Debate: McCain, an angry rusty robot, Obama urbane, in Nashville knockabout

Updated with evidence McCain may be a rageaholic. Brokaw said McCain was trying to be the mischievous imp, but the candidate I saw looked like an angry rusty robot finding ways to insert just about all his stump speech attacks against Obama into non-answers to questions. Maybe it’s just me but his interjecting "my friends" 22 times made him sound like a shifty salesman. He even called Obama "my friend" once, although he also pointed at him another time while turning away from him, and referred to him with contempt as "that one".

— Go to page 4 of comments —

Watch the video here when he points actually twice, not once, and see if you agree it shows pure contempt. Then scroll down to see the video made by BraveNewPac for compelling evidence that McCain has a serious anger control problem, that he may be what is called a rageaholic. Also, someone put a close-up of McCain ignoring Obama’s extended hand and not shaking it at the end of the debate to the tune "Cold as Ice" on YouTube here. The hand you see reaching out to shake Obama’s was Cindy McCain’s. Excuse the pun, but I McCain’s behavior chilling. Obama struck me as urbane, fitting all the definitions of the word:

▸ characterized by tact and propriety ▸ marked by wide-ranging knowledge and appreciation of many parts of the world arising from urban life and wide travel ▸ showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience…

Now that the early polls are in and the pontificaters are pontificating it appears that the Nashville knockabout was at best for McCain a tie which means Obama won. That probably means two things. First, most people either didn’t believe McCain’s denunciation of Obama or didn’t care. They didn’t need Obama to counter-punch by pointing out the misrepresentations made by McCain about his record and his positions. Second, more people liked the style or personality that came across from Obama than from McCain. While some of his upper body stiffness is apparently a result of his Vietnam injuries, he still walked around in stiffly taking small steps. He looked physically shaky and, I hate to say it, elderly, compared to Obama with his loping youthful gait. Obama looked friendly, even bemused at some of McCain’s attacks. McCain’s smile, described accurately by many as sinister, appeared spontaneous. That to me is more frightening than a theatrical smile as it suggests he enjoys being mean. After the debate we saw a few minutes showing Obama being, well, just plain down to earth Barack with his engaging smile, talking to audience members, posing for pictures and signing autographs. He appeared natural, not uppity. I wondered how it could be possible the McCain wasn’t getting equal time. Now we know that for whatever reason he left the stage.

Update: The apple tree on the property line test.
I just thought of a way to judge candidates quite different from the "who you’d rather have a beer with". I’ll call it the apple tree on the property line test. Say you have an apple tree growing right on the property line between you and your new neighbor. You’ve loved the tree for years, enjoying the the shade and the apples. Your new neighbor doesn’t want the shade and doesn’t like apples, so he wants to cut down all the branches and roots on his property. Who would you want to try to negotiate a compromise with as they stood there with a chainsaw, Obama or McCain? Image fair use of low resolution of the cover of ”Texas Chainsaw Massacre #1” from Wildstorm. link

Everyone writing about politics has weighed in on the negativity of the campaign, especially coming from the McCain/Palin side. I’ll just post a link to today’s main editorial from "the newspaper of record" which has a video and a transcript of the entire debate HERE (you know, it’s the paper Republicans love to hate): "Politics of Hate". It begins:

It is a sorry fact of American political life that campaigns get ugly, often in their final weeks. But Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember. They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia. Senator Barack Obama has taken some cheap shots at Mr. McCain, but there is no comparison. "Politics of Hate"

Added 10/9/08: Evidence that McCain is a rageaholic. First read the definition HERE, then watch the video.

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  1. sherry

    Military rules strictly prohibit the endorsement of any candidate.
    Call McCain an egoist, if you must. In political circles, it’s called strategy. There were a lot of hurt feelings from Hillary supporters who will never vote for Obama. McCain attempted to capitalize on that.
    He said he didn’t need them anyway.

  2. Ladywolf55

    tsk, tsk, tsk……..sour grapes?

    Obama has the intellect and classy behavior to DESERVE some hubris. McCain does not. If others did not feel he was qualified for that “top job” he wouldn’t be the nominee, period.

    Same for McCain, but the difference is, his follower’s belief in him was severely misplaced.

