Did John McCain really just say that Barack Obama gets "touchy" and "angry" whenever he gets questioned on his credentials or policies? I know that projection is a common psychological phenomenon, especially for those who find themselves in desperate situations. But for a set piece speech that must mean it's afflicted McCain's entire campaign.
I mean, you remember McCain's boil over performance at the Des Moines Register editorial board last week ..
And now a member of the paper's editorial board, who I assume was in the room, is asking whether McCain is just too touchy and unstable to be a safe person to have as president.
You can feel it in the clenched muscles in his throat, the narrowing of his eyes, the controlled tone with which he handles a question he doesn't like, as if struggling to contain something that might spill out. We've seen that body language on TV. But around a Des Moines Register table Tuesday, the anger and tension were palpable. And unsettling.
I think the lesson is that it's hard to take potshots about the other guy being 'angry' when you're in the midst of having your own on-air breakdown with fifty years of anger and resentment boiling to the surface.
Late Update: TPM Reader NB chimes in ...
What a weird spectacle McCain's speech was this afternoon. It was as though McCain went out of the way to take every criticism that has come his way and attribute it to Barack Obama. In addition to being jarringly at odds with reality, it also seemed to undermine the larger questions that the campaign seems to want to be raising.