August 6th, 2008
01:39 PM ET

Important for president to be computer literate?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Will the Internet be John McCain's grocery store scanner moment? Remember how the first President Bush was awestruck in a grocery store by that little gizmo that tells you the price of your Cheez Whiz? The president of the United States with cameras rolling was simply beside himself. You'd think one episode like that would be enough.

Now we have a guy who wants to be president that doesn't know how to use a computer. Two years ago, John McCain expressed amazement that his wife could order movie tickets online, something people had been doing for years at that time. He called her a wizard and admitted he was a "Neanderthal" when it comes to computers.

Watch: Cafferty: PC-proficient prez?

Dear Senator McCain, computer technology and the Internet have changed the world. And the fact that you don't know much about either one suggests you're in some sort of a time warp. Translate that: "old."

Sensing the risk of being perceived as a fossil, McCain recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that he understands the importance of the computer and blogs, that he's using the computer more and more every day. McCain says this doesn't mean he has to e-mail people, but that he reads e-mails – that his staff constantly shows him emails during the day.

Grocery store scanners, computers and the Internet are the ingredients of every day life for the overwhelming majority of Americans. For a man who wants to be president to admit that he is pretty much clueless about some of these things feeds into the perception that old, rich, white Republicans are out of touch. They have no idea what the average American's life is like. For the last 26 years, John McCain has lived inside the cocoon of the United States Senate and his wife's money.

Here’s my question to you: How important is it for the next president to understand computer technology?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Maggie writes:
Knowing how to use a computer is no more important than knowing where the Iraq and Afghanistan borders are or the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni or what can be gained by vetoing beer. When you consider all these factors along with some of the childish ads being run by McCain, Americans must be real excited about the possibility of where they’re headed in the next 4 years.

Jamie from Plantation, Florida writes:
A man who doesn't know about the Internet doesn't have a basis upon which to form a position on issues like net neutrality or electronic surveillance in the digital world. We force doctors to keep learning about new techniques in medicine; shouldn't we force our leaders to know a little about life in America?

Rudy from New York writes:
No, that's what advisers are for. But, it is important for the president not to brag about being computer illiterate. Advisers are supposed to tell him that, too.

Lou writes:
It scares me to think our young and vibrant country may be run by a guy whose only expertise is military training. Our president should be a great leader and a symbol for America. If he can't keep up with basic technology that a 2nd grader can master, what does that say about us?

Donna from Colorado Springs writes:
Of course it's important. Everything is tied to computers and if you can't use them, you're pretty much lost. Lost is the operative word. Lost and out of touch. Does that sound like anyone we know? Does the name McCain ring a bell?

Kelly writes:
Ugh, this makes me sick. Although I have other more significant issues with Mccain, this is just a joke. Come on, McCain, my 84-year-old grandmother can use e-mail.

Will from Maryland writes:
Jack, McCain is a Republican. His entire party is pretty happy being stuck in the 1800s.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Computer Literate
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. Mark - Asheville, NC

    Not particularly. He can easily hire experts to help there. What worries me is that neither of the nominees appear to know much about economics! He can consult economists as well, but each economist will have differings opinions, and could be from different schools of thought; if the President knows little about the subject, he will not really know whose advice to follow.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  2. Rol Man SC

    Hugely important. Here in Corporate America, EVERY executive, up to the CEO, must know how to cruise the internet, network, use 'Sametime' tele conference and presentation display. I would be agast and dismayed if the next President of this nation was not equally techno litereate. How could they make sound decisions on any issue without that?

    August 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm |

    In this day and age of technology, we need a president who
    is aware of and able to participate in advancement.
    As a 72 year old am certainly not a pro on computers,
    but it allows me to speak my mind and send comments
    to you, Jack.
    Can't imagine a life without being able to take advantage
    of all that is available out there for us to find.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  4. Paul

    These days extremly important. That way the President can insure all information that is recieved is fact and not just someone's version of what is real information. Otherwise the President will not have a clue of what is going on in America and the World like we have now.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  5. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    He doesn't need to be, because he has his staff to do everything for him. Do you really think that McCain typed up his campaign's platform? Or that Obama wrote all his speeches?

    They can't do anything without help, so there is no need to computer literate. Unless they are going to play Wargames in the Oval Office with Matthew Broderick.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  6. Tearched Scott Chicago, IL


    That is a question like asking if it is important to know how to breath. In an age where technology is moving the world into a better direction it is very important to know how to use one. McCain, a seventy year old man who is used to writing on stone needs to catch up with the times or just die out like the dinosaurs!!

    August 6, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  7. A Kraft Naples, FL

    yes in this computer age it is.....this is the communication widely used and is informative, speedy and readily available

    August 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  8. Theo Perris Ca

    Not so... however the older you are the more you are imtimadated??? not that all are but the majority of older folks are not receptive to progress...

    August 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  9. Jackie in Dallas

    I'd just be happy if the President was literate, period. But yes, in this day and age, the President ought to be at least familiar with computers. Our world is connected through computers, which your blog proves every day, with entries from Canada, England, and other countries across the globe. If a President wants to really sense what is happening in the world, they would be able to do so by checking out various sites from around the WWW. I'd even like to see them have their own website, or even better, a blog. You could run that, Jack!

