McCain is in the unique position of having to calm down his crowds, protecting Barack from folks angry over the possibility of Obama winning the election.
In Lakeville, Minn., this evening, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., found himself confronting some of the anger at and fear of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., that has reared its head at his campaign rallies just as his campaign and the RNC have begun waging a character assault on Obama, painting him as connected to terrorists foreign and domestic, a "liar" who is hiding his true self.
"Frankly we're, we're scared," one voter told McCain. "We're scared of an Obama presidency. And I'll tell you why. I don't want to bring a child up in a country uh where -- I love this country, we'll bring our child up no matter what -- but I'm concerned about someone that cohorts with domestic terrorists such as Ayers."
Said McCain, "I want to be president of the United States and I obviously I do not want Senator Obama to be. But I have to tell you, I have to tell you, he is a decent person. And a person that you do not have to be scared as president of the United States."
The crowd booed.
Turning the focus of the election back to Barack is the purpose of the Ayers comments and ads. While Democrats will call this smears, the focus is a legitimate one. Without a track record of leadership, the questions asked about Barack's judgment are important ones.
All week, supporters of the GOP ticket have yelled ugly accusations about Obama as McCain and running mate Gov. Sarah Palin proceeded down a path where Obama was painted as someone sinister.
"Treason!" "Terrorist!" "Kill him!" audience members yelled when McCain or Palin invoked Obama's name.
The McCain-Palin campaign today defended these comments as those of "real Americans."
Tonight McCain tried to defuse the volatility.
Voters, as they become more savvy about Barack's connection to radical individuals (Wright, Pfleger, Ayers, Alinsky, Farrakhan, etc) and groups (Acorn, CAC, etc), will naturally grow more concerned about his own radicalism.
Said another voter, "The people here in Minnesota want to see a real fight this next time in your debate."
McCain said, "we want a fight and I will fight. But we will be respectful. I admire Senator Obama and his accomplishments. I will respect him."
Again, the crowd booed.
"I want everyone to be respectful," McCain said. "And let's make sure we are. Because that's the way politics should be conducted in America. So lets -- make sure -- you're all respectful. I don't meant that has to reduce your ferocity. I just mean it's gotta be respectful. OK? And I would say that 99 and forty-four one-hundredths of every person who's come to my town hall meeting has been respectful. I am proud you're here and I'm grateful for it and I appreciate your enthusiasm."
Barack is a radical - that is clear. The unknown is whether his ideology will remain relevant if he assumes the presidency, or if he will leave his radicalism, and his radical friends, behind in order to be a successful president.
Another woman stood and said, "I got to ask you a question. I don't believe in -- I can't trust Obama. I have read about him. And he's not, he's not – he's an Arab. He's not."
Shaking his head no, McCain grabbed the microphone away from her.
"No ma'am," McCain said. "No ma'am. No ma'am. He's a, he's a, he's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that's what this campaign is all about, he is not. Thank you."