Not making eye contact (McCain) and huffing and puffing (Gore)?
Back in 2000, people noticed that Al Gore had a lot of impatience and contempt for George Bush’s answers during their first presidential debate.
Gore displayed this contempt by huffing and puffing a lot, much like an impatient teacher might do with a student who just doesn’t get it.
Likewise, in the first 2008 presidential debate with Barack Obama, John McCain seemed to be showing a lot of dismissiveness and contempt for his opponent, both in his caustic comments directed at what Obama had to say, and in his refusal to make eye contact with Obama.
In other words, McCain’s failure to make eye contact with Obama seemed to function in the same way as Gore’s huffing and puffing—that is, as a form of disrespect, dismissiveness, and contempt.
In retrospect, Gore’s behavior at the first debate was unpresidential, and we’ll see if McCain’s failure to treat Obama as an equal who deserves to be on the same platform with him, also becomes a memory of this first debate: