Monday, January 21, 2008

McCain's Cockiness

Forget the poll numbers. The surest sign of a winner is making ballsy jokes, and John McCain is back doing that.

When Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post asks why, unlike most other candidates, he is so accessible to reporters, McCain responds, "I enjoy it a lot. It keeps me intellectually stimulated, it keeps me thinking about issues, and it keeps me associated with a lower level of human being than I otherwise would be."

Kurtz notes, "How candidates treat reporters shouldn't matter in the coverage, but it does. Journalists tend to reward those who engage them and get testy when they are stiffed, concluding that such candidates are overly calculating and wary of unscripted exchanges."

When McCain made an unusual trip without his press contingent, a reporter asked, "What did you do without us this morning? Were you hanging out with other reporters?"

McCain acted horrified. "I was not unfaithful," he insisted.

Lest all this seem lovable, it pays to remember that Nancy Pelosi's daughter, of all people, made a documentary in 2000 about how charming and lovable George Bush was on his campaign plane, and we know how that turned out.

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