Apparently saying that someone is "losing their bearings" is akin to saying that they are very, very old. At least, that's what the morons in the McCain campaign have just suggested to us. It's something that hadn't occurred to me until the McCain people brought it up. Great job, guys!
Obama was responding to McCain's McCain's borderline-defamatory statement that Hamas endorsed Obama for president and would love to see him win. Obama responded that his and McCain's positions regarding Hamas are materially identical, so he fails to see how that is at all a credible thing to say: "John McCain always says ‘I am not going to run that kind of politics,’ and to engage in that kind of smear is unfortunate, particularly because my policy toward Hamas has been no different than his. I’ve said it’s a terrorist organization and we should not negotiate with them unless they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and unless they are willing to abide by previous accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis. So for him to toss out comments like that I think is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination. We don’t need name calling in this debate.”
I didn't really see any age attack in there. What I heard was the charge that, for someone who says he's running a clean, respectful campaign, that this kind of comment represents a "loss of bearings" toward the goal of a respectful dialogue. You know, the old sailing analogy. I don't use it myself, preferring instead my Paula Abdul-inspired, more British "lose the plot." Either way, it's not really about age.
Oh. Unless your campaign SAYS it is!
And on another note, I fully expect the McCain-Obama race to be crazy dirty. No way is McCain a choir boy on this, not with Rove and the GOP machine behind him. The difference being that a bunch of swift-boat-style organizations will pop up, McCain will disavow them, and they'll continue to run commercials about Reverend Wright and secret muslim stuff regardless. Brace yourself.