Most also-ran candidates slip off quietly once the presidential campaign is over, and yet the media is still interested in what John McCain has to say. The attention is undeserved, Paul Waldman writes in the American Prospect. McCain’s signature issue, earmarks, is “as substantively empty as could be,” and represents his “larger modus operandi” of cultivating journalists as a way to power.
McCain constructed “a media image to put himself in a position to reach the heights of power,” Waldman writes. “It worked splendidly, eventually getting him to within a few percentage points of winning the presidency.” But he didn’t win, and now the media can’t seem to shake the habit of paying attention—though he has nothing to say. “Too many reporters don’t seem realize that McCain is” a “neighborhood crank.”