...his aides didn't respond with a substantive retort. Rather, they declared that their boss knew what it was like to get inadequate care "from another government."
There was the question of whether McCain really was insulated from Rick Warren's questions at the Saddleback Faith-o-Rama spectacular:
Nicolle Wallace, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, said on Sunday night that Mr. McCain had not heard the broadcast of the event while in his motorcade and heard none of the questions.
“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said.
And last night he went on Leno and was asked how many houses he owns.
"Could I just mention to you, Jay, that, at a moment of seriousness,” McCain began, “I spent five-and-a-half years in a prison cell. I didn't have a house. I didn't have a kitchen table. I didn't have a table. I didn't have a chair. And I didn't spend those five-and-a-half years because, not because I wanted to get a house when I got out."
And with that, McCain manages to trivialize not only the jaw-dropping chasm between his level of wealth and the majority of the citizens he wants to lead, but his own war record. The POW thing is supposed to be hands-off, at least where Democrats are concerned, at least when it comes to McCain critics who challenge his psychological fitness for the most stressful job on the planet--with nukes!--given his incendiary temper and propensity for confusing basic facts. But McCain hasn't hesitated to pull POW! out of his back pocket when it suits him, whether it's relevant to the question of the moment or if it's simply a convenient get-out-of-jail-free card that is intended to shut the questioner up preemptively. Which it does to great effect.
John McCain was a prisoner of war. That does not give him carte blanche for evading questions he'd rather not answer, nor should it exempt him from recrimination when he trots it out as the only answer you need to any question you might want to ask or any criticism you might want to level. If he goes with Giuliani, though, it will make for very succinct debates. POW! 9/11! It's the dream ticket for a bumper-sticker mentality. And that's a very frightening thing indeed.