McCain looks lost on "Meet the Press"

The tired GOP nominee delivers an unimpressive performance as the campaign nears its end.

Published October 26, 2008 4:08PM (EDT)

If John McCain was hoping to counteract Colin Powell's stunning Barack Obama endorsement by doing "Meet the Press" a week later, I'm sure he's disappointed. McCain seemed lost and not entirely convinced of his own arguments in an uninspiring sit-down with host Tom Brokaw.

The worst moment, of course, was when he boasted of having the support of five former secretaries of state, but couldn't remember all of them. He left out George Shultz, then interrupted Brokaw in the middle of his next question to give Shultz a shout-out. He told Brokaw "the enthusiasm at almost all of our [events] is at a higher level than I've ever seen," a day after Obama drew 32 times as many people as McCain to an Albuquerque, N.M., rally, according to the Politico.

Asked by Brokaw to "defend" Sarah Palin, he said, "I don't defend her, I praise her." But then he termed her debate performance merely "fine," and went back to tired claims that she has more executive experience than Obama. And when the "Meet the Press" host asked him to name a state he considers crucial, he couldn't, he just made an empty promise that "we're going to do well, my friends" -- no, he couldn't drop the off-putting "my friends" even in that intimate setting.

Maybe most disturbing, Brokaw gave McCain a chance to repudiate Rush Limbaugh's disgusting dismissal of Powell's Obama endorsement as "all about race," and McCain blew it. Asked if he agreed with Limbaugh, the GOP nominee murmured a very quiet "no," and then launched into his ill-fated attempt to change the subject by pointing to the secretaries of state who support him -- which he botched by leaving out poor George Shultz. Karma? You decide.

By Joan Walsh

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2008 Elections