Todd S. Purdum has a compelling article in the February 2007 Vanity Fair about John McCain’s shot at the Presidency: “One minute he’s toeing the conservative line (on gay marriage, say, or immigration) and the next he’s telling someone what he really thinks.” I can’t find an online link to it but wanted to share with you the reporter’s description of McCain:
He is the kind of person who comes alone, without a single aide or handler, to a dinner with a dozen New York Times editors and reporters, and tells stories of the long-ago days in flight school in Pensacola when he dated an exotic dancer known as “Marie, the Flame of Florida.” He unself-consciously nurses a vodka Gibson on the rocks in an age when Diet Coke is the safer choice. In mixed company, he does not shrink from a good “godd–n” or two, and in male company, considerably coarser discourse comes easily to his lips (cocky jet jockey that he once was).
There’s more, much more. Like his former aide’s description of him, speaking of gay “marriage” and abortion:
“Yes, he’s a social conservative, but his heart isn’t in this stuff. But he has to pretend [that it is], and he’s not a good enough actor to pull it off. He just can’t fake it well enough.”
Other tidbits I learned from the article? His high school nicknames were “Punk” and “McNasty” and Washingtonian magazine ranked McCain second for “Hottest Temper” in the Senate.
Since my high school nickname was “Bird Dog,” I shan’t pass judgement on Mr. McNasty. However, the article is well worth the read, if you happen to pass a magazine stand this week…and can stomach another glossy analysis of the Senator.
CHARLES adds: Readers, here is a link, courtesy of The Corner. Nancy, I read most of this on the Metro today and would add that the article’s description of Senator McCain’s time in the Navy is quite jarring–what he went through is amazing no matter how many times I read about it–and its jabbing at his brave stance on troops in Iraq is totally unfair. I don’t support the guy, but he does deserve credit for that, buckets of it.