Thursday, February 21, 2008


It is, of course, a freakish event when Saint John Of Maverick Straight Talk gets any negative press.

Unending use of the phrase "maverick," and unceasing praise of McCain's "straight talk," have shaped a highly favorable public image ... at a time when ratings for his fellow members of Congress are in the drink.

As an adoring Jacob Weisberg put it on Slate, sniffling over McCain's 2000 loss, "McCain challenged all that is hidebound, joyless and mind-numbing in American campaigns."

McCain is allowed to dominate any and every issue on which he chooses to cross the aisle in Congress. He is omnipresent on Sunday talk shows.

Between 1997 and 2006, McCain had 135 appearances as a guest on "Meet the Press," "This Week" and "Face the Nation," far more than runner-up Joe Biden with 91. McCain was usually able to hold forth alone rather than sharing the stage.

The favorable press coverage has airbrushed McCain's temper and remarks that would get any other politician in trouble.

It was, after all, McCain who referred to Leisure World as "Seizure World." He once joked: "The nice thing about getting Alzheimer's is you get to hide your own Easter eggs."