McCain calls on Alaskan to step down (Stevens, not Palin) - UPDATE

Jake Turcotte

Were the rumors of Sarah Palin's supposed insurrection just too much for John McCain that he had to ask her to leave?

No, he didn't ask that Alaskan to step down, it's the Senator from Alaska - Ted Stevens - that he thinks should resign.

Stand up

In light of Stevens's legal woes - namely seven felony convictions yesterday - his colleague John McCain asked the Senator to leave.

"Yesterday, Senator Ted Stevens was found guilty of corruption," McCain said in a statement. "It is a sign of the health of our democracy that the people continue to hold their representatives to account for improper or illegal conduct, but this verdict is also a sign of the corruption and insider-dealing that has become so pervasive in our nation's capital."

"It is clear that Senator Stevens has broken his trust with the people and that he should now step down. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will be spurred by these events to redouble their efforts to end this kind of corruption once and for all," he added.

The full scoop

Monitor colleague Yreth Rosen has the full story of Uncle Ted's dire situation (click here). But it's not an impossible situation. He's apparently not bowing out of his Senate race, and before the conviction the race was head-to-head. Who knows, maybe he'll stay in it.

What about Palin?

Running mate Sarah Palin apparently agrees with McCain. Campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds appeared on MSNBC this morning and said, "They've been quite clear in their contempt for his behavior. I don't expect that they would cast their ballot for Ted Stevens if they were Alaska voters," he said.

UPDATE:  Later this afternoon, Palin herself called on Stevens to step down.

"The time has come for him to step aside. Even if elected on Tuesday, Senator Stevens should step aside to allow a special election to give Alaskans a real choice of who will serve them in Congress," she said in a statement.

Series of tubes

If you forgot who Ted Stevens is, one of his more notable claims to fame was for his definition of the Internet. From the Senate floor, Stevens described it as "a series of tubes." His exact words are below, followed by the special "dance remix" of his remarks.

“An Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?
“Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially…
“They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.
“It’s a series of tubes.
“And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.”
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