MCCAIN'S TEMPER. For an interesting preview of the coming smear job on John McCain, check out Newsmax's article questioning whether McCain has the temperament to be President. It warns that, "to insiders who know him, McCain has an irrational, explosive side that make many of them question whether he is fit to serve as president and be commander in chief." Ooh -- scandal!

The article mostly charges the maverick with liberal usage of the F-bomb and claims that McCain has poor working relations with the other senators, who he occasionally lambastes. The richest part of the piece, though, surely is the bit comparing his anger management problems to infidelity, an issue Newsmax wasn't exactly known for dodging during the Clinton years. "The favored treatment," writes Newsmax, "is reminiscent of the way the press turned a blind eye to John F. Kennedy's dalliances � except that voters have far more need to know about evidence of instability than presidential infidelities." Ah yes, I remember when Newsmax was bravely standing up for Clinton, loudly proclaiming the insignificance of his private dalliances. Joking aside, check that line again, it basically says that McCain's character flaws are deadlier than Clinton's. Gauntlet? Down.

--Ezra Klein