Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why Is John McCain So Angry?

I watched last night's presidential debate, the third and last, between John McCain and Barack Obama.

I was watching the debate on C-SPAN, which, except for cutaways for the moderator's questions, maintained a split screen of two close-ups -- Obama on the left, McCain on the right. The whole debate was very distracting, as McCain, especially when Obama was speaking, seemed to be having trouble containing his emotions -- anger, impatience, shakiness, giddiness. McCain seemed to be seething.

There is a clip showing some of the anger at Daily Kos, along with a discussion of the matter on CNN with David Gergen, here.

Watching the debate in a format that showed close-ups of the alternating speakers produced much less of this effect, though since McCain interrupted and heckled fairly frequently, even that format seemed to reinforce the frame, by now well established for at least a large part of the electorate and the press, that McCain may be erratic and impulsive.

The New York Times ran a feature today with both video and a transcript here.

Angry McCain at Huffington Post, from YouTube.

George Packer at the New Yorker.

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