    August 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  10. Sue in K-town (Knoxville)

    It would be nice, but more importantly, we need a president who understands the workings of the world. What we are electing is a 'fireman' not a dictator. Presidents are faced with unforseen events to which they must react in a way that protects this country. Thus judgement is important. Computer literacy can be left to his/her advisors who can then brief him. I say judgement and experience are most important, not promises

    August 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  11. Ed Reed

    It's not that important; however, it is important that our President is smart. We've tried a President who makes decisions from his "gut" and we see how well that turned out. This time let's vote for the smartest candidate.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    August 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  12. Sheika, MD

    Extremely important! We live in the 21st century, not the early 1900's.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  13. Steve

    I would prefer the president to be "Constitution" literate as opposed to computer literate.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  14. Conor in Chicago

    It doesn't matter at all. Since Presidents answer only to AIPAC, Oil Men, the Military Industrial Complex, and the whims and hopes of their own political parties, the only thing that matters is that their handlers know how to use computers. All the President does is sit around and say "Yes Sir" to these groups I mentioned anyways.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  15. Joe, Clinton Ma.

    Not important at all. They should be able to understand the country
    first. And stay away from things with buttons.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  16. James Marshall, Cullowhee

    I am 78 and most of my friends just can't seem to understand how it works and ask me to do things for them such as ordering books from
    Amazon.com. But we are 6 years older than MAC. Another difference is that none of us graduated from college at the bottom of our class. Mac also had trouble flying airplanes and after he crashed his fifth plane he stayed at Hanoi Hilton for 5 years. I think that he should be able to do the ordinary "user" tasks on the computer but I don't think he is that intelligent.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  17. Tom in New Hope, MN

    It would be nice if he or she is literate. Something we haven't had for 8 years.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  18. Judy (Canada)

    Being computer illerate makes about as much sense as not knowing hw to use a basic telephone.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  19. Lorenzo

    It's of much importance that our next president possess at least rudimentary knowledge of computer technology. It seems that virtually all things from personal records to personal banking has found it's way to a computer screen so it would be a great assest for the next president to be somewhat competent with computer literacy.

    Fort Worth, Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  20. John

    Jack: Yes, the President should be literate with computers. He doesn't have to repair them or program them, but he should no how to turn it on. But, George and Dick are still probably hunting for light switch for their office.


    August 6, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  21. Michael, Lorain, Ohio

    Jack, as a person with an IT background, I can tell you that a presidential candidate needs to communicate effectively with his staff at all times. For whatever reason, people are lazy or would rather rely on old technology like the telephone. No matter which party is in control, using email can be a means of proving guilt or innocence when a scandal arises. The reluctance to learn email and Internet usage only highlights the stubborness and close-mindedness of McCain.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  22. Randy, Salt Lake City

    If the majority of Americans know how to work a computer and navigate the internet, our chosen leader should know as well.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  23. Terry, Chandler AZ

    We are eight years into the 21st century. Any person who communicates must be computer literate.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  24. Alice from Alameda, CA

    Jack, to me, this answers the question, which candidate is ready to lead. No way can anyone charged with making crucial decisions and disseminating information and policy within any organization, let alone an entire country, not be technology savvy. In this day and age, its ridiculous to think that a techno-illiterate can run an efficient, effective, and safe country.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  25. David, Orlando, FL

    While it is not necessary for the president to be computer literate (he will always have people around him that can do any computer related task for him) it would not hurt and might give him a sense of what goes on in the alternate cyberworld.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  26. Mike Smith, New Orleans LA

    On one hand I don't really think it's that important since the president could have advisors and experts handle those matters. On the other hand, our current president said he uses the Googles to get to the Internet, so I guess computer illiteracy is a sign of a bad president.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  27. Scott Black - Silver Spring, MD

    I want a president who understands and uses a PC – it sends a message to everyone to embrace the technology advances that most US citizens use everyday. It also shows that person is willing to learn and that would be a refreshing change from our current administraiton.

    August 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  28. Mindy, Rochester, NY

    The President should be as savvy with the computer as I am. Although I am not controlling the country with my computer, he should know how to leave on comment on the Cafferty blog......

    August 6, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  29. Venia PA

    In this day and age it should be a crime not to be computer literate. It should be a requirement to be POTUS and that way we would eliminate McCain right away!

    August 6, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  30. Joe in DE

    It is not import to performing the duties of the office, but anyone not computer literate at this time does not keep abreast of the times – this is a bad sign.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  31. Helena

    Clearwater, FL
    If a person wants to keep up with the world of news, they need to use a computer. You just can't depend only on what you hear or read in newspapers and magazines to have a true understanding. This is the only way to make your own decisions and determinations based on everything, not just what advisors tell you. Maybe this is what happened to the Bush presidency.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  32. Terry from North Carolina

    Its more important for the president to be literate, then he can begin to work on his computer skills. Theres more to this job then getting off and on his helicoptor with out tripping.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  33. Allen L Wenger

    Probably not, but I think it is good to have a President who has some of our common experiences and not one from a priviledged class. President Bush rhe first has never gone shopping and President Bush the second only talks to people who agree with him, these presidencies did not work out well for the average man. The 2 Bush presidents were born with a silver spoon in their mouths and John McCain is a son and grandson of admirals. These are the people who call Barack Obama elite?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  34. Robert Postuma

    It is not important for a president to be computer literate.
    You're computer literate and you're no raving genius.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  35. deano, Peoria, AZ

    Since the sitting President isn't literate in anything, it might be a positive attribute for the next one to be computer literate to understand how a large portion of the world communicates. Of course it important for the President to be computer literate; if not he is out of touch with what is really happening in the world. The computer with all its good and bad is here to stay.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  36. PHS in Rhode Island


    August 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  37. Jason, Koloa, HI

    Not if the president is John McCain. He just needs to read the prompter in front of him. He's barely in control of his own Campaign. I seriously doubt he will be making any decisions if his party swindles it's way into the Whitehouse again.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  38. John in Nevada

    Jack, we would never consider electing a president who couldn't read or write. In this computer age any American who is computer illiterate is, in fact, simply illiterate.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  39. sarah, indiana

    no it is not, although there are plenty of immature juveniles who believe computer literacy is the most important skill in the world, most of us recognize that there are dozens of other important skills more necessary to the leader of the free world.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  40. Andre R. Newcomb

