REMEMBER, HE LOST BADLY…. Watching CNN’s John King interview John McCain yesterday was annoying on several levels. The obvious one was seeing the Arizona Republican take pot shots at President Obama, sounding terribly bitter, angry at the man who defeated him. The audience got to hear McCain say things like, “What I would have done…” and complain about the president not being “bipartisan” enough.
We also got to hear McCain lecture Obama on cabinet choices, saying Obama should “get outside of Washington” and “get people who have succeeded. Get the Meg Whitmans and the Carly Fiorina and the Fred Smiths and the John Chamberses.” Given that the advice was coming from the man who picked Sarah Palin to be one heartbeat from the presidency, McCain will hopefully understand if we’re skeptical about his personnel judgment.
But what really stood out yesterday was the media reaction to McCain’s complaining. Here we had a conservative Republican going after a Democratic president with tired talking points and inane observations. Nothing especially surprising. And yet, by mid-day, the lead story on CNN’s site read, “Obama off to a bad start, GOP senators say.” Soon after, Mark Halperin’s lead story was, “McCain: Bad Bipartisan Start for Obama.”
Um, guys? McCain lost. Badly. His opinions and ideas were roundly rejected by the electorate. McCain has been reduced to whining about how much better he’d be if he were president. Why give his complaints more weight than they deserve? Republicans don’t even think of McCain as being especially significant right now. As Atrios noted a couple of weeks ago, “The dude lost Indiana. No one cares what he thinks.”
No one, that is, except the political reporters who consider his bitterness newsworthy.
For what it’s worth, Democrats who thought McCain might re-embrace one of his previous personas, and go back to being a senator they can work with, are slowly realizing he’s a lost cause.
Democrats are growing increasingly frustrated with the brash political attacks Sen. John McCain has launched against Barack Obama in the weeks since the new president took office. No one expected the Arizona Republican to be a legislative ally for this administration. But it was widely assumed that Obama’s overtures to McCain in the weeks after the election would dull some of the hard feelings between the two. Now, they are realizing, it has not.
Alas, it was probably unrealistic to expect anything different.