Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain Crying Over Attention on Obama in Iraq

John McCain and his campaign aides are frosted at the media for giving so much attention to Barack Obama's overseas trip, and they accuse reporters of being in love with the Democratic candidate. Apparently no one told them that, as Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz once advised, you should never complain about your problems, because most people don't care, and the rest are happy you have them.

Whining is not a reassuring habit in a political candidate. One thing all presidents and presidential candidates have in common is that sometimes the press coverage won't go their way. Stoic indifference is the best way to respond. If McCain gets in a snit over what The Washington Post does, how will he react when he has to deal with truly aggravating adversaries, like Kim Jong Il?

Besides, it's his own fault that Obama is getting so much attention. For weeks, McCain has been practically taunting his opponent into visiting Iraq--making it that much more newsworthy when Obama actually did.

McCain thought it was important for Obama to see the war firsthand. Now the media is treating the trip as important, and McCain acts as though they shouldn't.

The Arizona senator may be especially resentful because, in past campaigns, he was seen as the media darling--and even jokingly referred to reporters as "my base." But given that experience, he should know that if the press is treating Obama favorably now, it won't last.

Rest assured, if Obama makes a major gaffe while abroad, the media will swarm like piranhas around it, and McCain will be grateful for the coverage. We in the journalism business are like what Churchill said of the Germans: Always at your feet or at your throat.

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