The first debate between McCain and Obama is this Friday—unless McCain’s call to postpone it is successful, that is. In preparation, the New York Times has put together analyses of the debating styles of both candidates.
Notably, they spotlight McCain’s taste for contact:
What lasts from a review of Mr. McCain’s national debates — 21 this primary season and more than seven in 2000 that included George W. Bush — is that he relishes direct confrontation. He presents himself as the authority on the broad themes of war and peace, life and death. And depending on his level of contempt for his opponent, he can drip with condescension, even as he sits calmly with his hands folded in front of him, smiling.
No doubt, McCain does not try to hide how he feels about his opponents. It did not take a studied political observer to pick up on McCain’s distaste for Romney, for Paul, for Keyes, or for Bush, especially during the South Carolina debacle.