Is McCain really angry, or is it just politicking?

John McCain knows how to dish it out.

If you’ve been paying attention to the presidential race the last couple of weeks, you’ve noticed the bruising attacks McCain has leveled against his opponent, Barack Obama.

John McCain shakes hands with supporters after  at a campaign event in Denver on Friday. (Photo/Jason Kosena)

They’ve been hard to miss.

McCain, in Denver today and Wednesday for a fund-raising blitz, was in town last week speaking to a Hispanic group of veterans at the American GI Forum annual convention, where he dropped one bomb on Obama after another — including the intimation that Obama would rather lose the war in Iraq than the election — before heading to Aspen to meet with the Dalai Lama.

McCain’s war-and-peace tour through Colorado was just the latest example of his about-face approach to wooing voters since becoming a well-known candidate nearly a decade ago.

The transition from the easygoing, maverick campaigner who coined his popularity in 2000 as a straight-talking politician when he was battling President Bush in the primary season to the McCain who showed up in Denver last week was documented by TCI’s sister site The Washington Independent. TWI has been on the trail with McCain in recent weeks.

Despite the attacks — or maybe because of them -— McCain’s favorability in Colorado has grown in recent weeks, and maybe that’s his strategy.

In a media world where the young and popular Obama garners headlines without lifting a finger — let alone taking his campaign global for a week — maybe going negative really is the best way his campaign can keep him in the newspaper.

But it could also backfire and instead further the image Democrats want voters to know McCain by — a cranky old man whose best days are behind him.

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