A day earlier, in Milwaukee, in front of an audience of more sympathetic businessmen, McCain had been asked how debate over the immigration bill was playing politically. “In the short term, it probably galvanizes our base,” he said. “In the long term, if you alienate the Hispanics, you’ll pay a heavy price.” Then he added, unable to help himself, “By the way, I think the fence is least effective. But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.”
I don’t get it. There’s no rhetoric here, on the campaign trail, among voters outraged at the amnesty bill and the fact that exactly two of the 700 miles that were promised have been built, about the fence being ineffective or “goddamned.”
What could explain this curious lack of “straight talk”?
Update: I wish Mel Martinez was running for president so we could watch him squirm. In the absence of that, I’ll settle for this.