Senator McCain's performance on Saturday Night Live last night was extraordinary for a number of reasons. It wasn't his first appearance there, since he had hosted an entire show back in 2002. But there was something fundamentally strange about the real McCain interacting with Tina Fey as if she really was Gov. Palin, even for the purpose of a sketch. It struck me as an insult to his running-mate, and for all I know, it was meant that way.
The skit also demonstrates that, at his best, McCain is a good sport who has always been willing to poke fun at himself. He has an irreverent quality which has often endeared him to reporters, even if it hasn't been apparent during the current campaign. It's a side of him that sometimes seems at war with his self-righteousness and reported readiness to vilify anyone who opposes him. But that isn't necessarily inconsistent with a self-deprecatory attitude. McCain is a complex person from all that I can tell, and some people are probably rooting for him to win simply because they think he's a more interesting person than Senator Obama. That may well be true, but just as the Chinese wish "interesting times" on someone as a curse, I think we can do without the admittedly interesting aspects of a McCain presidency.
NBC has let the Associated Press post some clips from McCain's appearance with Fey on YouTube, so here he is: