Reading the latest New York Times John McCain puff piece makes you wonder whether the Times and company only started pulling the guy down with McCain deathwatch stories so that they could have the pleasure of building him up all over again:
Between jokes, he is steadfast in his support for the present course in Iraq, his voice hushing to a near-whisper during paeans to the United States military. He is also prone to solemn monologues against the evils of torturing prisoners and the atrocities committed by “those thugs in Burma” against pro-democracy demonstrators, neither of which are top-of-the-agenda issues for most Republican voters. But they are important to John McCain, never mind the polls and focus groups, which are too expensive anyway.
Groan. Mark Leibovich also refers to “his campaign bus, christened the Straight Talk Express during his insurgent presidential campaign of 2000,” a weird use of the passive voice that could leave us with the idea that it was so christened by David Broder or Saint Peter and not by John McCain. I guess the myth of McCain is just more fun when he’s the underdog.
I’m not a nautical expert, or a baptism expert, but I don’t think “christening” is usually performed by an outside or independent party. I think the author’s implying that McCain did christen his own bus the Straight Talk Express. Otherwise, to imply an indeterminate but authoritative outside party (like the media), “dubbed” would seem like a more appropriate choice.
Sorry. Carry on.
i would just like to announce that i am rewriting “HMS Pinafore” to be about Alek Felstiner.