Some time a week or so ago I read an article about the Obama-McCain relationship (send me the link?). And the gist was that the antagonism between these two men (at least from McCain's side) isn't something cooked up to order for this campaign. This goes all the way back to when Obama showed up in the senate. And it seems to come down to a sense of 'I've been working at this my whole life and who the f--k is this Obama kid?'
I was looking back through the TPM archives, because I remembered they'd had an earlier tussle over campaign finance reform. And I found this post
from early 2006, which has this McCain quote ...
"I'm embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics, I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party's efforts to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness."
The passage exudes a delicious tension because you can feel the gritted teeth held barely in check by the ornateness of the sentences. A senator doesn't get ginned up like that for normal political boilerplate. It's got to come from some deep touched chord. And the same can be said for the attacks McCain is rolling out today.