace’s willingness to emotionally fixate on McCain’s POW story.

    Do you think it’s worth revisiting in light of the current presidential campaign, Adam?

    Comment by Will | October 2, 2008

  2. I actually think, in many respects, its a wonderful analogue to the Obama phenomenon qua phenomenon.

    Comment by Brad | October 2, 2008

  3. I felt strange when I took home “Lobster” from the library about 8 weeks ago and then came across the McCain article. I felt it peered so deep into the machine that I would not be able to deal with the rest of the election season. And then a few weeks later Wallace hung and I think of him everytime I think of mccain, like yeaterday morning as i pulled past the Truman library as Mccain set up inside to televise so near my new home. Peace be with us is all I can say.

    Comment by false dawn | October 2, 2008

  4. There was, somewhat recently, an interview with him, maybe in the nyt, maybe the wsj, about that article, in which he makes it plain that (a) it was written about, and after, a single week’s experience on the road and (b) he therefore wouldn’t say it still applies to McCain.

    Comment by ben wolfson | October 3, 2008

  5. He provides some explanation in the forward to Consider the Lobster as well. I think he said something like he didn’t mean it to be an endorsement of McCain. And, when you read it, he doesn’t seem to do that even though he also certainly makes the case for the kind of heroic stamina and strength McCain showed in Vietnam.

    Comment by Rob B | October 3, 2008

  6. John McCain killed David Foster Wallace. There, I said it.

    Comment by strasmangelo jones | October 3, 2008

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