Bravo, Sen. McCain. Is this the first time in American history that a major party presidential candidate has threatened to refuse to engage in a public debate? It's got to be unprecedented. Here's my theory: McCain is terrified of how decrepit he will look on TV standing next to Barack Obama. When I was in journalism school, we had extensive lectures on the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon debate. When people watched John F. Kennedy debate Richard Nixon on live TV, it was a blowout. Nixon was clammy and sweaty and jowly and Kennedy radiated youth and confidence. Game over.
John McCain makes Richard Nixon, circa 1960, look like Brad Pitt, circa 1997. Game over once again. Brave indeed.