Vote 2008

The better angels of McCain’s nature

To his great credit, John McCain seemed to regain some of his old conscience and honor speaking to a town hall meeting in Minnesota. The crowd didn’t like it one bit.

A man in the audience stood up and told McCain he’s “scared” of an Obama presidency and who he’d select for the Supreme Court.

“I have to tell you. Sen. Obama is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States,” McCain said as the crowd booed and shouted “Come on, John!”

“If I didn’t think I’d be a heck of a lot better, I wouldn’t be running for president of the united states.”

My sense is that unlike Sarah Palin, McCain’s heart really isn’t in this Bill Ayers business.

Update: McCain also quickly cut off a woman who said she’d heard Obama was an Arab.

“No, maam. He’s a decent family man and citizen,” McCain says. “He’s not. Thank you.”

I don’t think McCain intended to suggest that Arabs can’t be decent family men and citizens, although I could understand some Arab-Americans being offended. At any rate, he had the decency to describe Obama as decent.

Further update According to another version, the woman called Obama an “Arab terrorist.”

Additional update: To his credit, Obama acknowledged McCain’s change of tone before an audience that wasn’t happy to hear it.

“I want to acknowledge that Senator McCain tried to tone down the rhetoric yesterday, and I appreciated his reminder that we can disagree while still being respectful of each other. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Senator McCain has served this country with honor, and he deserves our thanks for that,” Obama said…

Another update: Andrew Sullivan finds a good metaphor for the effect that the McCain-Palin smears have had on their campaign: