Will “Grumpy McCain” Make an Appearance at Tonight’s Debate?
That’s the question raised by this piece on Politico.com:
What friends call “grumpy McCain” is showing up regularly on the campaign trail, and several top advisers worry that it’s hurting his campaign by making him appear peevish and hunkered down when the country is looking for a larger and more optimistic brand of leadership.
Politico cites several examples that make McCain’s advisers nervous:
When McCain sat down with Time magazine, a reporter asked him to define honor, and he snarled, “Read it in my books.” The magazine headlined its prickly McCain interview, “McCain’s prickly Time interview.”
When McCain sat down with The Des Moines Register‘s editorial board for another interview, he got into a testy exchange with an editor who raised conservative criticism of his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
So why is the Republican nominee in such a bad mood? A close friend suggests that McCain feels guilty about taking the low road on the campaign trail:
“For him to be on the attack constantly, attacking Obama’s character … McCain is uncomfortable with that, and it’s made him grumpy.”
Such mudslinging could backfire on McCain tonight, according to one longtime adviser:
“McCain can’t appear to be desperate… He’s got to be upbeat and enthusiastic, and he’s really got to channel Reagan. If he goes into this debate and beats the [heck] out of Obama, Obama’s numbers are going to come up.”
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