“I am not a crook.”
Richard M. Nixon, November 1973
“I am not President Bush.”
John S. McCain, October 2008
The senator from Arizona protested too much, just as another Republican did a generation ago. The very fact that McCain even brought up the point to denounce it was a minor victory for the other side.
Yes, Senator, despite your denials, you are joined to Bush at the hip, and that is precisely your problem in this election. The voters have finally tired of Bush and his dismal record of malfeasance, mendacity, corruption, and sheer incompetence.
If McCain did anything during these excruciating 90 minutes, he reaffirmed his image as an angry old man seething with petulant disdain for his cool young opponent. It didn’t work the first time, or the second, or in this final installment.
Barack Obama was far more on target when he pointed out that the two campaigns could spend the rest of this election cycle attacking each other, but voters really care more about the specifics of what each side proposes to do for them and the country.
Thank goodness. The final debate of this endless presidential campaign is behind us.