September 27, 2008

John McCain's Contempt

What one misses entirely when listening to the debate was how John McCain was so disrespectful of Obama that he never even looked at him. It's only watching the clips afterwards that I realized how extreme the behavior seemed. McCain looked like a mean and contemptuous man. And this seems to be a major theme of the post-debate impressions.

Here's Josh Marshall's impression from the debate:

I said above that McCain didn't have any freak-out moments. But he did have that sneer and there did seem to be this thing where he was so contemptuous and angry at Obama that he couldn't get himself to make eye contact. I think we'll hear more about that.

Angry, angry, angry. Part of the key here is that McCain is clearly miffed that he even has to debate or run against Obama. He thinks it's an insult.

And yes, other observers have seen that contempt as well. Here's how Jeffrey Goldberg described McCain's reaction after Obama's successful European trip.

When McCain returned from lunch, he asked me a question about Obama: “Did he really appoint a transition team?” I told him Obama had. For a moment an insult seemed to be forming on his lips, but all he said was “Huh,” as he shook his head.

Graham’s presence in Ohio wasn’t coincidental; he was staying close to McCain that week, in order to keep watch over the candidate’s spirit. But Graham could not control McCain’s incredulousness at the sight of Obama, a man he plainly does not respect, striding so assertively across large stages.

“I’m sure he’s extremely intelligent, he’s extremely articulate, and I’m sure he has the ability to learn—but he has no experience,” McCain said of Obama. “Community organizing doesn’t lend itself to knowledge of national-security issues.”

But, remember, this was the same man who selected Sarah Palin as the best person to take his place as President of the United States if something happens to him.

And here's Ezra's take of the debate:


This is dominating much of the post-election talk. McCain wouldn't look at Obama. Kept smirking. Sighing. Sucking in his lips. Flipping his papers angrily. Accusing Obama of "not understanding" basic points of foreign and domestic policy. We knew he didn't want to be there. But he couldn't keep his body language from signaling that he didn't think Obama deserved to be there.

McCain has such an inflated sense of himself as the only true, honorable person that he uses contempt of his opponent as a normal tactic. This is his MO.

Here's the analysis Kate Seeley had last Sunday about what to look for in the debate.

What lasts from a review of Mr. McCain’s national debates — 21 this primary season and more than seven in 2000 that included George W. Bush — is that he relishes direct confrontation. He presents himself as the authority on the broad themes of war and peace, life and death. And depending on his level of contempt for his opponent, he can drip with condescension, even as he sits calmly with his hands folded in front of him, smiling.

...David S. Birdsell, who specializes in political communication and presidential debates at Baruch College, said Mr. McCain could be “irascible and pugnacious and clearly stoked by personal animosity.” It will be a challenge for him to keep that side in check, Mr. Birdsell said, especially toward Mr. Obama, who is 25 years Mr. McCain’s junior and who Mr. McCain believes has not paid his dues.

“Can McCain restrain himself?” Mr. Birdsell asked. “And will Obama have the ability to place the pinpricks at the right moment to elicit that negative, slashing, awkwardly grinning McCain?”

Will McCain's tactic win? There are still so many people who still think he is an honorable, honorable man even though he showed his contempt for the country by recklessly naming Sarah Palin his running mate.

Posted by Mary at September 27, 2008 12:15 AM | Elections | Technorati links |

Yes the contempt was clearly obvious.....he thinks he is better than Barack Obama......but that is where he is wrong...he's not half the man Obama is, nor will he ever be!

Posted by: olusegun at September 28, 2008 04:07 PM