Eight years ago in the South Carolina primary the Bush-Rove-Goebbels team pulled out all the stops to run a vicious, underhanded smear campaign against the then surging John McCain, to capture the primary and begin Bush's sinister road to the White House. I lost respect for McCain then following his wimpy acceptance of the unethical, vile tactics used against him; his deer-in-headlights posture; his cowardly, submissive response to the Bush (blackmail?) machine and acquiescence to that brand of politics. Whatever he once was as a Naval captain, and one-time maverick, in the last 8 years McCain has been typified by simple cowardice and unwillingness to actually take on the people and issues he pretends to take on. Occasionally, he'll move 3 steps forward in an independent direction, only to then move 4 steps back, as someone stifles or bullies him; occasionally he'll offer sound and fury signifying nothing. His cynical selection of Sarah Palin over those he actually wanted and that were qualified, is just more caving to his party's wingnuts and jingoists on the first major decision he's had to make. He's a better human by far than the current nest of vipers occupying the White House (that have set a low bar for him), but still, in his old age, for whatever reasons, he's devolved to being another Washington wimp and traditional politician, led around by the nose by monied interests. Those who wish to portray him otherwise are playing charades... and playing with the nation's future.
It was also back in the year 2000 that McCain was seriously mentioned for the VP slot with Bush, but took himself out of the running, saying essentially it was a do-nothing job, attending funerals and greeting dignitaries; not something he had any interest in... maybe THAT explains a LOT about his choice of running mate this go-around.