IF IT’S SUNDAY, IT’S JOHN MCCAIN…. John McCain appeared on Meet the Press this Sunday, and while the content was unremarkable, a little portion at the end was pretty revealing.

DAVID GREGORY: This is your 54th appearance on Meet the Press. Now I know you’re a competitive guy. Bob Dole still holds the record at 63. And so we’ve been doing the calculations here. We think we can make this up, maybe within a year’s time. If you’re game for that.

JOHN MCCAIN: I’d love to try. Thank you, David.

DAVID GREGORY: Sen. McCain, thank you very much for being here.

David Gregory was making a joke. And yet there’s still much to this that’s remarkable. John McCain has appeared on Meet the Press – just one of the multiple Sunday morning talk shows – 54 times, and I would guess that most of them have come in the years since announcing for President in 1999, since before that he was a more obscure figure in Washington. I can’t imagine there’s anyone else even close to that number. And yet McCain is an easy guy to find on the Rolodex and get to appear on your show. It points to a staleness in the official discourse.

And while this was McCain’s inaugural appearance on Meet The Press this year, he has done Face the Nation in 2009, Fox News Sunday on two occasions, and sat down with John King of CNN as well, not to mention the celebrated Twitter-view with George Stephanopoulos. That’s 5 appearances and counting and we’re only at the end of March. McCain is actually crushing the once-a-month appearance schedule that Gregory jokingly set out for him.

I should mention at this point that McCain lost the 2008 Presidential election.