Monday, October 06, 2008

John McCain's Losing Pisses Me Off Express

Angry, angry, angry:

McCain laughably claims that Obama gets touchy or angry when his credentials or policies are questioned, but of course the person who really does that is Ragin' John McCain. Just read this editorial by one of the editors of the Des Moines Register, who sat in on John McCain's clenched-jaw performance last week:

Basu: Is McCain too thin-skinned for presidency?

John McCain is angry.

You can feel it in the clenched muscles in his throat, the narrowing of his eyes, the controlled tone with which he handles a question he doesn't like, as if struggling to contain something that might spill out. We've seen that body language on TV. But around a Des Moines Register table Tuesday, the anger and tension were palpable. And unsettling.

McCain's volatility has been written and whispered about by staff and Senate colleagues: the mercurial temper, the quixotic outbursts of reproach, then jocularity. But those alleged episodes were behind the scenes. The combative, prickly McCain we saw was seeking the Register's endorsement. He already got it in the caucuses.

He took frequent offense at questions, characterizing them as personal viewpoints of the questioners rather than legitimate topics. True, he was asked some tough, pointed questions about his running mate and his honesty. But America is having those discussions, and you'd expect he'd be ready, not defensive. It takes a thick skin to be president.

McCain says he is angry because "people are angry." But his behavior suggests it's more than that. Maybe it's because his poll numbers are falling, his running mate is being ridiculed and his attempt to play fixer on the bailout failed to launch. Or maybe, a more worrisome prospect, this is the real McCain - who can't deal with stressful situations without feeling attacked, who lashes out when he feels threatened.

No comments: