Joe Klein's latest McCain smack-down

This time, Time's columnist is pummeling John McCain for his nasty robo-calls.

By Thomas Schaller
Published October 17, 2008 3:26PM (EDT)

Liberals have been tough on Joe Klein over the years, sometimes with cause.

But as somebody who has gotten to know Joe pretty well, I can tell you two things about him: First, if you keep your critiques to the point and don't get personal, he will almost always engage you to explain and defend himself; and second, when he gets some momentum going on a theme you might want to just get out of his way.

Lately, few national pundits have been taking John McCain to task more consistently and energetically than Klein.

In the wake of the financial collapse, he panned McCain's performance in the first presidential debate; after the third debate, he used McCain's Freudian, "Senator Government" slip to explain why the eight most frightening words in this campaign cycle are "I'm John McCain, and I approved this message."

And today Klein called out McCain out for his campaign's robo-calls, which Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo has been tracking.

"Real men don't hide behind robocalls. It is nowhere near honorable," writes Klein. "But, my friends, I give you John McCain, 2008 edition -- John McCain for the history books."

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.