PHOENIX—The strategic brain trust behind Republican Sen. John McCain’s bid for the White House spent the wee hours of Tuesday evening trying to decide how to pronounce the word “pwned.”
“That word is found in every general election discussion on the Internet, talking about how our team fared tonight,” says Steve Schmidt, McCain’s chief strategist. “And it’s true: our showing could not be summed up any better. Now I need to figure out how to say the damned word.”
Schmidt figured it would be wise to use a tech-savvy word properly during the myriad media interviews he will be forced to attend over the next few days.
“I wish I had even a good guess,” Schmidt says. “Is it ‘pooned’? How about ‘poaned’? Or perhaps it’s more of a Q sound, like ‘pwenned.’
“The last time the GOP got ‘pwned,’ in 1996, this sort of fancyspeak wasn’t more than a glimmer in some online gamer’s eye,” he added. “So these are uncharted waters for me.”
Schmidt said his gut told him it should be pronounced “pooned,” although he seemed to face strenuous objections from working-class hero Joe the Plumber and uber-asshole Karl Rove—they both were leaning toward “poaned.”
Schmidt says he consulted vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who dodged the question while somehow managing to bring William Ayers into the conversation.
“Now that the media have called it for Obama, I can finally tell her to shut the fuck up,” Schmidt sighed.