Is this a record for on-camera blinking?

In this YouTube clip Seantor McCain takes a question from a Fox Network commentator about whether he might suspend his campaign again.

His answer begins around 0:35 and ends at 1:20. In those 45 seconds he blinks approximately 80 times.

The poor video quality makes an exact count hard. My low is 77, my high count is over 90.


Have you ever seen anything like this from a politician? From anyone…in non-wind assisted conditions?

Is my count close to accurate?

Is the video quality so bad that even a rough count is impossible?

He was blinking the word “torture” in Morse code.

I think they had a fan blowing in is face so that his hair would blow back, Farrah-style.

Bad contacts?

And in the spirit of bi-partisanship, I’ll mention Nancy Pelosi does this to. During one of the State of the Union addresses the Daily Show put counters below Pelosi and Cheney (who were both sitting behind the Prez) to keep track of how many times each blinked. The ratio was like 40 to one.

Naw, Obama broke the record for on-camera blinking during the debate.

Yeah, I sorta remember that. Here’s a cite:

And a Letterman Blink-off video. Pelosi blinks 32 times in 24 seconds there. That’s 1.33 blinks per second and pretty good. It doesn’t come close to McCain in this instance (about 1.8 bps) but it was on a bigger stage and she wasn’t talking.

Not seen it in a politician but I saw a TV show where a doctor was talking about the pros and cons of piercing and I’m not exagerating when I say he was blinking CONSTANTLY. He didn’t stop blinking the whole time he spoke and was doing it several times a second, and I’ve no idea how you can keep that up as when I tried that it gave me a headache within 15 seconds.

CNN correspondent Dana Bash (the one that looks like a giraffe in a suit) is Queen Blinky. I can’t even really follow what she’s saying, it’s so singularly distracting.

I used to wonder how she secured or kept an on-camera job with CNN, but I think I know the score: Someone there really took Edward Lorenz to heart, and they’re counting on an increase in juicy hurricane coverage.

McCain has pulled this stunt several times in his run at the White House, dating back to 2000. He rides off to find the Grail, saves the day (not), doesn’t know if he can make it back in time, but manages to arrive in the nick of time to carry on the Crusade. It’s political hackery at its worst. His blinking is probably nervousness that the press just might finally be on to his little game, or his brain frantically trying to figure out if he can sell the bullshit again before the election.

I’ve noticed McCain seems to blink a lot anytime I’ve seen him.

As for comparing Pelosi to Cheney on blinking it’s not quite fair because reptiles naturally don’t blink as much.

I tend to blink a lot if I’m really sleepy and need to be awake. For instance if I find myself driving late at night and I’m really drowsy. Perhaps he just needs a nap?


I’m not sure I like any of those possibilities.