Tuesday, September 9, 2008


David Lightman and Matt Stearns, McClatchy Newspapers - John McCain made a quick stop at the Capitol one day last spring to sit in on Senate negotiations on the big immigration bill, and John Cornyn was not pleased. Cornyn, a mild-mannered Texas Republican, saw a loophole in the bill that he thought would allow felons to pursue a path to citizenship. McCain called Cornyn's claim "chicken-s---," according to people familiar with the meeting, and charged that the Texan was looking for an excuse to scuttle the bill. Cornyn grimly told McCain he had a lot of nerve to suddenly show up and inject himself into the sensitive negotiations. "F--- you," McCain told Cornyn, in front of about 40 witnesses. . .

There's a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years: McCain pushing a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get an Arizona Republican aide fired from three different jobs, berating a young GOP activist on the night of his own 1986 Senate election and many more.

McCain observers say the incidents have been blown out of proportion.

"I've never seen anything in the way of an outburst of temper that struck me as anything out of the ordinary," said McCain biographer Robert Timberg. . .

At age 2, McCain's tantrums were so intense that he'd hold his breath for a few minutes and pass out. His parents would dunk him in cold water to "cure" him, he wrote in his memoir, "Faith of My Fathers.". . .

When John McCain came to the Senate in 1987, he quickly got two reputations: a Republican who'd do business with Democrats on tough issues and an impatient senator who was often gruff and temperamental.

In January, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., [said], "the thought of (McCain) being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me." (Cochran has since endorsed McCain.)

Added Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., who has a long list of vociferous, sometimes personal disagreements with McCain, "His charm takes a little getting used to." (Bond, too, supports him.)

Democrats are less guarded. "There have been times when he's just exploded, " said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.


At September 9, 2008 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being in disagreement with the likes of Kit Bond and Thad Cochran ought to be construed as points in McCain's favor.

At September 9, 2008 1:15 PM, Anonymous state of misery said...

Here in the state of Misery, we refer to Kit Bond as "Bottled in Bond" because he's always completely bagged in his public appearances.


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