The Real John McCain Exposed: Or What Is Wrong With John McCain?
There is more to John McCain that people need to understand other than he is an inconsistent conservative, war hawk and an old man with old ideas from a time past.
While visions of “War Heroism: swim in his mind along with “victory at any cost” in the manner of Generals who squandered life like water in the massiveness of World Wars; John McCain not only holds positions on social, economic and political issues that are clearly out of touch with reality, he has them all wrapped in a package of a foul “legendary” temper that surpasses the irrationality of Nixon.
And when it comes to women, one has to question the very core of McCain’s being as he seems to hold women in utter contempt as window dressing sex “trophy Wife” objects.
The abandonment of his first wife is not only tragic; it is a horrible commentary on the personality and real values of The Real John McCain.
By Sharon Churcher
Last updated at 1:45 AM on 08th June 2008
McCain likes to illustrate his moral fibre by referring to his five years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam. And to demonstrate his commitment to family values, the 71-year-old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children.
But there is another Mrs. McCain who casts a ghostly shadow over the Senator’s presidential campaign. She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain’s three eldest children.
And yet, had events turned out differently, it would be she, rather than Cindy, who would be vying to be First Lady. She is McCain’s first wife, Carol, who was a famous beauty and a successful swimwear model when they married in 1965.
She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam’s infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news.
But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969. Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.
When Carol was discharged from hospital after six months of life-saving surgery, the prognosis was bleak. In order to save her legs, surgeons had been forced to cut away huge sections of shattered bone, taking with it her tall, willowy figure. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter.
Through sheer hard work, Carol learned to walk again. But when John McCain came home from Vietnam, she had gained a lot of weight and bore little resemblance to her old self.
Today, she stands at just 5ft4in and still walks awkwardly, with a pronounced limp. Her body is held together by screws and metal plates and, at 70, her face is worn by wrinkles that speak of decades of silent suffering.
For nearly 30 years, Carol has maintained a dignified silence about the accident, McCain and their divorce. But last week at the bungalow where she now lives at Virginia Beach, a faded seaside resort 200 miles south of Washington, she told The Mail on Sunday how McCain divorced her in 1980 and married Cindy, 18 years his junior and the heir to an Arizona brewing fortune, just one month later.
Carol insists she remains on good terms with her ex-husband, who agreed as part of their divorce settlement to pay her medical costs for life. ‘I have no bitterness,’ she says.
“My accident is well recorded. I had 23 operations, I am five inches shorter than I used to be and I was in hospital for six months. It was just awful, but it wasn’t the reason for my divorce.”
“My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that happens...it just does.”
Some of McCain’s acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centered womanizer who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to ‘play the field’. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.
McCain was then earning little more than $25,000 a year as a naval officer, while his new father-in-law, Jim Hensley, was a multi-millionaire who had impeccable political connections.
He first met Carol in the Fifties while he was at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. He was a privileged, but rebellious scion of one of America’s most distinguished military dynasties – his father and grandfather were both admirals.
But setting out to have a good time, the young McCain hung out with a group of young officers who called themselves the “Bad Bunch”.
His primary interest was women and his conquests ranged from a knife-wielding floozy nicknamed ‘Marie, the Flame of Florida’ to a tobacco heiress.
Carol fell into his fast-living world by accident. She escaped a poor upbringing in Philadelphia to become a successful model, married an Annapolis classmate of McCain’s and had two children – Douglas and Andrew – before renewing what one acquaintance calls ‘”an old flirtation” with McCain.
It seems clear she was bowled over by McCain’s attention at a time when he was becoming bored with his playboy lifestyle.
“He was 28 and ready to settle down and he loved Carol’s children,” recalled another Annapolis graduate, Robert Timberg, who wrote The Nightingale’s Song, a bestselling biography of McCain and four other graduates of the academy.
The couple married and McCain adopted Carol’s sons. Their daughter, Sidney, was born a year later, but domesticity was clearly beginning to bore McCain – the couple were regarded as ‘fixtures on the party circuit’ before McCain requested combat duty in Vietnam at the end of 1966.
He was assigned as a bomber pilot on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin.
What follows is the stuff of the McCain legend. He was shot down over Hanoi in October 1967 on his 23rd mission over North Vietnam and was badly beaten by an angry mob when he was pulled, half-drowned from a lake.
War hero: McCain with Carol as he arrives back in the US in 1973 after his five years as a POW in North Vietnam. Over the next five-and-a-half years in the notorious Hoa Loa Prison he was regularly tortured and mistreated.
