Is it the strain of campaigning? The sinking poll numbers? The charade of sweeping into Washington to resolve the financial crisis? The questioning of his running mate?
No matter what the explanation, John McCain was dour and defensive at an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board on September 31.
Just as he did while being interviewed on "The View," McCain insisted that ads stating that Obama wanted sex education for kindergartners were true, even though Obama's intention was to protect children from abuse (see my post, "McCain Campaign Lies Again With Sex Education Attack Ad," 9/14/08).
He was asked whether he was always covered by a tax-payed financed health care plan as a veteran, member of Congress and senior citizen. McCain, who opposes universal health care, understood the implications of the question, calling it "an interesting statement."
McCain was most testy when the subject turned to running mate Sarah Palin. When told that some conservative Republicans questioned her qualifications, McCain responded with a sarcastic "Really? I haven't detected that. And I haven't detected that in the polls. I haven't detected that amongst the base." He dismissed such a critic: "Now if there's a Georgetown cocktail party person who, quote, calls himself a conservative and doesn't like her, good luck, good luck. Fine."
If criticism of Palin is so obscure that it's beyond detection, why the fit of pique?