Was watching The Rachel Maddow Show this evening when they broke off to cover both John McCain and Barack Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner. McCain is charming and funny (which is what most folks are picking up on), but what really struck me was when he started describing Obama plainly in terms of the man as President(around 3 minutes in the video):
McCain doesn't just acknowledge the historical importance of Obama's nomination and approaching presidency, but seems (to me) to tip his hat to Obama, not simply as a skillful politician, but as a statesman in whose hands the country need not fear. He didn't need to do this (and I'll admit that I was a bit disappointed that Obama didn't follow suit, although he has always been respectful of McCain), and I am sure there those in his camp that would have rather he didn't. John McCain should not be President: his vision for America is ill-defined and he has no new policies that will change the direction set by Bush, I do not trust his judgment both for the Palin nomination and due to his ill-sighted insistence that the Surge has succeeded when it has not completed its course, and his "maverick" nature can and will result in a possibly even worse form of governance than Bush's incompetent model... but, there is something in him that makes for a good man, and this is the perfect evidence.
I had hoped that we would have seen this McCain in this election, not because he is funny and charming, but because this McCain would've made this race about the issues affecting Americans, and about the differences between each party's plans for dealing with those issues. Perhaps Ayers, ACORN, "class warfare", and "health of the mother" is all that the Republican ideology stands for anymore. If that is true, then this election should not be seen as the failure of John McCain, but as a failure of the party itself.