Former presidential candidate and US Senator John McCain's comment was a biting kicker at opening dinner of 2011 Halifax International Security Forum.
I'm up at the 2011 Halifax International Security Forum where 18 defense ministers and a who's who of the international defense and security community have assembled. The forum is modestly sized with about 200 attendees -- but the diversity of perspective here is impressive.
I'll have a post up in a while on US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's appeal to allies in an "era of austerity" -- but wanted to get something up now that John McCain tagged on to his otherwise very humorous remarks at the opening dinner last night.
After Senator Mark Udall used his time on stage mostly to joke about American and Canadian hockey -- a theme nearly everyone here can't stay away from -- McCain jested that in Arizona, mothers tell their kids that they'll never grow up to be President -- as Barry Goldwater, Bruce Babbitt, Morris Udall (Mark's dad), and McCain had all tried and failed. McCain was truly funny -- his sense of timing better than Udall's.
But then sensing that a crowd of generals, admirals, defense ministers, and national security policy practitioners prefer gravitas to slapstick, McCain dropped a pretty big zinger on the crowd.