No olive branch this time

John McCain held another blogger call this afternoon. Jim Geraghty has a good account of it.
I asked McCain for his comments on George Will’s hard-hitting anti-McCain column of today. McCain viewed it as Will’s monthly or bi-monthly attack on campaign finance reform. He added that he respects Will as an important advocate of conservative causes, but that they will have to agree to disagree on this issue.
As a follow-up, I asked how McCain feels today about his refusal to shake the hand of Brad Smith, the former FEC commissioner with whom he clashed over campaign finance. I was hoping that McCain would answer to the effect that bygones were bygones. Instead, the Senator stood by his conduct, stating that Smith had savaged his character and his integrity on many occasions, so that there was no reason to shake his hand.
I don’t know the details of the McCain-Smith feud. One can certainly imagine a set of facts under which McCain justifiably would not have wanted to shake an adversary’s hand. Nonetheless, I still wish McCain had opted for “let bygones be bygones.” McCain’s a genuine guy, though, and apparently that’s not going to change just because he’s running for president.
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