John McCain said something gracious and pointed at the same time just now:
I owe America more than she has ever owed me. And my friends, I’ve been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. I’ve never lived a day, good times or bad, when I wasn’t proud — proud — of the privilege.
The point here is that McCain is a man who spent five and a half years in a hellish North Vietnamese prison, and therefore one might think whatever debt he may owe to his country he paid off in full long ago. The fact that he still speaks of his gratitude is notable.
And, of course, his words about being “proud” of the “privilege” to be her “servant” has to be seen in light of Michelle Obama’s remark yesterday that until her husband’s campaign of hopey-hope-hope, she had never felt “really proud” of her country. McCain is making it clear: He will run as the candidate of patriotism, and because of the attitude his wife’s words inadvertently exposed, Obama is going to have trouble there.