Morning Joe Sparks the Meme: McCain=Old, Testy Nixon!

McCain's campaign wanted this election to be about appearances rather than substance. You know what they say--be careful what you wish for...

Morning Joe opened up with Mika and Joe describing McCain in a light that makes Nixon's storied but failed 1960 debate performance look like Baryshnikov dancing. Here's a paraphrase of the transcript:

Scarborough: What was visually strange was the fact that John McCain stood there rigid, staring straight ahead while they were talking.

Mika: He never looked at Obama. It was rude. How do you discuss the fate of the world and not look the person you're talking to in the eye?

Scarborough: Visually, it was awkward. Style matters. Remember Gore's sighs? Turned off a lot of people. These debates are about style not substance.

Mika: It's basic human interaction to look someone in the eye.

Scarborough: It feeds into the belief that this man is either arrogant or angry.

Buzzwords include: "arrogant" (awww yeah; look who's uppity now!), "angry" and, based on Joe and Mika's assessment, antisocial. A few minutes later, Scarborough threw in the characterization he heard from some of his redneck panhandle friends (the elusive "I could never vote for a ######" vote):

Mcain looked angry, like a scolding uncle, even a scolding grandfather

I'm not so sure that kind of language was used to describe Nixon's infamously oily performance against JFK. McCain--exponentially less photogenic last night than Nixon was in 1960--seemed to out-Nixon Nixon. And out-Dole Dole. He was fidgety, testy and downright smarmy.

Regarding style and character, once again Obama looks presidential and McCain looks like someone who graduated at the bottom of his class. On the substance, Obama nailed it. As one political scientist succinctly puts it:

"This debate probably comes closest to the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate. ... Kennedy, much like Obama, had to show that he was sufficiently presidential, that he at least had the knowledge base to be commander in chief."

James Bowers, a political science professor at St. John Fisher College

Check and check.

(cross-posted elsewhere)

Tags: Barack Obama, Debate 2008, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

size matters

Remember Gore's size? Turned off a lot of people.

Best phonetic transcript ever!

by Rob in Vermont 2008-09-27 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: size matters

I remember something about putting Gore's size in a lockbox...

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-09-27 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: size matters

Yeah, I was very reluctant to correct it.

by Bob Sackamento 2008-09-27 06:04AM | 0 recs
McCain swore in the debate.

You can hear it at about 4:30 in this video.  He says, "Horseshit," twice.

Pretty intemperate.  

by Beltway Dem 2008-09-27 07:09AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain swore in the debate.

I really don't think he did.  

by Vox Populi 2008-09-27 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain swore in the debate.

I do.  To me, it sounds like, "That's horseshit.  Horseshit."

by TheUnknown285 2008-09-27 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain swore in the debate.

Nope. Sorry to say, it wasn't "horseshit." He said, "Course not, course not." Though it sounded a LOT like horseshit, so I'm happy to keep that one going because it's funnier that way.

by EvilAsh 2008-09-27 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain swore in the debate.

I agree - he said, "Course not."

by rfahey22 2008-09-27 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain swore in the debate.

Not sure whether he did or not...but the CW is starting to form that he DID... a lot of main stream press... at least the online components... have mentioned he said Horseshit.

by yitbos96bb 2008-09-28 06:48AM | 0 recs
Joe and Mika tolled the bell

The after-polls started letting us come down from our paranoid trees, but hearing these two Reliable Republicans confirm the "McCain Lost" meme this morning sealed the deal.

by chrisblask 2008-09-27 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Morning Joe Sparks the Meme: McCain=Old, Testy

They are all to blame for our mess.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7 Rs

by gunner 2008-09-27 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Morning Joe Sparks the Meme: McCain=Old, Testy

I thought morning Joe was Mon-Fri.  How are they commenting on something that happened Friday night?

by semiquaver 2008-09-27 08:59AM | 0 recs
"special" post-debate edition n/t

by Bob Sackamento 2008-09-27 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: "special" post-debate edition n/t

Was it on at the usual 6 Eastern?  MSNBC video podcasts the first hour or so but apparently the weekend edition wasn't included there or in the flash video section.

by semiquaver 2008-09-27 09:09AM | 0 recs
If I remember correctly, it was 7 eastern n/t

by Bob Sackamento 2008-09-27 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Morning Joe Sparks the Meme: McCain=Old, Testy

I would not want a man or woman with McCain's temperament or anger management issues, or adhesion to old unsuccessful trickle down economic theories and cold war foreign policy ideas to lead this country. Last night convinced a lot of people that Obama was a person able to look others in the eye and explain his actions as a well-suited Commander in Chief. It wasn't so much that McCain was edgy and angry, it was his similarity in attitude and inflexibility of any of the Russian cold war demagogues that were our enemies. I felt like he was recreating Khrushchev. The world is much more technologically advanced than that era now, and I really don't believe that McCain would even be a miserable but functional stead if Obama is not elected.

by Jeter 2008-09-27 11:03AM | 0 recs
McCain kept saying

he reached across the aisle all the time in his career.  But last night it was McCain who appeared unable to even look across the aisle at his Democratic counterpart.  Actions speak louder than words, John.

by GFORD 2008-09-27 12:29PM | 0 recs

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