But at least one MSMer with impeccable Dem credentials - Chris Matthews - was reveling in the cat fight this evening.
Obama and McCain apparently had a gentlemen's agreement that they would cooperate in a bi-partisan way on a lobbying reform bill. But it seems that Obama back-tracked, withdrew from the agreement, and came out in support of Dem leader Harry Reid's highly partisan proposal.
McCain unloaded on Obama with a letter he made public containing, among others, these jabs:
"I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere."
"I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions."
"I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn’t always a priority for every one of us."
For full text of the letter, click here.
In any case, Matthews was absolutely in his glory over McCain's comments. For someone whose show is called "Hardball," this was manna from heaven. A jovial and clearly enthused Matthews offered some criticism of his own of Obama in the guise of a question: "Did he welsh on the deal? Did he double-cross you?" Unfortunately, there was an audio problem at the time, so McCain never responded directly.
The traditional kabuki in these situations is that the following day, the person in Mcain's position claims his letter was misinterpreted, that he and Obama are best of friends, blah, blah, blah. But to his credit, on two separate occasions when Matthews asked if he stood by his letter, McCain flatly answered: "Sure!"
Matthews literally couldn't keep himself from laughing out loud as he read the juicy excerpts above. Breaking into guffaws, Matthews interpreted the letter in this way: "you're saying you thought the guy was a gentleman and a civil servant and now you [Obama] are obviously not."
It was a complete and total laugh-in between the two, as McCain allowed with a wide grin that he thought the letter was "pretty well-written."
Other Dems and MSM types might back away from McCain in the wake of his shot across Obama's bow, but Matthews is obviously loving the political theater and the grist for his nightly mill.