He lost me with the hug.
Though I haven’t been much of a switch-hitter, I look at the other team. There might come a day when the Dems nominate a candidate so corrupt and unskilled as to prompt a protest vote. So I look.
John McCain has long interested me. He’s a true American hero who knows viscerally what it means to send troops into harm’s way. (Though I marvel at his unwavering support of this war.) I followed his 2000 campaign with interest and was appalled by the reprehensible tactics deployed by Bush’s apparatchiks against his camp. As the campaign wore on, it became clear that McCain was too hawkish, too gun friendly, too pro-life to win my vote. But I admired him nonetheless.
Until he hugged that son of a bitch.
To treat a president with distant civility is one thing. To physically embrace and campaign for a man whose minions impugned your family? Smells like the gray-water of ambition.
Had he chosen an executive position—governor of Arizona?—instead of the internecine environment of Congress, perhaps we would have seen more of the unvarnished McCain, the man who’s willing to anger the far right and left with the raw courage of his convictions. Instead, McCain’s become an awkward insider, a complex, confused prevaricator willing to sell big chunks of his soul for a shot at America’s highest office.
Curious. There’s part of me that still believes he’s better than all of this.
For a much better take on his candidacy, read Todd S. Purdum’s piece on McCain in Vanity Fair.
For McCain on McCain.