A couple of posts ago, I was critical of the McCain campaign for the tone of its rallies, and worried about what it might lead to. Fairness requires me to note the following, which took place in Lakeville, Minnesota:
He acknowledges the "energy" people have been showing at rallies, and how glad he is that people are excited. But, he says, "I respect Sen. Obama and his accomplishments." People booed at the mention of his name. McCain, visibly angry, stopped them: "I want EVERYONE to be respectful, and lets make sure we are."
The very next questioner tried to push back on this request, noting that he needed to "tell the American the TRUTH about Barack Obama" -- a not very subtle way, I think, to ask John McCain to NOT tell the truth about Barack Obama. McCain told her there's a "difference between record and rhetoric, and I plan to talk about his record, respectfully… I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity, I just mean it has to be respectful."
And then later, again, someone dangled a great big piece of low-hanging fruit in front of McCain: "I'm scared to bring up my child in a world where Barack Obama is president."
McCain replies, "Well, I don't want him to be president, either. I wouldn't be running if I did. But," and he pauses for emphasis, "you don't have to be scared to have him be President of the United States." A round of boos.
And he snaps back: "Well, obviously I think I'd be better. "
UPDATE: Indeed, he just snatched the microphone out the hands of a woman who began her question with, "I'm scared of Barack Obama… he's an Arab terrorist…"
"No, no ma'am," he interrupted. "He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements."
Good on ya, Senator McCain. Now let's see if your running mate gets the message, too.