Update: Stephen pointed me to this video that shows Obama and McCain shaking hands at the very end of the debate. Thanks for the link.
Although I’ve publically supported Barack Obama, I’ve come to respect John McCain. I listened to all the speeches given at the Republican National Convention and was most impressed by McCain’s acceptance speech. I may not agree with him on all issues but there’s no denying he cares about this great country.
But tonight I saw McCain do something that disappointed me and, I’m sure, many Americans.
I grew up playing various sports and was taught that no matter how mean and nasty things got out on the field, I always respected my opponent by shaking his hand at the end of the game. There were many times this was not easy to do, especially after a bitter contest with a rival where my team come out on the losing end. Win or lose, all team members were expected to exhibit good sportsmanship.
Tonight’s town hall debate was informative. It also became heated during several exchanges between the candidates. But McCain should have had the class and dignity to shake Obama’s outstretched hand at the end of the debate. McCain was able shake the hands of various citizens in the crowd so why not Obama? Kudos to Cindy McCain for showing her husband how it’s done and setting a good example for the youth of this nation.
During the debate, McCain referenced the need for a bipartisan solution to many problems facing our country including the economic crisis and meeting our nation’s health care needs. It’s hard to imagine McCain leading a bipartisan charge if he’s unable to shake the hand of a rival.
Tonight, McCain’s outright distain for his rival got in the way of good sportsmanship.