It was in 1969 that Carol went to spend the Christmas holiday – her third without McCain – at her parents’ home. After dinner, she left to drop off some presents at a friend’s house.
It wasn’t until some hours later that she was discovered, alone and in terrible pain, next to the wreckage of her car. She had been hurled through the windscreen.
After her first series of life-saving operations, Carol was told she may never walk again, but when doctors said they would try to get word to McCain about her injuries, she refused, insisting: “He’s got enough problems, I don’t want to tell him.”
H. Ross Perot, a billionaire Texas businessman, future presidential candidate and advocate of prisoners of war, paid for her medical care.
When McCain – his hair turned prematurely white and his body reduced to little more than a skeleton – was released in March 1973, he told reporters he was overjoyed to see Carol again.
But friends say privately he was ‘appalled’ by the change in her appearance. At first, though, he was kind, assuring her: “I don’t look so good myself. It’s fine.”
He bought her a bungalow near the sea in Florida and another former POW helped him to build a railing so she could pull herself over the dunes to the water.
“I thought, of course, we would live happily ever after,” says Carol. But as a war hero, McCain was moving in ever-more elevated circles.
Through Ross Perot, he met Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California. A sympathetic Nancy Reagan took Carol under her wing.
But already the McCains’ marriage had begun to fray. “John started carousing and running around with women,” said Robert Timberg.
McCain has acknowledged that he had girlfriends during this time, without going into details. Some friends blame his dissatisfaction with Carol, but others give some credence to her theory of a mid-life crisis.
He was also fiercely ambitious, but it was clear he would never become an admiral like his illustrious father and grandfather and his thoughts were turning to politics.
In 1979 – while still married to Carol – he met Cindy at a cocktail party in Hawaii. Over the next six months he pursued her, flying around the country to see her. Then he began to push to end his marriage.
Carol and her children were devastated. ‘It was a complete surprise,’ says Nancy Reynolds, a former Reagan aide.
‘They never displayed any difficulties between themselves. I know the Reagans were quite shocked because they loved and respected both Carol and John.’
Another friend added: ‘Carol didn’t fight him. She felt her infirmity made her an impediment to him. She justified his actions because of all he had gone through. She used to say, “He just wants to make up for lost time.”
Indeed, to many in their circle the saddest part of the break-up was Carol’s decision to resign herself to losing a man she says she still adores.
Friends confirm she has remained friends with McCain and backed him in all his campaigns. “He was very generous to her in the divorce but of course he could afford to be, since he was marrying Cindy,” one observed.
McCain transferred the Florida beach house to Carol and gave her the right to live in their jointly-owned townhouse in the Washington suburb of Alexandria. He also agreed to pay her alimony and child support.
A former neighbor says she subsequently sold up in Florida and Washington and moved in 2003 to Virginia Beach. He said: “My impression was that she found the new place easier to manage as she still has some difficulties walking.”
Meanwhile McCain moved to Arizona with his new bride immediately after their 1980 marriage. There, his new father-in-law gave him a job and introduced him to local businessmen and political power brokers who would smooth his passage to Washington via the House of Representatives and Senate.
And yet despite his popularity as a politician, there are those who won’t forget his treatment of his first wife.
Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally.
There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.
“When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.”
“Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.
This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character.
He has no character.
He is a fake.
If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.”
One old friend of the McCains said: “Carol always insists she is not bitter, but I think that’s a defense mechanism. She also feels deeply in his debt because in return for her agreement to a divorce, he promised to pay for her medical care for the rest of her life.”
Carol remained resolutely loyal as McCain’s political star rose. She says she agreed to talk to The Mail on Sunday only because she wanted to publicize her support for the man who abandoned her.
Indeed, the old Mercedes that she uses to run errands displays both a disabled badge and a sticker encouraging people to vote for her ex-husband. “He’s a good guy,’ she assured us. We are still good friends. He is the best man for president.”
But Ross Perot, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel – even by the standards of modern politics.
‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,’ he said.
After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.”
McCain had already met and romanced, while still married to Shepp, the woman who would be his second wife — Cindy Lou Hensley, seventeen years his junior, the only child of a wealthy Anheuser-Busch distributor from Phoenix.
Cindy’s father, Jim Hensley, had been a World War II pilot, shot down over the English Channel. In 1955 he formed his company, Hensley & Co., now the country’s sixth-largest beer distributorship.
Cindy had gone from cheerleader to rodeo queen to graduate student at University of South Carolina by the time she met McCain in 1979. A year later, McCain and his first wife were granted a divorce; six weeks later, McCain married Cindy.
