There’s a strong temptation to simply sit back and watch the Democrats fight over who is a less genuine representative of smalltown America. Yet, John McCain (remember him?) is trying to stay in the news. His address to the AP Annual Meeting seemed to focus on reminding the media–one of his favorite constinuencies–why he is different from all the other politicians they cover: he gives the press unlimited access and talks to them incessantly. Truth be told, his tactic generally helps (as seen by the ease with which he batted down the New York Times’ ill-sourced lobbyist story).
This time round, McCain makes a bit of news by coming out in favor of the federal shield law. (Ted Olson has made the best conservative case for this position.) He also ventures into Barack Obama’s flub, but in a rather tame, “I love these people” sort of way. He says in part:
They were not born with the advantages others in our country enjoyed. They suffered the worst during the Depression. But it had not shaken their faith in and fidelity to America and its founding political ideals. Nor had it destroyed their confidence that America and their own lives could be made better. Nor did they turn to their religious faith and cultural traditions out of resentment and a feeling of powerlessness to affect the course of government or pursue prosperity. On the contrary, their faith had given generations of their families purpose and meaning, as it does today. And their appreciation of traditions like hunting was based in nothing other than their contribution to the enjoyment of life.
That is rather mild stuff, indicating perhaps that Team McCain has concluded that Hillary Clinton and the media are much better positioned to undermine Obama’s appeal among independents and Reagan Democrats.