Mojo Fallin’

Just saw this video of a McCain rally.

Check it out. A funny senior moment, but there’s more to this video.

Notice how McCain says, “Senator Obama’s supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania recently.”

He says it with feigned anger, then pauses and smiles. Not to to get all Freudian on you, but it’s a little boy’s smile, like he’s just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Meanwhile, Cindy McCain reacts with a nod and a wry half smile, looking like an indulgent school teacher who is listening to another complaint about a naughty but somewhat adorable child.

The girl on McCain’s right has the grace to look solemn initially, but when the crowd reacts with polite good natured booing, she breaks into a smile.

All this even before McCain says he agrees with the Obama supporter.

No wonder he forgot his lines. Now consider this: If McCain had appeared genuinely angry about “those nasty comments”. If his posture, his demeanor, his face, his eyes, and his voice, resonated with genuine anger on behalf of these much maligned Western Pennsylvania populace, no one would have been smiling.

If he radiated authentic anger, the crowds would have felt angry.

But as it was, the whole thing had the air of a circus sideshow.

McCain’s negative attacks on Obama, with few exceptions, have rarely seemed genuine. McCain does not seem to emotionally connect with his own words. The psychic conflict is obvious – McCain grimacing, or smiling inappropriately, betraying a deep discomfort about the words that he is uttering.

I guess what I’m saying is that McCain’s authenticity mojo is way down. If I were his campaign manager, here’s what I would say to McCain.

“John,” I would tell him after watching him struggle through another debate or speech.

“Say it if you feel it. Feel it if you say it.”

October 22, 2008 | 7:18 am | By Dr Shyam Bhat