There's a candidate in this presidential race who remains a mystery -- hazy, undefined, so full of contradictions that voters may see electing him as an enormous risk. I'm referring to the cipher known as John McCain.
As you reflect on this opening paragraph, please note a couple facts. John McCain was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982. In 2000, he ran a media-love-in campaign that was chronicled in depth by all those who just loved traveling on the Straight Talk Express. Indeed, Tim Russert (may he rest in peace) even said that the media was John McCain's base. Eight years later, he is the presumptive Republican nominee for President. Robinson has the temerity, the unmitigated gall, to pen that opening paragraph without once considering the possibility that it was the press corp's job to inform us of the "real" John McCain, rather than fall for his courtship via stroking and joking. It was the job of pundits like . . . Eugene Robinson . . . to cut through the PR and discover that McCain is a short-tempered, ill-mannered, sexist, vulgar guy, inherently disliked by many of his Senate colleagues for his vulgarity-laden attacks upon them. It was the job of both pundits and press corp to make clear what McCain tried to obfuscate, to define in terms of factual information who John McCain is, rather than fall back on "He was a POW!!" all the time.
Read the entire column and remember, the whole time, that McCain has been very prominently before the public's eye for nine years, and then ask yourself this question - if the Eugene Robinson's of this world have failed to deliver the information we need to understand who our candidates really are, then whose fault is it that "we hardly knew" who McCain really is?