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CNN looks into 'McCain's Wandering Eyes' video
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday September 3, 2008

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A widely-circulated clip of John McCain introducing Sarah Palin as his running-mate has provoked suggestions that he was more interested in "checking her out" than in listening to what she had to say.

Videos based on the clip quickly appeared on YouTube, the most popular of which was titled "McCain's Wandering Eyes" and set to the strains of Oscar Hammerstein's "Getting to Know You."

Now CNN has picked up the story. "Apparently even the most innocent of glances can get a politician accused of eying the opposite sex a little too much," anchor John Roberts explained.

"Watch John McCain's eyes," CNN's Jeanne Moos suggested, showing the clip, in which McCain repeatedly glances downward as Palin speaks. "Watch John McCain's eyes. Two times ... no, three times ... no, ten times in the first minute of introducing his running-mate, his eyes wandered downward "

"And that," continued Moos, "led to this -- a YouTube hit that made it seem like Senator McCain was casting a backside glance at his attractive new running-mate."

However, after reviewing previous cases of possibly hasty charges based on brief video clips of McCain and other politicians, Moos concluded there was nothing to the rumor. "We're convinced he was just catching a look at whatever was on the podium," she stated. "The moral of the story? Don't look down."

Blogger Jed Lewison, who created the "Wandering Eyes" video, acknowledged the validity of the Moos debunking but continued to insist that he was basically correct.

"I half agree with Jeanne," Lewison wrote. "Based on the angle of his eyes, I never really thought he was taking a backside glance -- I always thought it was a frontside glance, if you know what I mean. And I think Palin sensed it too, given the way she pulls away from him when he goes in for the creepy hug at the end."

McCain has also raised eyebrows by calling Palin "a partner and a soulmate" -- a remark which the Huffington Post called "astonishing considering he had met Palin only once before he selected her as his vice presidential running mate" -- and the gossip seems unlikely to die down at any time soon.

This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast September 3, 2008.

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