McCAIN AND THE BASE….Jon Stewart grilled John McCain last night about McCain’s recent efforts to cozy up to Jerry Falwell and demonstrated that sometimes fake journalists do their jobs better than real ones. He pressed McCain harder than Tim Russert did last Sunday and got McCain flustered enough that he finally ran out of ways to defend himself. Here’s their closing exchange:

Stewart: You’re not freaking out on us? Are you freaking out on us? Because if you’re freaking out and you’re going into the crazy base world ? are you going into crazy base world?

McCain: I’m afraid so.

I’m sure McCain and his supporters will try to pass this off as just a joke, suitable for Jon Stewart and late night TV. But it was no joke. McCain ran out of ways to dodge the question and finally just blurted out the truth. It wasn’t pretty.

On the other hand, McCain is plenty smart to do all this stuff now, when no one is really paying attention. By the time the 2008 presidential race really starts up, this stuff will be long forgotten. He may not be the straight talker he likes to portray himself as, but he’s a shrewd politician.

UPDATE: Crooks & Liars has the video here.

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