  3. Ann

    “I believe what he and Palin are doing at their rallies is nothing short of criminally inciting violence, and they should be arrested and charged with such. They are the lowest of the low.”
    I agree with you it is getting to dangerous and incuting violence. It is scary when a man with the experience that Senator McCan would do such a thing. I thought so much better of him than that. I don’t agree with him but I did respect the man. It is just showing how spoiled and dangerous he is if he doesn’t get his way. We don’t need that in our country right now we need to fix things not destroy them worst. I am afraid of this inciting violence it is getting mean and bad. Lets hope Senator McCane is straighten up by the Republicans before it gets worst. I wish no harm on anyone running but there are those that love that kind of thing. Palin is dangerous and she gets worst every day. It is so wrong to do what they are doing.


  4. sherry

    I hope you are not suggesting the man who gave his acceptance speech amid Greek columns is without hubris.
    $5 million was the cost for the arena for all his showmanship. When I think back on that, it’s hard for me to believe he is terribly empathetic to the masses.
    Anyone who runs for POTUS has to be pretty full of himself, though I must confess the Berlin speech and the Greek columns were just a tad over the top. Bear in mind, after a mere 143 days in the US Senate, he suddenly felt qualified for top job.
    At least Michelle is no longer dressing like Jackie O.

  5. bryan mcclellan

    To clarify, the people who choose to ship with Johnny will have to take over the bridge when they discover he’s out cold on the wheel house floor. They surely will be terrorized when the outgoing salvo takes a 180 in the eyepiece and bears down on them with proximity fuses armed.

    Azimuth is in reference to his angle of attack and it’s apparent lack of ricocheting or establishing a viable point of measure thus going on endlessly into the dark entropy from which it originated.

    The thruster is also applicable. Thanks.

    Sam Steins comment should be trumpeted throughout the media, it’s very relevant to the experience argument.

  6. Tinker

    My husband heard this from a caller on a radio talk show yesterday and we both thought it hilarious and right on the money.

    He said that Tuesday night at the debate John McCain looked like Yosemite Sam stalking around and P-O’d because his dynamite didn’t go off!

  7. Ladywolf55

    I see in John McCain an overwhelming sense of hubris, of entitlement, and he sees Obama as this young (insert racial epithets here) taking what he sees as HIS rightful position. He can hardly control his rage, brought on by years of hubris and rage against himself for what he allowed himself to do in Viet Nam in order to survive.

    This man is a friend of the Bush family. He visits them in their Maine family compound. He is one of the East Coast elitists who have taken over our country. He is one of them, bred into his very bone marrow.

    He gave in to his torturers in Viet Nam. That is something he also has deep shame for, as he knows his father and grandfather would not have done that. McCain blew off his education, and again, had a sense of hubris during that time, based on his family’s military legacy, which deep down, he knows he didn’t live up to. He most likely feels that attaining the Presidency would make up for what he feels he did to shame his ancestors.

    Couple that with increasing dementia due to bad health and old age, and you have one very dangerous individual on your hands. And that’s my .02 on that subject.

  8. pollchecker

    Palin fails Add Cindy

    When the ship has been hurt bad and is taking on water and in danger of sinking, you throw everything overboard in an attempt to stay on top of the water and moving forward.

    If the damage is bad enough, nothing will help and the ship sinks.

    It appears, the damage is bad…hence Cindy McCain (the pill addict) to the rescue. Great Example of Good Judgement, right?

    I guess the country no longer cares about past behavior when choosing a POTUS. That is a dangerous trend as past behavior is the only reality we have to judge a candidate’s future behavior.

    This is why the David Brooks article is so damaging to McCain. But McCain and HIS people aren’t doing a very good job of keeping the sinking ship moving forward themselves. And more and more people are standing on the sidelines watching the McCain campaign sinking like lead.

  9. Hal Brown

    Periscope, wrong end…

    that’s the image I got when I read what you wrote.

    I take it you mean his Azimuth thruster is hanging out. I had to look it up.

    Fitting in with the recklessness, the damn the torpedoes, part of McCain’s personality is the revelation today from Sam Stein on HuffPo that Obama has a top notch transition team preparing for the eventuality that he will win. Every modern candidate has had these prior to the election.

    McCain has no such team and there are leaks from his campaign that he believes this is “putting the cart before the horse” and this would jinx his chances. This is the superstitious way many inveterate gamblers think.

    Is this presidential?

  10. bryan mcclellan

    These tactics are near laughable until one realizes that McCain can no longer come from over the top, but merely direct his attack to come bubbling out of the sewer.

