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Why John McCain Called Obama "That One"

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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best part of last night's debate came when John McCain sought to assure Americans about atomic energy, saying, "Look, I was on navy ships that had nuclear power plants. Nuclear power is safe," and immediately started glowing a violent green and yelling "Rarrrrrrgh!" before grabbing Tom Brokaw with one mangled paw and eating him whole. Kidding! But, man, that would have been great, right? Because, otherwise? Total snoozer. Still, one of the most discussed moments was the bit above, where McCain referred to Barack Obama as "that one."

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What he actually meant by those words is a subject that will no doubt burn up the blogosphere all day, with the left suggesting that it exposed McCain's subtle racism while the right complains about the P.C. police and how sensitive the Obama campaign is, etc. Either way, one doubts McCain wants the focus of the post-debate conversation to be about whether or not he's a racist, although given the state of the economy it might be one of the few topics which actually does less damage to the Republican's dwindling chances. Still, there are a number of reasons, either psychological or tactical, for McCain to have used that specific elocution. In the interests of better understanding what happened, here's some informed speculation as to why McCain called Obama "that one":



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