John McCain and Barack Obama have both declared that they want to elevate the tone of political discourse. Before they show us the top, though, they apparently want to explore the bottom.
Among other insights---Barack wants to keep up the persiflage against Johnny Mac in order to drown out a resurgent Hill, who can't get proper headlines even after trouncing The Anointed One in KY & WV---while he gets pictures of a crowd of 75,000 in Portland lured to the site by the fabulously popular local rock band [& a PS, Barack will say a few words afterwords]----of course, this little detail was overlooked by the MSM tribunes of the people. That would be journalism, a lost art, apparently. More JD:
As he has shifted and modified his position on meeting with foreign leaders—tweaking the conditions under which such a thing would happen and with whom, exactly, he would meet—Obama is under even greater pressure to paper over those signs of wobbliness with stout declarations.
As for showing what for to the Republicans, Obama is signaling that unlike other Democratic general election candidates, he will not let attacks go unanswered. For many in his party, that promise—quick and forceful retaliation to all comers—is the key to winning in the fall. As Michael Dukakis put it to CNN, Obama has "to be ready, to respond immediately, to take the fight to McCain, and never to let up. … You cannot let the Republicans do what they did to me and what they did to Kerry."
Ah, another victim, or even set of victims... Just the thing to get the Dem heart to go pitter pat. But Johnny Mac apparently has his own deep & unexpressed reasons for wanting to duke it out:
McCain has less reason to act tough, or so you'd think, anyway. He's toughed his way through at least three near-death experiences, not counting the several he endured during his five years as a prisoner of war. His 1,173 pages of recently released medical records, which document the punishment he's taken during his life, suggest he could almost be classified as a science experiment.
And with Democrats trying to paint him as a reckless warmonger, you might think McCain would confect a few public displays of turning the other cheek. But lately he seems on a quick trigger, as if he's the candidate who needs to prove his mettle. "I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did," he said in his response to Obama's Senate remarks.
When Bob Dole ran against Bill Clinton, he didn't mention his service and Clinton's lack of same. He didn't have to. That McCain feels he must suggests Obama has gotten deep under his skin.
John arguably deserved the Medal of Honor for staying in the torture chambers of Hanoi when he had a free ticket stateside a few months after the Commie monsters found he was the son of CINC-PAC Admiral McCain. Instead he remained four & a half years longer while human rubbish like Jane Fonda and other Hollyweirdos did their Tokyo Rose imitations. I always remember the Sports Magazine article on boxing I read as a little kid---maybe John has heard the same story---about Billy Conn & his famous fight with Joe Louis in '45 right after WWII.
There's a chance this shadowboxing will die down soon, since these candidates are still so conscious of maintaining their high-road image. Remember, there was a time when they both wanted to tour the country together debating. In that kind of show, the "who's tougher" bickering would seem small and ridiculous. On the other hand, they could travel with gloves, rope, and a bell, and stage a proper bout.
Crazy pugnacious Irishman & pure pugilist that Billy Conn was, he was way ahead on points after thrashing Joe Louis for fourteen rounds in the Heavyweight Championship bout. His cornermen told him to just ease through the last three minutes and get the belt---but Billy wanted a KO over Louis and instead got KO'd himself.
Between re-reneging on his Amnesty package under the guise of "Comprehensive Immigration," and thrusting out his chest on foreign policy, McCain might overfight a match he's probably in good position to win, despite polls that have him even with BHO. The "Bradley Effect" that worked for Gray Davis in CA will presumably keep on working all across the land. And BHO's loathsome spouse and bad youthful companions won't help him get to the Oval Office.
And Hillary will still be ten years younger than McCain in 2012.
Between cries of victim from tank commander Dukakis & "racist" from the likes of Academicide victims & Revs. Wright, Sharpton, & Jackson, it should be a three-ring circus to the conventions and beyond.
As the professor told Indiana Jones on his first archeological quest, "if I were a few years younger, I'd go along on the trip."