    I have a friend who’s wife never smiles unless the point is dripping in irony, half truth, and self recrimination. Her outward persona is a result of years of medicated existence (mostly illegal), and self made tragedy.

    Cindy McCain would be better served if kept back at the ranch in a fog of Seconal and Budweiser, as per her comments, she has been in a daze since she and Johnny got hitched and has obviously no idea of her husbands voting record concerning Veterans.

    I wonder if their sons recognize her/his lies?

  11. Ladywolf55

    Wow, TJ, I applaud and laud you for speaking your mind about what was most definitely a boring so-called debate, full of campaign sound bites and very little substance. You put it very succinctly.

    Those posting about McCain’s obnoxious, odious behavior are correct. but TJ is also correct about having to hold the nose to vote for the lesser of evils. It’s such a shame that we are not allowed more than two to choose from, and that people have forgotten how to really conduct a proper debate.

    I agree with Hal that Obama does appear to have much empathy. But the fact that he voted for the bailout made a huge difference in my opinion of him. As I told my husband, perhaps he voted for it because until he gets into office, he has to appease the corporate masters.. or.. the other side is he is part of them and their takeover of the USA. We’ll soon find out, I imagine.

  12. Hal Brown

    Palin fails Add Cindy

    … Polls are showing that the luster has not only worn off Palin with undecided voters, but she has turned into a liability because of her personal attacks. So what happens when McCain and Palin trying to cast Obama as “the other”, the unpatriotic one who may really be a sleeper agent for the enemy isn’t swinging any voters?

    The answer is, unleash Cindy McCain, she who accuses Obama of running the dirtiest campaign ever, with more of the same:

    “The day that Sen. Obama cast a vote to not to fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body let me tell you. I would suggest Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day. I suggest he take a day and go watch our men and women deploying.”

    I have to say, she’s a decent enough actor if she knows what absolute B.S. this is because she sure looked and sounded like she really believed it.

  13. pollchecker

    We may not know for years, if ever, who he favors

    Hal, considering every single Military General that worked under GW Bush for the past 8 years, NOW RETIRED, stood up on a stage in support of Obama’s candidacy, that should give you a clue of who Petraeus would be supporting. It’s really too bad that part of the Democratic convention did not get more Media play or time for discussion because it was the same night as Obama’s speech.

    And of course, then McCain went out and selected Palin so he could stop the conversation and turn it back towards him. What an egotist McCain is.

    Problem is that these generals won’t speak out and say the truth or anything that contradicts their Commander in Chief out of a sense of duty. Personally, I believe duty to your country is more important than duty to your POTUS but that is not how the military apparently works.

  14. bryan mcclellan

    I see his slips as subliminal calculated thrusts. If the opponent brings Alzheimer/dementia/PSTD to the table the pity/respect your elders card is in play.

    I don’t buy into this illogical premise but it’s clear to me that McCain and his people are desperate enough to count on voter anger and umbrage, as they have little else with which to do battle.

    What it really shows is the damn the torpedoes recklessness that will rule a McCain ship of state, and alas, a large part of the electorate will not look into the periscope to identify that it is their ignorance that propels the sub surface weaponry back at them.

    One can only wonder what his handlers would say if the gag were removed, and how quickly they will flee if he is unsuccessful.

    Tangentially speaking he has no point of origin, zero chance of finding one in space, and his azimuth is hanging out.

  15. Hal Brown

    Is Petraeus for Obama?

    Here’s the article: “Petraeus Talk Bolsters Obama:
    While McCain Backs Petraeus, General Sounds Notes That Harmonize With Democratic Nominee”.

    We may not know for years, if ever, who he favors. But considering that probably after “my friends” McCain probably said Petraeus the second most often it’s interesting to read what he said about the surge, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    We may know if Obama wins and General Petraeus ends up as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    As for Gen. David McKiernan, commander of the NATO force in Afghanistan, I doubt his views fit in with McCain’s either:

    But there are countless other differences between Iraq and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, it’s such a poor country, by any set of metrics you can imagine. A country that has very harsh geography. It’s very difficult to move around, getting back to our reliance on helicopters. It’s a country with very few natural resources, as opposed to the oil revenues that [Iraq] has. There’s very little money to be generated in terms of generated in Afghanistan. The literacy rate — you have a literate society in Iraq, you have a society that has a history of producing civil administrators, technocrats, middle class that are able to run the country in Iraq. You do not have that in Afghanistan. So there’s educational challenges, challenges of human capitol that I mentioned earlier.

