10/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McCain's Lack of Eye Contact Condescending

You have to try pretty hard to not look at someone while you're shaking their hand. Yet John McCain managed that feat not once, but twice during the debates.

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised, given that McCain hardly glanced in his rival's direction at all this evening, even when he was being directly spoken to or prodded by Jim Lehrer to address Senator Obama directly.

John McCain has appeared out of touch all week, but Friday night, he appeared outright extraterrestrial. Barack Obama maintained his composure, unsurprisingly, respectfully agreeing with John McCain when he made a point that resonated, and interjecting confidently to correct factual inaccuracies.

When you couple the lack of eye contact with McCain's constantly repeating "Senator Obama just doesn't understand [fill-in-the-blank]" and his concluding remarks about not trusting Obama's intelligence, his demeanor throughout the debate comes across as insulting and entirely without class. No one expects presidential candidates to mind their manners in a grueling race, but you can acknowledge a competitor -- especially one who is putting up such a good fight.

Courtesy of Talking Points Memo: