Friday, August 28, 2009

McCain’s Too Small a Man for Those Big Shoes

There’s been some longwinded discussion of late about who in the U.S. Senate, if anybody, might step up as the next powerful, principled, and thoughtful solon in the Ted Kennedy mold. A few pundits have suggested that longtime Arizona legislator and failed Republican’t presidential candidate John McCain might be the one to take up that mantle. But Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly shoots down any such speculation:
I guess I was watching a different presidential campaign last year. As I recall, McCain spent the year lying, flip-flopping, running cheap and ugly ads, and choosing a crazy person as his running mate.

But in some ways, that these observations are even being made tells an important story. The political media establishment has long adored McCain. Many wondered, after McCain’s offensive conduct on the campaign trail last year, whether that same political media establishment would welcome him back with open arms once the presidential race ended. The answer now seems obvious. McCain hasn’t done anything to earn their love, but that apparently doesn’t matter.

As for the comparison itself, Kennedy was among the most accomplished lawmakers in the history of the United States Senate. McCain has an impressive personal background, but very few accomplishments to his name. Kennedy was principled, brilliant, and knowledgeable. McCain is inconsistent, easily confused, and has no patience for details. Kennedy was widely admired and respected by those who worked with him. McCain is known for screaming at his colleagues, even Republicans, who dare to disagree with him.

We knew Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy was a friend of ours. John McCain is no Ted Kennedy.
You can read the whole piece here.

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