Argh. Despite polls that show that John McCain's age is a factor for more voters than Obama's race or Clinton's gender, the punditocracy can't lose their McCain love. Even when the topic is McCain's age, the talking heads on The Chris Matthews Show can't keep themselves from bringing up what a maverick and how decent he is. Watch when Andrew Sullivan injects a little unwanted reality about the real difficulties McCain will run into getting elected, he's cut off by Chris Matthews asking a question again that's already been dismissed by his panel as unimportant.
Partial transcript below the fold
Borger: Well, I think you’ve seen him try to do that [separate himself from the past and Bush] this week as he talks about his biography, and who he is and where he came from. But the one thing they’re going to talk about is values, and values are ageless. Obama has talked about values and McCain is a candidate and we’ve seen this throughout the primaries who succeeds because people believe that he tells the truth and that he’s a maverick…
Matthews: He loves the country…
Borger: And that he goes up against the establishment and he’s a patriot.
Sullivan: Here’s a word, we should all…I think, if it’s McCain/Obama, we have two decent people. And we could have a reasoned debate. It’ll be the best campaign ever.
Matthews: Here’s the tough question: Bottom line, will age matter for him?
Kay: I think that the biggest group that Obama has problems with are poor white men. They could well go into that voting booth and decide that John McCain represents security, a military past and they might switch to him.
Matthews: Ron, age, do you think?
Allen: Again, in the sense of health, I don’t think so, unless God forbid, something comes up. I think it’s going to be a question of John McCain trying to project himself into the future and not get tied to the last seven years of President Bush and not get tied to the last five years of the war…
Matthews: Young at heart.
Allen: He’s very vigorous. I was amazed on the campaign trail. He’s hilarious out there, you know, he’s running around, he’s hilarious…
Borger: For those of us who’ve known John McCain for years, I wish I had John McCain’s energy.
Matthews: He’s winning the fight here. He’s won it.
Sullivan: Absolutely, I think his big problem is war. He is a war candidate. And if the American public want war, they should vote for McCain. If they want some other strategy, if they think it’s time to really…
Matthews: Okay, is anyone here willing to say that age is going to be a problem?
Borger: I think it’s going to be a problem for young voters, not for old voters. For young people.