Weak, Weak, Weak …

October 1, 2008 11:02 p.m.

John McCain’s got real problems. This is from David Nather’s Beyond the Dome blog at CQ

Let the record reflect that Barack Obama made the approach to John McCain tonight.

As the two shared the Senate floor tonight for the first time since they won their party nominations, Obama stood chatting with Democrats on his side of the aisle, and McCain stood on the Republican side of the aisle.

So Obama crossed over into enemy territory.

He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.

McCain shook it, but with a “go away” look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.

Finally, with a tight smile, McCain managed a greeting: “Good to see you.”

Obama got the message. He shook hands with Martinez and Lieberman — both of whom greeted him more warmly — and quickly beat a retreat back to the Democratic side.

Campaigns are filled with hyperbole. But this, the no-eye-contact business at the debate and even the over-the-top affect at the Des Moines Register editorial meeting together suggest that McCain feels a sense of palpable disgust with Obama or visceral antipathy for him that is so great he’s incapable of overcoming it in public settings.

That’s a troubling lack of emotional control. But it seems in line with the character trait many mention about McCain — that he is unable to engage in any contest without demonizing his opponent in his own head. There are a lot of other possibilities this seems to point to — none of them pretty.

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