    First of all, I would like to commend the many responders for capitalizing the word "President". Respect is nice. Now as for the question: Not important. The Oval Office is cutting edge. The President gets timely, critical information from Departments who deliver as soon as possible. The President is a very, very busy swirl of activity ALL the time. I wouldn't want the President 'vegging' at a monitor when there are so many situations and people who desire contact with a President.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  41. Dan, Chantilly VA

    After Bush, I'll settle for a president who's book literate.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  42. Willow, Sheldon Iowa

    I don't think computer literacy is beyond the average person. Its a curiosity to learn about the world around you, news and information. I am certainly no computer genius, but I surf around, watch the news and email. Even my Father, who was 82 when he died last year, emailed and surfed the web until he began having dementia. Its just a part of life, Its not important for a leader to have a lot of knowledge, but it is important to have a working knowledge of "the internets". This is not college level stuff, this is just normal every day information.

    A President can certainly get someone to do this for him, however, as normal knowledge in our modern world, I would expect him to know something about it.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:08 pm |

    tampa, fl for their own good, they should know how to erase what they don't want to be caught with when they finally do get impeached.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  44. Stacy from Beautiful Loudoun County Virginia

    Jack, my parents look at computers much like the magic voodoo box. They have a computer but are afraid to touch it, except to play video slot machines. With using that as a baseline; I think the president should know more about computers than my parents.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  45. Marilyn from Louisiana

    Absolutely !!!!!!! Jack, what a question. Most children at the age of 5 and 6 are computer literate.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  46. kay

    You don't need be computer literate to be president or a ceo.These people have a number of staff to serf the web.You can't believe everthing on the web,tv,radio or in the paper.
    I am 66 years old so you young ones stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  47. Tina (Texas)

    I just want my next president to be literate instead of a complete boob that we have now. He has slayed the English Language and has made the world a worse off place to live in . And besides you have aides to handle your computer doing and I bet there is missing important docuements that are missing from this White House computers that we, the public will never see.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  48. Michelle, Washington DC

    Yes. Most of us use them every day. However, at this point, I'm just happy both candidates are literate.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  49. Esther Marie Cuyahoga Falls OhiO

    could not be more important to me that a president knows how to use the computer.
    its more important to me that he understands the economy and understands right from wrong. its more important that he understands its our country and that its our decision on where to take it and not the congresses. I want a president who is first Human and understands other than just the top 400 in this countries needs. I want a president who will stop the fighting in washington and kick the lobbyist out. I want more of the money from the tax payers spent in this country and not on loans and grants to foreign countries.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  50. Emma, San Jose, CA

    A president needs to experience the limitless sources of information that his or her constituents have available to them. It is like knowing at least basic arithmetic as an essential skill.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  51. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    If McCain is elected I guess we need to get out the protractors, long devision tables, and lots of paper..........he could care a less about computer technology..............

    August 6, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  52. Dorothy L. Constantin

    Just being LITERATE would be a start, a refreshing change from the embarrassment we have in the White House these days.

    Dot, Orange Park, FL

    August 6, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  53. cy gardner

    The current president is a moron. Why can't we ask Americans to vote for the guy who seems the smartest? Why do so many Americans WANT to vote for the guy who's the dumbest? What's wrong with us? cy gardner arlington va

    August 6, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  54. Lucas, Pawling NY

    Let's not aim too high – just being literate would be a breath of fresh air in the White House.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  55. Jenny Rome Ga

    I first want to say thtat I agree Steve, the President must be constitutionally literate. (Lord knows that the last two guys were not). I do think that the man should at least be able to check email and send email.. Basic things like that. He will have staff to figure out what happened to the task bar when it suddenly dissapears on him and such.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  56. Dorothy Day

    I agree with Steve. It's more important to be "constitutionally literate" than computer literate. I would hope that any candidate does understand, however, the power of the medium whether or not they can put up their own My Space page. The power of the internet is leeching power from the other media and that is something they need to recognize and learn to use.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  57. kenneth sibbett

    Jack, Bill Clinton spent 8 years in the White House and sent one
    E-Mail. I believe it worked out pretty good for the American People.

    Kenneth Chadbourn N.C.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  58. Dan, Maryland

    I don't understand how anyone can not understand computer technology. If we require our middle and high school students in this country to know how to use a computer, is it really that much to ask that a president know how to do the same?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  59. Monty Squier

    It’s not that important to understand the technology, but it’s important to use this technology.
    I don’t know much about the technology, but I use my computer all the time.
    President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton allegedly didn’t know how to type, but that didn’t stop them from using a computer.
    I’m sure that Barack Obama knows more about computer technology than John McCain, who won’t use his computer unless it can drill for oil or operate a nuclear reactor.

    El Paso, Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  60. Tequita

    Extremely important.....the 3am phone call may cease to exist, as regular phones become obselete, and the red button might need to be accessed through computer technology!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  61. Deb, Mill Valley, CA

    It is critical for the president to have a world-view that encompasses what is possible in order to eliminate the dysfunctional mess in the executive branch, advance the country technologically, and insure that policy and governance do not interfere with constructive progress. With an understanding of computer technology you can have a presidential campaign that is grass-roots based on social networking and end up being the first viable black presidential candidate. Without it you can run a top-down campaign, fire, hire, and reorganize frequently, pay big bucks for staff and always be in catch-up mode. Experience is only as good as what you have learned and your ability to remember and apply what you have learned...

    August 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  62. Deb- OK

    I think it is important. It shows their desire to seek knowledge and learn what is going on in the world. Even my mother in law who is 78 gets on the computer constantly. If you are not willing to learn you are not showing me you can lead.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  63. J.C. from Raleigh, NC

    A leader must be conversant with the latest technology. Lincoln is said to have gained Civil War victory by making use of the telegraph, modern technology at that time.
    Team Obama gained its edge over the Clintons by using the internet more effectively.
    McCain's technophobia underscores a truculence that speaks volumes about how he might handle future crises.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  64. Gregg El Paso TX

    If the McCain wins the White House it isn't necessary at all. His wife can bail him out when he stumbles... which from what I have seen, is often. Barack Obama is computer literate, educated, has zeal, minimal Washington experience, and can stand on his own two feet. Good qualifications for the next president...... dot com!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  65. Fred, Las Vegas,

    Yes it is important. We live in an age when computers have become an integral part of our lives and I see no reason why a president shouldn't know how to use a PC. How can such a president be in touch with this generation.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  66. Greg in Cabot AR

    How can you expect a president to be computer literate if he is 72 years old and doesn't know how to use a tire guage?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  67. Todd / NYC

    An absolute prerequisite. The computer isn't simply a machine among many but rather a fundamental tool who's importance to humanity is on the level of the wheel, electricity and penicillin. Someone who doesn't understand that, worse yet admits to not using a computer (McCain), can't be expected to effectively lead us into the 21st Century. To think in 2008 we might elect a President that doesn't know how to use a computer is downright depressing. So much for a future without limits.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  68. Adams

    Jack, we're in the 21st century. and in case you don't know, the world has become a global village for God's sake . woul'nt it be embarrassing and a muckry to the people of america to know their president is out of touch with modern technology. how does america want to compete with the likes of china and japan?. when, they would have elected a leader who is technologically illetrate.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  69. Annie, Atlanta

    If you can't understand how to use a computer how in the world are you going to make heads or tails of the complex information you'll be bombarded with daily?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  70. William Allen

    Of course its important in this day of modern technology where most things are run or operated by some form of computer.
    To not be in tune with computer technology, is automaticly two strikes against a would be President, especially one who has to read all his speeches.

    William N.B. Canada.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  71. Norm (Columbia, SC)

    Of course. What government job would I be eligible for if I did not have basic computer skills?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  72. circy in New Mexico

    Yes, for one reason only. To show the American people that the next President lives in the 21st century, not the 20th, like John McCain. It isn't necessary to be a computer geek, but rather to show people that the President is keeping up with ever-changing scenarios and would be able to respond to events, without the aid of cue cards and advisors telling the President which way to jump.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  73. John Roberts

    In 2008 Computer literacy is practically mandatory for any public servant. So yes, it is important.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  74. Frank from Peterborough

    Being able to use the computer in 2008 is a necessity to anyone above the age of 4 if they want to stay in touch with what is happening in the 21st Century.

    It is very difficult to comprehend how someone could be a pilot and not be able to use a computer unless of course they were only planning a one way trip.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  75. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    I do not know from computer literate, Jack. However, I do think it would be a nice change to have a President who was literate, period.

    Pablo in Arlington, Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  76. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Yes for some, however it is not important, especially when you are stuck on stupid......and we have been stuck for the last eight years. We have tests for people for drugs and alcohol. Why don't we test for stupidity, illiteracy and avarice?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  77. Uche, Harrisburg, PA

    To some extent Jack. He needs to be literate enough to at least recognize the 'ENTER' button which he needs to push in the event of a nuclear war.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  78. roberta

    As a person over 65 it terrifies me that someone older than I am could become the next president of the US; however the thought that Mc Cain is also a computer illiterate compounds my fears. It is time to pack it up John. We need a person in office who really is a member of the 21st century.....oops maybe he doesn't know the computer, because he is comfortable with the past. Why should he tax his brain....he is only running for the highest office in the land.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  79. Jasmine in Germany

    It's very important, Jack. We live in the Information Age (aka Digital Age, Wireless Age) and our president should be part of the present era. It's not just a matter of delegating computer related duties or research, it's also a matter of fulfilling personal intellectual curiosty and having information at your fingertips 24/7.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  80. Jed in Redding, CA

    Watching McCain talk about the internet just reminds me of the time I tried to teach my grandfather about email. It's just that painful.

    But is it important? Ohhhhh yeah... Not because he needs to use a computer as part of his daily tasks but because in the coming years legislation regarding the Internet and other computer uses will certainly come across his desk. All I know is that if someone has to log onto the internet for you, you probably don't understand the repercussions of internet and computer use legislation.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  81. Patricia F Pine Plains NY

    Something that always rang true to me. On the old Hollywood Squares, actor Paul Lynn (Center Square) replyed to a question about intelligence, "An intelligent person will only become more intelligent as he/she grows older. A stupid person will, sadly, grow dumber as he/she grows older".

    Yes, a President must be computer literate and be able to read any and all newpapers everday, as JFK did. It keeps the President advised of everything that is going on in the country and the world. It also helps keep the brain young. Use it or lose it.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  82. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    If a President can not understand how to use something as easy as a computer how can they be expected to understand the complex new tech items for the Military and other branches of the Government. Our future presidents need to be able to understand some basics about our advances.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  83. Mikey P

    Considering that we live in a technological virtual world, it's very important. At least know how to retrieve your email.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  84. Melia BL

    Hello Jack; I am almost a 75 years(young) woman, who would be lost without my computer. I do all our banking, income taxes. photo printing, music and movie downloading and burning etc on my comp.. If I need to know something I am not familiar with, or want to know,I google it.
    I believe you need to be up on the new technologies.
    For this reason I believe a president needs to know at least the basics of computering, It will show he has the intelligence he needs to have.
    Like your show-MeliaBL-Ontario

    August 6, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  85. bertha malveaux

    Jack,It,s most important for the president to understand computers.not knowing how to use a computers these days make you look dumb.mcain have to rely on cindy ,maybe she should be the one running for president!! Houston Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  86. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    A good leader and manager doesn't need to have an understanding of computers, they need people around them too. Selecting the right people to do the jobs necessary to run our government effectively is the key. We don't need someone surfing the web, playing games, etc on a computer.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  87. Linda in Florida

    I don't think he has to be an expert because of all the support the President has. However, in this day and age, I think it is important that he has at least a working knowledge of the internet, email, instant messages, etc. so he knows what the heck people are talking about.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  88. kenneth sibbett

    The 80 billion should be used to rebuild Highways, bridges, schools,and rebuild the Armed Services. The American ones.

    Kenneth Chadbourn N.C.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  89. Ray Carlson

    Jack, as far Sen McCain is cocerned, the questio is moot.
    Sen Obama proved his worth along time ago.
    Ray, SC

    August 6, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  90. Rosalynd Florida

    Want to be the leader of the free world, Absolutely. I mean how does one even get along these days without computer literacy. McCain is just really showing his age on this one.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  91. Michael In Maine

    Jack, If nothing else it 's just another example how far out of touch McCain is with mainstream America. You may as well be asking if it's important for the next President to understand and be in touch with the America we're living in today. We really don't need a Horse, Wagon and Buggy Whip expert as our next President.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  92. Leo H

    Well, we elected one who doesn't make sense when he talks over one who invented the internet; so the next logical step is to elect one whose first computer was the Abacus over one who doesn't resemble our previous leaders.

    Seems we always seek the lowest denominator to determine who will sit in the oval office. We like our presidents to be one of the guys, you know, the same ones that will go behind our backs to screw us.

    So if he doesn;t know anything about computers, who cares. We certainly don't.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  93. Sherri

    I believe it is very important to be part of the 21st century & the technology that comes with it, BUT sadly for Sen. McCain he could care less because he would have his lackies & flunkies doing everything for him. He is 10 yrs too late for the presidency and it is quite obvious NOW that its true, as this champaign goes on then it will become more obvious. Did you see his speech toda? it was sooo bland and the people behind him looked so disguisted as if they were made to stand behind me. YAWN YAWN YAWN!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  94. Diane Glasser

    I think the President should know how a computer works, that is the basics – and know that it is not a bunch of tubes that send info around like a certain former government official who thought that was how it worked.
    The President should worry more about the country and how to fix it instead of "vegging out" in front of a computer screen. Of course that is where I am now.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  95. don dean

    how about just literate huh

    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  96. Greg, PA

    Jack didn't we just have this conversationn about you asking stupid questions?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  97. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    If you want to be a 21st Century President, you need to be proficient with computers, at least know how to create documents in WORD and be able to e-mail. Knowledge of these makes a person more efficient and time is saved. McCain is part of the past!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  98. Deb (Bow, NH)

    The President is isolated enough from the real world and the issues that affect most of us. And it's great to have a staff, but not being computer-literate means the President has lost a major tool in becoming less isolated. In the 21st century, being computer illiterate is not much different from being illiterate 100 years ago.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  99. Steve Daniell in Montgomery, Alabama

    Dear Jack,

    I think most Americans are looking for a commander-in-chief, not a blogger-in-chief. Computer literacy shouldn't matter any more than whether a president knows how to drive a car: both are useful skills, but neither has much bearing on deciding the fate of the free world.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  100. PJ, Brookline, MA

    Well, my wife's 85 year's old grandma is glued to her Mac and Facebook, why cannot grandpa McCain make a little effort too? In addition, he might want to learn that Iraq and Pakistan do not border, and that Checkoslovakia dissolved in 1993.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  101. Geri Britt

    While I wouldn't expect the President to have to actually use a computer while in office, it seems to me that a person "who doesn't know how to use a computer today" either has everyone around them carrying their water for them or they could care less about what is going on in the present, perhaps both. It shows a person is somewhat fearful of the unknown, has already made up their mind about the way to do things, and they have a definite lack of curiosity and flexibility. Question is: Are these the characteristics we want in a President?

    Geri – Mead, OK

    August 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  102. garrick

    Hi Jack
    its very important,look at you, all your reports come off the internet,what McCain will make us go back to paper trail or he will bring back the pony express.your not that illiterate.you learned how.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  103. BOB in Michigan

    Yes, Jack in this day and age anyone that is that important should be up to date and computer literate.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  104. Barbara Barton

    He should be I don't care how old you are, I had a neighbor 84 who knows how to use one. I'm 60 ish and know how to use one.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  105. Jim Engle

    Jack, Computer Skill Yes. But without being articulate, honest, intelligent, corageous, a leader, inspirational, and trustworthy, the computer skill will not matter.
    Jim LA

    August 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  106. J. Weidenbach

    How can a future Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. A. not have any computer skills in the 21st Century? How are military plans made and presented these days, on a blackboard with chalk? That's not how the terrorist leaders do it and they seem to know what they're doing.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  107. Ken, Millington Mi

    Jack. I really don't think its super important thats why the president has a white house staff. However both candidates might want to be able to play Free cell or tetris or surf the net.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  108. Karen, Idaho Falls Idaho

    The next president doesn't need to be computer literate–he has plenty of assistants to do that for him. He DOES, however, need to be literate enough to be able to pronounce the word NUCLEAR correctly.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  109. Brian - Trinidad

    Its very important for a President to understand about computer technology because it means that he/she understands how life is today in the country.Not only limited to computer technology,but all other facets of American Life today.You can't lead if you're out of touch,as we have seen time and time again.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  110. Keith - Cleveland

    Now that you ask, Jack... I would just settle for a president whose litterate... PERIOD.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  111. Barbara Barton

    They owe us big time, we should get atleast half of it to pay back the money Bush has wasted on this war and to hlep the soldiers who got hurt or died in the war.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  112. "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." Obama 95

    No... not at all... if he's surfing he's not getting anything done. I imagine his day is very full with briefs, meetings, etc... he walks in and the brief starts... someone is controling all that... if he's the guy building his power point presentation... there is a problem.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  113. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I don't think so.I don't think the President will be writing to the "Cafferty File".Computer literate ,no, just plain literate ,yes!!!!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  114. James

    How in the world can you operate an economy largely based on e-commerce without being somewhat computer literate? Now I don't think they need to be a Level 3 programmer but they do NEED to have an understand on how the internet operates and the basis of commerce based on the internet. This President will be setting the direction of the future of the internet and e-commerce for decades! In essence if the President doesn't understand the internet it would be like blind person driving a car. They might be able to do it for a little while, but the results are most likely going to be disastrous!

    August 6, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  115. angel in Louisiana

    I don't care if he's computer litterate or not. It would be nice to have a president that is wise, understanding and has a heart.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  116. john from indiana

    I was undecided who i was going to vote for but my pick now is Obama. I cant believe John McCain is computer illiterate. It just shows how out of touch with society he is.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  117. aaron in Carolina Beach NC

    Of course it is. A President should understand present technology. He should not only be aware of it but understand it well enough to make the best use of it. How else could they consider themself a good leader.

    August 6, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  118. Bev Stewart

    While John McCain's video may characterize Obama as being a leader like Moses, it is apparent that John McCain is as old as Moses. Was Moses younger or older than Methuselah?

    August 6, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  119. Vinnie Vino

    In this era of high tech communication devices it is essential for any future President to be computer literate. In order to stay informed about domestic and internatonal breaking news and then have the ability to use the equipment to address any situation...

    C.I., New York

    August 6, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  120. Sol, Potomac MD

    McCain's lack of familiarity with the Internet demonstrates a lack of curiosity which is paramount in a president. It also shows a certain willingness to be completely dependent on others and possiblly a touch of laziness.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  121. Dave in Veazie, ME


    As a graduate student at the University of Maine, who in addition to writing simulation code for my thesis project, also teaches an online astronomy lab course, I haven't gone a day without using a computer in years.The fact is that most Americans use computers everyday and often are required to for work. The internet has become many peoples primary source for news and information, as well as being a primary source for communication with friends, relatives, and employers or employees. The fact is that computers have integrated themselves into almost every aspect of our lives. It would be shameful to have a president who doesn't understand computers or the internet in this day in age, but I don't think it should be a deciding factor in who you vote for. Besides, there are plenty of other reasons not to vote for McCain.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  122. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    McCain constantly shows his ignorance and that he knows nothing about how average Americans live. To have almost any job today a person must have a working experience using a computer. If McCain was in the real world he would be unemployable and retired.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  123. E (Annapolis)

    Of course and without a doubt! Where would we be without the internet and the many tech advancements. Next President should be at least AWARE of the impact that internet has on our society. Senator Obama knows what's up; McCain not so much. New blood and well-informed blood is needed in the White House to run the nation of quite internet, tech-savy generations!

    August 6, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  124. Charlie, The Independent in New Mexico

    If by "literate", you mean capable of finding information via the internet . Then Yes.... Mayybe then were would be fewer in the white house telling the oval office what they wanted to hear instead of what they needed to hear.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  125. Tommy Honea

    Jack, I'm more concerned that senility has set in rather than Senator McCain's computer skills. Let's be clear, we are talking about a presidential candidate who thought Pakistan and Iraq border each other, needed a former Democratic Sentator to correct him on several occasions regarding the differences between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and appeared like a deer caught in the headlights when asked why he voted for a bill that allowed insruance companies to pay for Viagra while providing no coverage for birth control.

    I for one would be greatful if Senator McCain stays away from the White House computers if he is elected President – he may accidentally "delete" or "forward" information vital to our national security.

    Huntsville, Texas

    August 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  126. Bruce St Paul MN

    I don't think the president has to be fluent, but literate should be required. It has to do with awareness of the world around you and how it works. Its about being able to speak in the vernaculer of the day. And of course, the next president will have to deal with that "antiquated" e-mail system they have in the White House, the one that automatically deletes potentially incriminating e-mail.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  127. Susan

    The next President should not only understand the computer, but should also know how to use it. A president who is computer illiterate has no business being our President, just goes to show someone like that is totally living in another world. I just wish we could get a smart President, is that too much to ask.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  128. Jaime, Plantation FL

    A man who doesn't know about the internet doesn't have a basis upon which to form position on issues like net neutrality or electronic surveilance in the digital world.

    We force doctors to keep learning about new techniques in medicine, shouldn't we force our leaders to know a little about life in America?

    August 6, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  129. Hope M.Madisonville, KY

    I would think it is very important for the President to have a basic
    working knowledge of the internet and computers. Aren't the launch codes computerized? Scary to think he might hit the wrong button and
    blow us all up!

