"How do we beat the bitch?"

Shocked at such language? John McCain apparently wasn't when a woman posed the question to him to other day at a kaffe klatsch with voters. No doubt you realize the "bitch" in question is Hillary Clinton. (I guess we can be thankful Barack Obama didn't come up.)

The response? The crowd guffawed. "I thought she was talking about my ex-wife," joked one audience member.

McCain, reprising his deft "Bomb Iran" touch, praised the questioner: "That's an excellent question..."

No, senator. It's not. Of course, Clinton would be excoriated if she raised gender issues. Then again, look at the gender of the person who asked the question. Telling, perhaps. All the same, it would have been nice, I think, if Sen. McCain had responded like a, well, man.

See the video here.

David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.

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