McCain's Straight Talk Express Takes Every Fork In The Road? genre: Polispeak

It looks like it won't take a swiftboating to highlight John McCain's propensity to parse his words for political expediency. As a matter of fact, I suspect that the catch phrase for the 2008 presidential election may turn out to be YouTubing...and there's little doubt the following video may be the first salvo in a concerted effort to redefine John McCain as a man who is unable to choose which fork in the road best suits his presidential aspirations.

McCain's short temper and his dogged determination to claim ownership of all that can be construed as honorable and high-minded doesn't always endear him to the impartial observer. Unfortunately for the Arizona Senator, it can easily be interpreted as arrogance and insolence...especially when the video footage frequently confirms the inconsistencies he's been forced to adopt in hopes of creating a broader appeal in November.

At its worst, the McCain indignation only enhances the perception that his "grumpy old man" persona is a natural accompaniment to his advancing age. If that impression takes hold, McCain may lose any experience advantage he would have otherwise been able to espouse. If his coming exchanges with the Democratic nominee result in more YouTube moments...moments that appear to show a cranky man with a waning grasp of his prior utterances...he'll quickly pigeonhole himself as the silver-haired senior with a surly certainty that cannot be sustained.

Should his opponent astutely position himself as someone willing to give respectful deference to age while refusing to relent on those matters of import to the voter, McCain will quickly appear to be a relic worthy of respect who has also eclipsed his capacity to command the issues that concern the citizenry. If this scenario begins to unfold, I would speculate that McCain's testy temperament will work to his detriment...while also allowing a younger Barack Obama to position himself as the symbol of a changing political climate.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Economics, Flip Flop, General Petraeus, Iraq, John McCain, Straight Talk Express, Taxes

Daniel DiRito | May 31, 2008 | 1:29 PM
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