Watching the debate on Tuesday night, the contrast between McCain's snarky, scripted, desperate and confused attacks and Obama's thoughtful, articulate, complex pronouncements could not have been more dramatic. Obama looked presidential. McCain looked empty, struggling, and furious.
His "That one!" and pointed refusal to shake Obama's hand after the debate were just two of the most obvious indications that this is a seriously pissed-off man.
And two thoughts occurred to me.
First, John Sidney McCain III, 72, 4th-term senator, son and grandson of four-star admirals, third in line to graduate from Annapolis, and married to a woman worth 300-plus million dollars, is used to getting what he wants. And right now, he wants the presidency. He wants it so badly, he sold his soul to the Republican-Party-now-beholden-to-religious-bigots. And I don't think it would be a stretch to say, he believes in his heart that the office should be his. At his age, this is his last shot. And- come on now! It's His Turn.
My second thought was McCain now understands that he may not only fail to be awarded the highest office in the land which he believes he so rightly deserves, but he is looking to go down in history as the first white man to lose a presidential campaign to a black man.
Imagine the ignominy to a man like McCain. I'm not saying he's more racist than any man of his generation. But remember, McCain was born a white man into a privileged family and grew to adulthood during a time when the citizens of this country still lived under legal apartheid. And now he is looking to fail not only at his ultimate dream, but to go down in the history books as the first white man to lose the presidency to a black man.
The sort of rage that can generate in a man like McCain was in full view on Tuesday night.