Dimming Stars

Sen. Barak Obama (D.-Ill.), who after the 2004 Democratic National Convention was much hyped as the future of his party, drew a scathing rebuke earlier this week from Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) — who views himself as the future of his own party. Obama’s sin? Backing out of negotiations for a bipartisan lobbying reform package being pushed by McCain.

In a letter written to be released to the press, McCain sarcastically apologized to Obama "for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. …  I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble."

McCain concluded: "Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics that the public interest isn’t always a priority for every one of us."
The episode was considered by some Hill observers to dim the stars of both men, Obama’s because it exposed him as a two-faced opportunist, and McCain because he once again went over the top responding to a minor annoyance that pales in significance next to what an American President must face everyday without losing his temper.