I don't know if the John McCain we've been seeing lately is the real McCain or "Candidate McCain," but either way, John McCain is turning out to be a real jerk. For the candidate whose earlier promise to run a "respectful campaign" has already become a running joke, John McCain has spent the last few weeks being inexcusably disrespectful towards his opponent.
There was a time when candidates wouldn't run negative ads during the Olympics out of respect for the Olympic spirit of unity. John McCain eschewed that trend and spent $5 million in ad time during the games to bash Obama.
There was a time when candidates would welcome their opponents to the campaign and looking forward to a spirited debate. When John Kerry announced his VP in 2004, the Bush campaign said "I welcome Senator Edwards on the ticket ... I look forward to a good spirited debate." When Barack Obama announced his VP, McCain first response was to attack, saying "There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama's lack of experience than Joe Biden."
There was a time when presidential candidates held their fire during their opponent's conventions, knowing that their respect for their opponent would be matched in kind during their convention. John McCain broke that tradition, opting to run negative ads during the Democratic convention, lest a day go by in which his pledge to run a positive campaign isn't once again shown to be a lie.
On the eve of Obama's historic speech, John McCain's campaign is hinting that they may interrupt the acceptance speech to announce their pick for VP. (When I grew up, I was told that it was rude to interrupt people while they're talking.)
And finally, in an attempt to distract people from the ugly, dishonest turn his campaign has taken, John McCain is buying his way into Obama's spotlight with a single positive ad.
Don't let this ad fool you into thinking that John McCain actually respects Barack Obama. I know politics ain't a beanbag, but John McCain has run a truly disrespectful campaign. Every chance he's had to take the high ground and wage a campaign based on mutual respect and a desire to move America forward, he's turned in the opposite direction. This is a nasty, brutish election and it's all because John McCain made the choice that he would rather win an election than possibly lose and escape with his dignity intact. It's no wonder he's unable to define "honor", he no longer has any.