    August 6, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  130. Reg from Florida


    People who drive in golf cart with $520 pair of italian shoes are considered high society, the elites sort of speak. John McCain does not need to know about computer because he can pay people to do it for him. He can also use this short coming as an excuse after he gets us involved in a war with Iran under the pretext that he could not read the report. We are moving into the future but Mccain is still in the stone age. Should by some miracle he wins the presidency, may god bless us.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  131. Greg Boyce

    just make sure his e-mailes are archived and retreiveable just in case of another Plame scandal in which thousands and thousands of e-mails were lost during the period of the leak of a covert operative in the CIA

    August 6, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  132. Paulina, The Netherlands

    I'd start with a literate president first, and take it from there.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  133. Al, Lawrence KS

    If McCain is elected, I'm more worried that he might not remember where he left the keys to the White House.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  134. VA2CA, San Diego

    Jack, to me, a reluctance to "learn to get on the internet" signals the reluctance to embrace technological advances. I think it's important for our next President to be comfortable with and interested in innovation and development of new technologies....not one who is comfortable with the status quo.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  135. Kelly

    UGH, this makes me sick. Although I have other more significant issues with Mccain...this is just a joke. Come on Mccain, my 84 year old grandmother can use email.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  136. RP McKinney, Texas

    You bring up an interesting point Jack. All this electronic Gizmo crap has taken us away from the simple things in life. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone by hand?
    Electronic gadgets are fine but none of them replace common sense.
    McCain just hasn't needed to use those devices to do his job while so many others are so dependent on them that they couldn't do their job or function in life without them. Being computer illiterate does not mean you are not normal. It just means you don't need electricity to function.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  137. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Dear Jack,

    It's real important. If you're not computer literate, you won't be able to do the stellar job I did. You won't be able to use the Google to pull up maps. I've forgot the name of the program – but you get the satellite, and you can – like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It remind me of where I wanna be sometimes.


    August 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  138. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Knowing how to use a computer is no more important then knowing where the Iraqi and Afghanistan borders are or the difference between a Shiite & a Sunni or what can be gained by Vetoing beer.

    When you consider all these factors along with some of the childish ads being run by McCain Americans must be real excited about the possibility of where their headed in the next 4 years.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  139. Kelly, Philadelphia

    Let's see. Is it important for the leader of the free world in the 21st century to be computer literate? Wouldn't be a shame if he weren't? What does it say about a presidential candidate who hasn't invested the time to learn the basics of the Internet and what example does it serve to our youth?

    August 6, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  140. me46

    It is always difficult to see the future while living in the past.
    Razicudlo (Las Vegas)

    August 6, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  141. Jesse (State College, PA)

    Jack, understanding computer technology is understanding how the world is changing. It ads fuel to the fire that John McCain is of the old group of politicians that doesn't understand the younger generation. The internet is where the money is. Howard Dean was the first to understand this fact. As a younger American, If John McCain doesn't bridge the generation gap between his and ours, he will loose this election.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  142. Kerry Diehl

    Not that important.

    I'm sure he will "moderate" out any emails I might send him just like you or your crew do with me on the "Cafferty File".

    August 6, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  143. Jerry, Monroe Co. WV

    What? It's not a prerequisite, like being 35 years old. Then it ought to be. We'll need to fix that first thing with the new fillabuter proof congress.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  144. Steve Peach - Indiana

    Hey Jack,

    you bet it's important! The last thing we need is another Regan situation telling some of his buddies "Okay boys, I just fired the nukes and in 30 minutes Russia will be no more"! The problem with McCain is that he's so old that he just might hit the wrong button and the next thing you know, BOOM! Obama is the man if this is the only criteria, mainly because his children are younger and can teach him how to hack into the double top secret government websites.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  145. Sandra fromTexas

    I am not that far behind McCain in age, and I know how to use a computer. I taught myself with a little help from my neighbor. It is absolutely shocking to me that he does not know how to use one. He doesn't need to be a guru but everyone should know how to do the basics.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  146. Pooldoc in San Antonio, TX

    On a scale of one to ten, I’d give understanding computer technology a zero. That’s why we hire Webmasters like you Jack. The President’s job is first and foremost to be a project manager, to delegate authority to the experts in their relative fields. Personally, I want my President to protect me from enemies foreign and domestic, to bolster the national economy, and to ensure domestic tranquility, not to Google or chat online with computer geeks. That’s your job Jack.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  147. George

    To understand computer technology would be helpful to know for anyone, especially the Leader of the Free World . That way if, and when they should have to push the red button, or have to make that red phone call at sometime, they will at least have a clue as to what is about to happen however it would take a little common sense which seems to be is missing in present leader.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  148. Les Young Oklahoma

    McCain is the only guy I know who could make Bush seem of average intelligence. Talk about slow this guy makes a rock look smart. I would say in this day and time it is as important as being able to read.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  149. Joe Spence

    I am older than Mr. McCain and I can fumble around the internet. From what I've seen I think he's a bigger fumbler than me but surely the young Cindy could give him a few lessons.
    She could do more than stand by his side. She could try to make him literate.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  150. Bill,Quarryville. PA

    If you do not know how to operate a computer then you're out of touch with the modern world. Anyone who is out of touch with the modern world should not be running for president.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  151. JW Georgia

    To me, this precisely explains why McCain would propose to solve oil dependency with more oil. He's limited in his scope, and science/technical myopia is not a characteristic we need any more of in America. Time to get this ship of state off the reef if we possibly can. We'll need something besides buggy-whip leadership to do it.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  152. Kevin C., Portland OR


    Yes, it's important that the next president be literate in terms of computer technology, but I'm more concerned about having a president who has the ability to read, write, and to speak effectively and eloquently. We've been without for almost 8 years. A blundering, blubbering, flubbing idiot does not a good president make. An articulate, inspiring, Googling, Wikipediaing leader of this country? I say YAHOO!

    August 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  153. Marie, Texas

    Jack, if we have a president who has time to surf the net then I say we are DOOMED! Next he would be chatting and blogging!
    Instead, there should be a map hanged in his office with pins in each one he invades to reminds him of where our sons and daughters are!

    August 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  154. David Richards

    Even my 86 year old grandmother knows how to use a cell phone and email. We've got one candidate who lives in the twenty-first century and one who is stuck in the twentieth. John McCain is computer illiterate and his energy policy is straight out of the seventies. Barack Obama is running an internet savvy campaign and his energy policy is heavy on technology.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  155. P.J.

    How would the once intrepid fighter jet pilot fly today's planes, when everything is computer-based, including training and simulation?

    August 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  156. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    It is absoultely essential. Good leaders are good communicators. McCain has already demonstrated his ineptitude by failing to understand that the simple act of communicating the importance of tire pressure to the motoring public can be worth more than all the mineral rights that big-oil wants him to extort from the public's assets.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  157. Courtney- Gatorland,Fl

    if you have to be computer literate to work at McDonald's, i'm thinking the president should know how to send an email.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  158. Nancy, Tennessee

    Do we really want the President to get addicted to the blogs on the Internet? When that call comes through at 3 a. m. in the morning, we don't want our President to be catching some z's because he stayed up too late surfing and blogging. Let's let him slide on this one unless they change the red phone to a video conference over the web. Then he'll need to get up to speed right away.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  159. Matt - Minnesota

    It's more important to be in touch with the american people than in touch with a keyboard. For 220 years our presidents got by without computers. I'm sure if need be he could dictate to a secretary. I'd rather have a computer illiterate president than an Teleprompter dependant president.
    Minneapolis, MN

    August 6, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  160. Bob S Philadelphia, PA


    Not at all as long as the president knows how to balance the budget and get us out of the mess that Bush has us in I could care less if he knows how to turn a computer on.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  161. Rob - Radcliff, Kentucky

    Yes I think presidents should be computer literate or at least familiar with current technology. The problem with McCain is that he is not up to speed with alot that the everyday person is; the economy is a good example. Read the news old guy, i'm sure you still get a paper. Maybe his security detail takes it and reads while they wait.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  162. Tom in Desoto Texas

    I believe it is important. I'm sure there are times a person, and it doesn't have to be a president, who whats to communicate something without using a phone. Does the government really need a designated e-mailer for a president? Computers have been around over a generation now so there's not excuse not knowing how to use one, unless the person is Amish and/or without electricity

    August 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  163. J.D.

    It would be nice to have a president who grasps what the rest of us live with on a daily basis and computers are part of the equation. He might also bone up on gas prices, food prices, etc., although if we end up with the $100 million dollar guy I guess it won't mean much to him anyway.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  164. Tunde

    It is extremely important! How can a computer illetrate claim to have his finger on Globalisation if he cant event operate a computer?

    August 6, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  165. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Why would McCain need to know about Computers? I'm sure he is familiar with stone tablets.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  166. Joe

    Not as important as the automobile. That's why I'm voting for McCain in 08.



    August 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  167. Paula from Georgia

    No, but I'm more than sure everone in the Press will run a campaign against John McCain on this subject. what he doesn't know, you can always and will hire someone who does. Jack. This is a mpron question. If you don't have some idea about a computer nowadays, for a job folks, you might not get the job.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  168. Bruce, Georgia

    John McCain should have taken an interest in becoing computer literate years ago but better late than never.
    However its not just computer literacy - how about sunni-shia literacy, middle east border literacy, and tire inflation literacy?
    If we elect this uneducated bungler to be president then we deserve evrything that happens just like we do right now for electing Bush in 2004.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  169. Rudy NYC

    No, that's what advisers are for. But, it is important for the president not to brag about being computer illiterate. Advisers are supposed to tell him that, too.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  170. E. B. - Atlanta

    Hmmmmm, in my day to day the only people not needing to have the ablity to use computers would be the greeters at Wal-mart. I assure you alot of them know how to use one.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  171. GrammieJ

    Jack, good to discuss this question. I am 64, had to learn computer skills because of my teaching job, so I did and I believe in life-long learning, no matter what the subject. Not much rocket science in being computer literate! Makes me think that McCain does not feel it is important to be educated in the modern global world.
    But hey, if you have a wife worth millions, why bother, just let everyone else do things for you!!
    Just my thoughts, thanks
    Grammiej from Tennessee

    August 6, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  172. toni boutwell, myrtle beach, SC

    It's important in that it is part of showing that someone is in touch with modern reality, and knows how to use the tools available. McCaine has already shown himself to be so far out of touch with the real world and the things that are important to regular Americans that his computer illeteracy is mearly confirmation of what we already know.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  173. Susan, Cary, NC

    YES this is the age and at 60 it is one of the skills I feel most critical for everyone today. You do not have to have a computer at home, you can use a computer in a library for searches, etc. The fact that McCain said he is getting familiar with "The Google" and "The Internets" is downright scary!

    August 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  174. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    Yep–but I don't think either one of these guys are too savvy on the PC.
    They've just got a lot of people who are.

    The thing that impresses me most about this election is the quick access to information from all of the candidates. It makes it really easy to quickly compare the agenda's and ideals to aid in decision making.

    I guess that's why I'm no longer a Democrat–and can't stand the GOP (thanks GW) information is power.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  175. Johanna Raleigh

    I find it astonishing you even had to ask that question Jack!! Most 3 year olds know how to turn on a computer and open programs. My grandfather learned how to use a computer in a matter of weeks. Technologically the world is changing everyday, and its imperative that the leader of our country at least know how to return an email. If John McCain takes learning the computer as seriously as his policies, I'm scared to see where we would be in a couple of years if he is elected.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  176. stephanie/houston

    It gives a speedier way to access the information highway of our youth and issues that humanity is concern with. Without technical knowlege you can not hope to keep up with an access to a majority of these issues.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  177. Barky Political

    It shows that he has no proficiency for keeping current with the social standards and practices of the American public. Such a person should not be in the oval office, where these standards are key.

    August 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  178. Marv from New York

    WHOA there Jack,

    Are you asking this question about our US President or a group of

    pre schoolers? Anyone in this day and age that doesn't take the time

    to learn how to use a computer is, Hmmmm lets just say "LAZY".

    Marv from New York

    August 6, 2008 at 4:09 pm |