The Corner

Behold–Message Discipline

A good attempt at it, at least. From The Note

“I’ve spent three days on the road with McCain this week, and except for a couple of public town-hall meetings, where flashes of his old wit and friskiness shone through, I’ve barely clapped eyes on him,” Todd Purdum writes for Vanity Fair. “The forward compartments of his charter 737 — his personal seating area in the front, and the ‘Straight Talk’ suite in the middle — are blocked off from the press section in the rear by dark brown curtains.””One of McCain’s senior aides told me that the senator is in palpable pain at having to rein in his natural instincts, in no small part because he well knows that it was his warm relations with the media that kept him alive a year ago when so much of the smart money — and so many of the big mouths — in his party had left him for dead,” Purdum continues.

ABC’s Bret Hovell reports that McCain is starting to speak from notes on a music stand — the better to keep him on topic. “Notable is McCain’s decision to talk about his time in captivity, and how he turned down the opportunity for an early release that was offered him by the Vietnamese. He says that he chose then and has been choosing ever since to put his country first, before his own personal interest,” Hovell reports.

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