Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is a preening, self-important politician and not a "maverick."


John McCain sent Barack Obama a nasty gram yesterday accusing the freshman senator of playing politics with the Senate ethics reform. Check out the Chicago Sun-Times story for bits and pieces from McCain's letter and Obama's response.

A couple thoughts on this:

1. McCain is full of himself and is threatened by Obama's rapidly rising star. He's likely also threatened that a freshman senator has an approval somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 percent and he doesn't.

2. This is part of McCain's strategy to appease his party to build up support for a presidential bid. Up until this point, Republicans hadn't much attacked Obama or said much about him at all. (Obama has kept a relatively low profile in his first year in the senate, choosing to work on eradicating lead paint in public housing rather than attach himself to sexier issues.) I don't think it's a coincidence that McCain's comments came only a day after RNC chairman Ken Mehlman called Sen. Clinton "angry" and said that would turn off voters. This is all part of the mid-term election and 2008 presidential strategy. That's fine, but let's not pretend McCain is above the fray in all this.

3. The language in McCain's letter seems rather stiff and wonkish, kind of a like the invisible hand of a chief of staff played a role. Obama's words, on the other hand, simply sound like many other things he's written, including his 2004 Democratic Convention speech in Boston and his book, Dreams from My Father. I doesn't really matter one way or another, it's just something I noticed.

Yesterday: 60 minutes on the bike
Today: 60 minutes more on the bike
Tomorrow: 60 minute treadmill jaunt


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