McCain aide a no-show for technology policy debate

Julian Sanchez, Ars Technica

The debate that wasn't

"This is faintly ridiculous, isn't it?" asked former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, a top technology adviser to Barack Obama. After all, he was there before a packed house at the New America Foundation for "a debate with the other guy," the economist and McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin. But Holtz-Eakin had bowed out shortly before Thursday's event due to a "scheduling conflict," leaving Hundt alone with a moderator.

"I'm sure Doug had something better to do than answer my questions about the Blackberry," quipped Hundt, referencing Holtz-Eakin's much-derided claim that McCain had "helped create" the wireless device. The "something better" appears to have been an appearance on MSNBC. Whether it was the siren song of cable or a desire to preserve McCain's Blackberry trade secrets, the debate had to be jettisoned in favor of a plain-old discussion with NAF fellow and Wired writer Nicholas Thompson.

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