Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist and self-appointed expert on human behavior, says that’s the reason McCain has been acting so mean toward poor Barack Obama and hitting him with those frivolous ads.
Now John McCain is pea-green with envy. Thats the only explanation for why a man who prides himself on honor, a man who vowed not to take the low road in the campaign, having been mugged by W. and Rove in South Carolina in 2000, is engaging in a festival of juvenilia.
The Arizona senator who built his reputation on being a brave proponent of big solutions is running a schoolyard campaign about tire gauges and Paris Hilton, childishly accusing his opponent of being too serious, too popular and not patriotic enough.
Sure. That’s it. McCain is jealous of Barack Obama, and wishes he were as popular as the Senator from Illinois. That’s not quite it…but she’s in the neighborhood. McCain is resentful of Obama, just the way he was of Mitt Romney during the Republican primary. McCain thinks that he is entitled to the presidency because he has earned it, and he doesn’t view Obama as worthy of the job. He seems to believe that Senator Obama doesn’t deserve to be that close to becoming President of the United States without a long record of public service or a military record. Senator McCain has struggled through a few fierce political battles in addition to his well-publicized captivity in Vietnam. The press has now turned their backs on him in favor of Senator Obama. Conservatives are agnostic about his candidacy, even though they are aware of the risks of embracing any other alternative choice.
It’s hard being John McCain. He has lost the media love. His opponent is popular and has drawn quite a few large crowds. In addition to that, the Republican brand has been badly damaged by scandal and mismanagement in Congress, and he must run against them and the sitting Republican president. Tough environment. No wonder McCain is a little frustrated with Barack Obama and the media circus surrounding him.
Some of his ads were better than others. I wasn’t thrilled with the ‘celeb’ ad, but it asked the right question: Is Barack Obama ready to lead? That’s the area of the sharpest contrast with McCain, and even with the flawed execution of that message, people are starting to understand Barack’s limitations as a candidate. Why else would this race be too close to call in early August?