The McCain-Obama Preview

Back when Hillary Clinton was the “inevitable” front-runner, she bragged about how much the GOP candidates talked about her. Apparently those days are over. In his victory speech tonight, McCain refers to his eventual opponent, and it sure doesn’t sound like Hillary:

“I will fight every moment of every day in this campaign to make sure Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history and a return to the false promises and failed policies of a tired philosophy that trusts in government more than people.”

Notice how McCain picks up where Hillary left off. He echoes her message that Obama is all rhetoric an “eloquent but empty call for change” and adds a dollop of small-government orthodoxy for taste. He also previews the generational war that would play a larger role in an Obama-McCain contest than it did in the Democratic primary: ” I’m not the youngest candidate. But I am the most experienced.”

Obama hasn’t started engaging McCain to the same degree he has a primary to win, after all. But look for Obama to keep thanking McCain for his “five decades of service” every chance he gets.