Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thinking About McCain

David Brooks with a thoughtful article on John McCain:
I think first of the personal qualities. He was an unfailingly candid man. When other politicians described a meeting, they always ended up the heroes of the story. But McCain would always describe the meeting straight, emphasizing his own failings with more vigor than his accomplishments.

He is, for a politician, a humble man. The most important legacy of his prisoner-of-war days is that he witnessed others behaving more heroically than he did. This experience has given him a basic honesty when appraising himself.

I could fill this column with his accomplishments during this period, and not even mention the insights. At a defense conference in Munich, I saw him diagnose and confront Russian hegemony. Week after week, I saw him dissent from G.O.P. colleagues as their party lost its way.

Some people who cover the campaign seem to have no knowledge of anything but the campaign, but I can’t get these events — which were real and required the constant application of judgment, honor and courage — out of my head.

Do I wish he was running a different campaign? Yes.

Nonetheless, when people try to tell me that the McCain on the campaign trail is the real McCain and the one who came before was fake, I just say, baloney. I saw him. A half-century of evidence is there.

If McCain is elected, he will retain his instinct for the hard challenge. With that Greatest Generation style of his, he will run the least partisan administration in recent times. He is not a sophisticated conceptual thinker, but he is a good judge of character. He is not an organized administrator, but he has become a practiced legislative craftsman. He is, above all — and this is completely impossible to convey in the midst of a campaign — a serious man prone to serious things.
Read the whole thing.

Brooks should have a similar article up soon on Obama. I'll link to that as well as soon as it's up.


thinking said...

Of course Brooks is a conservative columnist...nothing wrong with that...but it does indicate his bias.

The McCain of today is not the McCain of old...his campaign is run by lobbyists and political assassins, and his pick of Palin and other recent erratic behavior shows that he values winning above national interest.

You have to judge him by his most recent actions, and they do not suggest he is at all qualified to be President. He wouldn't be the first politician, or person, for that matter, to go bad over time, through the seduction of his own ambition.

McCain is unfit for the job. Period.

Brian Hollar said...

Thinking, I think your plethora of comments in unflinching support of Obama indicate that you are far more biased than Brooks... ;)