"Swinging on the tire" is blogger code for DC media types becoming way too chummy with John McCain--just learned the exact reference last week. The in-joke originates with a Talking Points Memo reader appalled by the YouTube footage McCain's daughter posted, documenting a fun barbecue for journalists at one of the candidate's summer homes (referred to in Washington journo-speak as a "cabin" or "humble cabin"). It includes footage of a reporter swinging on a tire.
It would be hard to top the 2004 party at the Madison Ave restaurant La Goulue where reporters sang Happy Birthday to McCain. Tom Brokaw was there.
And here's Chris Bowers' description of Brokaw's debate moderation tonight:
--Brokaw keeps telling Obama to stop talking and then, when McCain interjects with a barb, Brokaw laughs again. Yeah--nice.
--The last time Obama talked, Brokaw sarcastically warned the candidates about taking too much time. Then, when McCain talked, Brokaw laughed and said "thank you, Senator."