"Irritable," "Sarcastic," "Testy" and "Angry"
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Oct 02, 2008 at 04:21:32 AM EDT
These are all words used yesterday by the establishment press to describe John McCain's interview with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register. The Associated Press' headline: "McCain turns irritable, sarcastic in interview."Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post asks, "McCain: The Angry Warrior?"The New York Times writes of McCain becoming "testy." I'm not sure that these are the types of adjectives the McCain campaign wants associated with their candidate. And then there's this, from Congressional Quarterly:
Let the record reflect that Barack Obama made the approach to John McCain tonight.
As the two shared the Senate floor tonight for the first time since they won their party nominations, Obama stood chatting with Democrats on his side of the aisle, and McCain stood on the Republican side of the aisle.
So Obama crossed over into enemy territory.
He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.
McCain shook it, but with a "go away" look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.
Finally, with a tight smile, McCain managed a greeting: "Good to see you."
Obama got the message. He shook hands with Martinez and Lieberman -- both of whom greeted him more warmly -- and quickly beat a retreat back to the Democratic side.
McCain's looseness with the facts -- which even prompted Karl Rove to speak out -- marked a beginning of the shift in tone within the Beltway, with reporters increasingly incredulous towards the rhetoric from the McCain campaign. Could the last 24 hours -- with the Register interview and now a report of a cold meeting between McCain and Barack Obama last night on the Senate floor -- mark another such turning point? There is a point when passion can become too hot, when one becomes too strident an advocate for one's own position. And at least to those in the establishment media, McCain, it seems, may have crossed that line.