    So there are a lot of challenges. What I don’t think is needed — the word that I don’t use in Afghanistan is the word “surge.” There needs to be a sustained commitment of a variety of military and non-military resources, I believe. That’s my advice to winning in Afghanistan. It won’t be a short-term solution. Read more here.

  16. sherry

    My cousin had PTSD. His whole personality changed when he came home from Vietnam. I was 8 years old, and desperately missed my friend, who once teased me and made me feel adored.
    The man who came back was reserved and given to the “hundred yard stare”
    He and his young wife divorced. There were hushed tones about his violent nightmares.
    Days were bearable. Nights never were.
    He died 4 years ago from complications of agent orange exposure.

  17. Hal Brown

    I’m not HIS therapist, and if I was confidentiality would prohibit me from even admitting it let alone giving an opinion.

    Of course I have tried to apply what I know about psychology to public figures in some of my columns.

    A five year POW experience would have effected anybody psychologically.

    Ideally all POWs should have had therapy on return and headed off delayed PTSD. Some people have prolonged trauma, POWs and child abuse victims are examples, and once the trauma is over they show no symptoms due to repression, even amnesia especially with children.

    There are two kinds of PTSD, acute and delayed, and there are signs McCain has some symptoms of the later.

    On McCain’s slip of the tongue you’d want to ask whether there was something immediate in the moment that unconsciously trigger something from Vietnam, or whether it more ties in with starting to feel (in a different way) ashelpless to control his future as he did in Hanoi.

  18. almandine

    Spot on TJ…

    The scary part is that it doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference which one it is… our chickens are already roosting in all those DC cherry trees. That’s why there’s so much chickenshit to wade through when it comes to engaging our elected reps in honest, useful activity.

    It’s too late in the season to change much about the current Congressional election, but I’ve already put my rep on notice that 2010 will not be a happy time!

  19. sherry

    Hal, you are the therapist. Tell me.
    It concerns me he apparently didn’t realize what he said. Perhaps its just and extention of “my friends”, my fellow prisoners…. o my gosh.
    O that is disconcerting on so many levels.

  20. ECT.


    While watching the debate last evening, I too noticed McCain moving behind Obama several times. McCain also walked towards the audience on several occasions. On one occasion McCain also made a hand motion towards the audience…as if to say ” can you believe this.”

    I am sure if anyone goes back and reviews last nights video they will spot these manouvers of McCains. And, they will also notice that Obama sat quietly and listened respectfully as McCain spoke.

  21. pollchecker

    “My fellow prisoners” says McCain today.

    I make that he made the same mistake when he allegedly, jokingly referred to himself as a dictator.

    Additionally he had the same look when he called himself a dicator…not something that indicated any type of humor.

  22. Hal Brown

    “My fellow prisoners” says McCain today.

    What do you all make of this slip of the tongue?

    I’m struck by how he didn’t seem to realize he said it. Most people who make a slip, even a small one but especially as significant as this one, show some indication on their face that they realize what they said.

    I’m supposed to be the shrink here, but I really don’t want to jump to conclusions that he is having some unresolved PTSD emerge during these stressful times when he’s dealing with growing evidence that he’s going to loose.

  23. Hal Brown

    I’m frustrated, that’s a mild term for how I feel, with candidates and their surrogates ignoring questions and launching into prepared talking points. I wish questioners would hold their feet to the fire and insist they answer questions.

    I was hoping that Obama at least would have answered the last question, which was as existential as it was zen. But if either of them had done so – and I know Obama could have – they would have lost 95% of the audience. Instead they gave their closing speech.

    If you doubt whether or not Obama could have fielded this question consider what Republican David Brooks wrote:

    Obama has the great intellect. I was interviewing Obama a couple years ago, and I’m getting nowhere with the interview, it’s late in the night, he’s on the phone, walking off the Senate floor, he’s cranky. Out of the blue I say, ‘Ever read a guy named Reinhold Niebuhr?’ And he says, ‘Yeah.’ So i say, ‘What did Niebuhr mean to you?’ For the next 20 minutes, he gave me a perfect description of Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought, which is a very subtle thought process based on the idea that you have to use power while it corrupts you. And I was dazzled, I felt the tingle up my knee as Chris Matthews would say. LINK

  24. gazelle1929

    And wouldn’t it be nice to have four years of mind numbing boredom instead of this day to day living in sheer terror of what Dubya is going to do or say today?

  25. sherry

    There was no reason for Obama to take any chances. No reason for him to stir any controversy. He is winning. Why upset the apple cart so to speak.
    It was up to McCain to change the game. He didn’t.
    While we would have liked to see anything to break the mind numbing boredom, it didn’t happen.

  26. sherry

    Hal, you know what would have been totally creepily, dejavu?
    Had McCain said, My fellow Americans……. eveb once, never mind 22 times.
    That said, watching McCain was like watching a tape of every republican every four years for as long as I can remember.
    While Obama and McCain were guilty of rehashing their campaign talking points, the “my friends” just harkened back to days we’d rather not remember

  27. JerryG

    Ya’ know it’s easy to find the comedy and pathos in John McCain. Personally, I didn’t really expect anything dynamic and out of character for him with 4 weeks to go. I was disappointed with Obama and, quite frankly, expected more. My expectations primarily lay in a very simple concept – answering the question.

    My gut and intuition tell me why Obama answered the way he did last night. I “think” I know why. Yet, it would have been somewhat refreshing to see him ratchet it up a bit using fewer of his standard cliches and more of his intellect.

  28. Hal Brown

    McCain won’t skake Obama’s hand.

    Someone put a close up of McCain ignoring Obama’s extended hand to the tune “Cold as Ice” on YouTube here. The hand you see reaching out to shake Obama’s was Cindy McCain’s. Excuse the pun, but I find McCain’s behavior chilling.

  29. peagcu12

    The old guy looked old. I hope people don’t vote against him simply because he looks old. Vote against him for the right reason. He will keep us in Iraq till the country is “right”. I hate to tell him but that’s never going to happen and it’s not a true test of that country’s mettle. Leave them to see if they embrace our ideals. Don’t try to force them upon them. This type of system has never “taken” when it was forced.


  30. Hal Brown

    “My friends” 22 times, on Hardball Chris Mathews reported, as I assumed someone would, how many times McCain said “my friends”.

    What Mathews didn’t say but can be easily figured is how often that would be. Assume in a 90 minute debate McCain talked for 44 minutes. That’s one “my friends” every two minutes.

    This is not the most meaningful part of anyone’s analysis of the debate by any stretch, but I can’t imagine a public speaking teacher recommending it.

  31. GoshDarnIt

    Kudos to Hal for keeping this site so high quality. I’ve read a lot of worthless political sites populated mainly by knee-jerk reactionaries of both political persuasions. I find CHB to be thoughtful and informative. Keep up the good work (Hal) and keep using your brains as God intended (everyone else).

    You betcha!

    from Hal

    Goshdarnit, thanks for the vote of appreciation. Sometimes when I go out for a couple of hours, come home and see there are 13 new posts as happened today, I both look forward to reading them and, doggone it, I dread what I’ll find.

    Next page of comments

  32. sherry

    You are right to point this out. I missed it. Sorry. It is gone. I wish everyone would get on the learning curve so I don’t have read each and every post with a microscope.

  33. Hal Brown

    I am trying to keep our discourse with each other civil. Let’s not veer off into NEGATIVE personal asides. I just deleted several comments that, while there was legitimate content, there were references to other posters that seem to beg for a personal retort.

    Come on folks, you know when you are doing this.

  34. AustinRanter

    We might consider turning our anger toward the debate process itself. It seems to me that the current formats do little to facilitate adequate exchanges between candidates (nominees) to reveal the specifics of issues and solutions rather than the usual political rhetoric that we seem to always get…and then complain about it…and some how never do anything about it.

    As long as politicians are allowed to play the ABSTRACT, blow-smoke-up-your-ass games…then I’m afraid a lot of folks just aren’t going to get the gist of what the issues are…or what the solutions are to the respective issues.

    Example: “I’m gonna put a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”

    Question: Is the chicken rubber or maybe a tiny little chicken that is too small to eat? That’s what we’ve gotten from past promises. You know, we can’t chew or swallow it…or it just wasn’t enough to even really eat.

    Question: Is the car a toy car or a Junker from a salvage yard? Does the car have an engine? Does have enough space to fit my entire family in it?

    Also…how about creating some instrument of accountability which demands both TRUTH and CONSEQUENCES for candidates and nominees before, during, and after election periods?

    Maybe it’s time for the American people demand that Congress make a law that states that individuals running for public office must publish easily accessible information, in detail, about what he or she specifically defines as problems and/or issues, and that they must then list very specific, itemized solutions to those respective problems or issues as they perceive them to be. WAIT…that won’t work unless somebody can figure out how to publish such information at a 3rd grade reading level and then publish that information on porn sites,, Myspace, or Facebook listed under a category such as, “People in government who like to screw us”.

    I just love the Powerist Party…you know, all of the old Democrats and Republicans who joined together eons ago…and who figured out that they could sucker the public to death by creating the illusion of a two party system that fights all the time…putting their country above their own needs.


  35. RichardKanePA

    I believe that both Obama and McCain are decent men, though I fear McCain’s positions on Latin America particularly toward Chavez, and his history with the Contras. However, I believe that sparing with Russia and even staying in Iraq is just election hype. As is Obama’s claim he will fight NAFTA rather than try to weaken it a bit, I don’t believe it. Since Palin entered the picture Obama forgot his original call for both Russia and Georga to cool it. I could be exaggerating but he seemed to realize that Georgia made an unnecessary provocation and Russia responded with an overreaction.

    My problem is that all of us, the more we campaign and join the campaign, the worst we make America’s understanding of the world and the more we lower the American spirit.

    I dwell on Sarah Palin, who isn’t for campaign purposes, pretending to be worse then she is but is pretending to be better than she really is. But logic tells me that I too could be adding the messy goo we are all plunging into.

    When are we are going to educate ourselves about the real world out there, we in the US have less understanding then most of the people of this world.


  36. JudyB

    If it appeared McCain was as restless as a whore in church..he was! The so called “Maverick” was in the “Hot Seat” and he knew it.

  37. colocritic

    Hal, I noticed that, too. It was almost like he couldn’t sit still. Maybe the chair was too high and not comfortable for him but he certainly didn’t sit on it very much. All evening I kept thinking his upper body appeared as “I’ll huff, I’ll puff and blow…..” (explode). For some reason he seemed very rigid in posture as well as narrative, at least to me. He reminded me of a cartoon character on t.v. that flits around with the sound of boing, boing, boing! He even crossed between Obama and the camera one time. Rude, I agree!

    You can’t help but feel sorry for his floundering attempts lately, he is losing and losing badly. I expect a real landslide on Nov. 4. His terribly negative ads are actually hurting him more than helping. He’s a desperate old man, willing to do anything at all to try to win. His bad choices are his biggest problem and he can’t seem to help himself.

    The choice to leave the area right after the debate was a case in point. Look at the points Obama probably gained by staying there, shaking hands, visiting with the crowd that stayed with him and Michelle. Not to mention the courtesy of doing so. That really impressed me. It shows what a decent and caring couple they are compared to the cold shoulder, elite McCains.


  38. Flapsaddle

    Many of you, including the column-writer, may find this offensive, an ad hominem against all posters on this thread, but I’ve got to say that I don’t think I’ve recently heard more said about less than what has been written here about the debate.

    Last night’s urinating contest between the candidates was a thoroughly boring and uninformative exchange, and I cannot for the life of me see how an intelligent person would find it, the previous contest, or the next one, to be of any possible use in deciding how to hold our nose and suppress our gag reflex in order to pull the lever for the lesser of the two evils presented.

    Let me be absolutely blunt: If, by this time, you have not had sufficient input to decide how to expend your vote, then you probably cannot vote intelligently under the best of circumstances.

    Now, Mr. Brown et al., censor, admonish, excoriate, condemn, vilify, curse, revile and fulminate to your heart’s content…but it will not change the truth of the matter one iota.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  39. sherry

    Perhaps McCain was practicing his Ali moves… I did notice him walking behind Obama when Obama was speaking.
    It was more annoying than distracting. I remember thinking, John, have a seat!

  40. Hal Brown

    McCain in Obama’s personal space?

    I read this in a comment on a Washington Post column. I recall something disquieting to me about how McCain moved about while Obama was talking but it was hard to follow since the camera was mostly focused on Obama when he was talking. Did anybody else notice what is described here?

    “I saw something that I think most pundits missed. While Obama politely returned to his seat to look at and pay attention to McCain, McCain would often move in behind Obama or approach the audience when Obama was speaking. McCain seemed to make obvious attempts to move into Obama’s personal space when Obama was giving his responses. I, for one, found this tactic rude. Clearly, McCain was hoping to distract the audience away from Obama.” (Link)