Roger L. Simon

Fear of Flying or Fear of McCaining?

Steve Huntley at the Chicago Sun-Times writes:

The best indicator of Republican John McCain’s surprisingly strong presidential prospects in what should be a slam-dunk Democratic year is not his solid general-election poll numbers but rather the increasingly shrill attacks from Democrats.

The latest was a grotesque slam from Barack Obama supporter Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia. In a newspaper interview in his home state, Rockefeller let loose this stinker: “McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.”

Never mind that laser-guided missiles hadn’t been invented during the Vietnam war.

Meanwhile, Howard Dean opines: “We didn’t bring it up, but they volunteered it,” said Dean who explained that voters have two concerns about McCain’s age. “One was a health concern, the other was, and this is really interesting . . . that his views are old-fashioned.”

“Old-fashioned” views. Some of us might characterize Dean that way as well. Or maybe even Obama, whose “politics of hope” seems virtually geriatric when you scratch the surface. The obvious thing in all this is that the cards continue to fall in McCain’s direction and his opponents are already ‘runnin’ scared.’ This can’t continue, of course, permanently. But it will be interesting to see how it plays out.