I think it's swell that McCain is now trying to rein in the most rabid elements of his
He acknowledges the "energy" people have been showing at rallies, and how glad he is that people are excited. But, he says, "I respect Sen. Obama and his accomplishments." People booed at the mention of his name. McCain, visibly angry, stopped them: "I want EVERYONE to be respectful, and lets make sure we are."It makes me think: wouldn't it be great if the McCain from 2000 or so could have run this time around? What if we had 2 candidates who both rejected the hatefulness of the Religious Right, like McCain once did? who both denounced the irresponsible Bush tax cuts like the Arizona Senator used to? who both were enemies of Rovian-style character attacks and wedge politics? What if we could have used this election to finally give government-hating, fear-mongering, racist, Christianist, you're-on-your-own, anti-intellectual, nutjob conservatives literally nowhere to go on the national political stage?
The very next questioner tried to push back on this request, noting that he needed to "tell the American the TRUTH about Barack Obama" -- a not very subtle way, I think, to ask John McCain to NOT tell the truth about Barack Obama. McCain told her there's a "difference between record and rhetoric, and I plan to talk about his record, respectfully... I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity, I just mean it has to be respectful."
And then later, again, someone dangled a great big piece of low-hanging fruit in front of McCain: "I'm scared to bring up my child in a world where Barack Obama is president."
McCain replies, "Well, I don't want him to be president, either. I wouldn't be running if I did. But," and he pauses for emphasis, "you don't have to be scared to have him be President of the United States." A round of boos.
Indeed, he just snatched the microphone out the hands of a woman who began her question with, "I'm scared of Barack Obama... he's an Arab terrorist..."
"No, no ma'am," he interrupted. "He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements."
Instead, McCain spent the last 8 years flirting with this crowd, earning their trust for the GOP nomination, and finally selling them his soul by selecting their poster girl as his running mate. Now he can't feign surprise when this relationship he so diligently courted reaches full bloom in front of God and everyone.