Thursday, October 2, 2008

McCain's Temperament

I have paid almost zero attention to questions of McCain's character because I don't think how people behave on a personal level tells you much about their approach to policy and governing. By most accounts Bush is a nice guy, but that hasn't stopped him from being a disastrous president. Plus I know that most of what people perceive about a politician's character--both positive and negative--is just the product of spin and journalists' whims. I recall vividly how the press tagged Howard Dean as "angry" during the 2003-04 primary campaign, while in person he was gracious and subdued.

All that said, when you take this encounter with Obama yesterday, the video below with clips from his recent interview with the Des Moines Register, and the anecdotes in this profile--many drawn from McCain's own accounts--it's hard not to worry that McCain's temperament would be a major factor in how he would function as president. I learned from the profile that "McNasty" is not a slur dreamed up by political opponents in recent years (as I imagined) but rather his nickname since high school. Here's also a list on a conservative blog with his top ten temper tantrums.


Anonymous said...

I think #7 on conservative blogger's list may be the most reasonable thing McCain's said in the last decade:
7) Sen. McCain Attacked Christian Leaders And Republicans In A Blistering Speech During The 2000 Campaign. MCCAIN: “Unfortunately, Governor Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican who will lose to Al Gore. … The political tactics of division and slander are not our values… They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.” (Sen. John McCain, Remarks, Virginia Beach, VA, 2/28/00)

James said...

You've got to be joking with that video. That's supposed to be rage? Give me a break. You defeat your own argument by posting such a lame video.