McCain is all smiles today

Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter must have dressed down the senator after his grumpy-old-man act in Des Moines.

Published October 2, 2008 1:40PM (EDT)

Just watched John McCain on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He was smiling to the point of his face practically cracking. He actually seemed amiable and relaxed, even fun. That is, for a moment he resembled the McCain who once charmed those Washington cocktail party media members he now pretends he's not part of, according to his blustery response during this segment of his interview this week -- discussed in detail Wednesday, along with the full video, by our own Vincent Rossmeier -- with the Des Moines Register:

I suspect it was his surly demeanor, so plainly and painfully revealed in the video of his Des Moines Register interview, that prompted the reemergence of Smiling John. (Oh, and for the record, Sally Quinn, the doyenne of the D.C. party circuit, politely reminded the senator that he's an insider, not an outsider, with that crowd.)

With less than five weeks to go, what we're going to see from this point forward is smiley, nice-guy John McCain. People can sense his utter disdain for Barack Obama, and the McCain team realizes that the curmudgeon vote is not enough to win.

P.S. During his MSNBC appearance McCain predicted that the Red Sox and Dodgers would make it to the World Series, which annoyed me because I'm a Sox fan. (Is Jon Lester a stone-cold killer on the mound lately, or what?)

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz.