McCain has been on the Daily Show more than any other guest. This may be the toughest interview he’s gotten on any show.
There’s approximately one minute of wackiness and sort of unbecoming chumminess, then Stewart goes after him hard on Iraq, Reid (Stewart may be the only “news” anchor to accurately characterize the majority leader’s remark), and gets a huge round of applause for this bit:
STEWART: How do you quell a civil war when it’s not even your country?
MCCAIN: Well, I know what side they’re on.
STEWART: They’re on America’s side.
::EVEN HUGER APPLAUSE::
I’m in New Hampshire for McCain’s “relaunch” tour, we’ll see if the flop sweat has evaporated.
UPDATE: The whole interview really is worth watching, if only to see McCain’s genuine frustration in not being able to get Stewart to give an inch — even though McCain gives several. It’s the kind of debate that McCain could benefit from if there were more of them, perhaps because there are moments when it looks like he might change his own mind. That he never will is the real problem.