POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Brooks: John McCain is not the man he was

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 26, 2008

David Brooks writes in today’s NYT …

  • John McCain was an unfailingly candid man.
  • His mood darkened as the Iraq war deteriorated, but his accomplishments mounted. I don’t think any senator had as impressive a few years as McCain did during this span of time.
  • What disappoints me about the McCain campaign is it has no central argument.
    • McCain has not made that sort of all-encompassing argument, so his proposals don’t add up to more than the sum of their parts.
    • Without a groundbreaking argument about why he is different, he’s had to rely on tactical gimmicks to stay afloat.
    • He has no frame to organize his response when financial and other crises pop up.
  • 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.


In my judgment, Brooks misses the central point; or maybe he is too enamored with his memories of what John McCain was to admit the truth about what disappoints him now.

Whatever John McCain was, he is not that any more.

  • Maybe he’s just getting too old to deal with the pressure of the campaign.
  • Maybe his mental capacities aren’t what they used to be.
  • Maybe he is so intent on this last grab for the golden ring that he’s willing to sacrifice long-held principles.

Whatever the reason, it is clear to me that John McCain is confused, angry, and not particularly stable. These are not qualities we should be looking for in a President, especially with the unqualified running mate he has impetuously chosen.


Read the entire Brooks article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/opinion/26brooks.html?hp



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