Ted Sampley, who fought with the Army's Special Forces in Vietnam and knows McCain, said: "When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her. ... Eventually, he met Cindy, and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy."
McCain's campaign had no comment on those allegations. But it's apparent he has the support of Carol, who no doubt is indebted to him. In return for giving him a divorce, McCain agreed to pay for his ex-wife's medical care for the rest of her life, according to the Mail.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Cindy McCain did not hesitate as she stepped toward the microphone, taking her place in the history of political wives who stood by their men in the face of rumored or alleged marital infidelity.
“Well, obviously, I’m disappointed,” she said, her voice low but clear and self-assured. “More importantly, my children and I not only trust my husband, but know that he would never do anything to not only disappoint our family, but disappoint the people of America. He’s a man of great character.”
“The allegation of infidelity is still a powerful allegation, and it remains powerful because it’s about trust and responsibility, the idea that if you’re cheating on your spouse, what can we expect of you in the presidency,” he said.
Well, The New York Times's article on John McCain's relationship with Vicky Iseman sure did make Mark Salter mad. It's often unclear at times, however, what exactly Salter is trying to say. The Times story is a bit odd and innuendo-y, hinting at a sexual relationship between McCain and Iseman but they clearly don't have the goods. Salter says McCain spoke to New York Times editor Bill Keller and "denied any personal 'romantic' involvement with Iseman, and said that he did not 'betray the public trust.'"
Obviously, I don't know whether or not McCain had sex with Iseman. I suppose by "what the meaning of the word 'is' is" standards, he didn't even deny having had sex with Iseman. Certainly it'd be a bit rich of McCain to get outraged that anyone would even suggest that he might engage in sexual improprieties.
After all, it's well known that he repeatedly cheated on his first wife Carol, of a number of years, with a variety of women, before eventually dumping her for a much-younger heiress whose family fortune was able to help finance his political career.
That's well known, I should say, except to the electorate, who would probably find that this sort of behavior detracts from McCain's "character" appeal.
Meanwhile, there's all this stuff Salter doesn't deny (because, again, it's true) about McCain's questionable ethics. He wrote "letters to government regulators on behalf of the [Iseman's] client," he "often flew on the corporate jets of business executives seeking his support," he resigned as head of a non-profit when "news reports disclosed that the group was tapping the same kinds of unlimited corporate contributions he opposed, including those from companies seeking his favor," his Senate office and his campaign are run by corporate lobbyists, etc.
Meanwhile, there's a storm of speculation surrounding the Iseman story, which continues to be a weird lead for the piece, and we'll have to see what else comes out.
But a new book on the presumptive Republican nominee will air perhaps the most shocking angry exchange to date.
The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter, which will arrive in bookstores next month, reports an angry exchange between McCain and his wife that happened in full view of aides and reporters during a 1992 campaign stop. An advance copy of the book was obtained by RAW STORY.
Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness.
In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett.
At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt."
McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.
The man who was known as "McNasty" in high school has erupted in foul-languaged tirades at political foes and congressional colleagues more-or-less throughout his career, and his quickness to anger has been an issue on the presidential campaign trail as evidence of his fury has surfaced.
As Schecter notes, McCain's rage is not limited to the political spectrum, and even his family cannot be spared the brute force of his anger.
Schecter, who also blogs at The Agonist, said in an interview the anecdote is "an early example of his uncontrollable temper." In the book he outlines several other examples of McCain losing his cool and raises the question of how that would affect a McCain presidency.
What should voters make of this pattern? In February 2008 Tim Russert succinctly described McCain on MSNBC's Morning Joe. A devilish grin spread from ear to ear as Russert, no McCain hater, leaned forward and spoke in a whisper, "He likes to fight." Russert got it right. But the big question isn't whether McCain likes to fight: it's who, when, and how.
The exchange between McCain and his wife was not reported anywhere when it happened, Schecter said (a LexisNexis database search confirms this).
In 1992, McCain's mention in the national media revolved mostly around his involvement in the Keating Five scandal, and only local reporters closely followed his re-election bid.
McCain is well known for his rapport with the national media covering his presidential bid (he's jokingly referred to the press as "my base"), but Schecter said this incident was buried not out of fealty to the Arizona senator. Rather, it was uneasiness about how to get such a coarse exchange into a family newspaper, and he didn't fault the local press for not covering the incident.
"Members of the media are squeamish covering stuff like this so they let it go," Schecter told RAW STORY in an interview Monday. "Back in '92, when people use naughty words, [reporters] don't know as much what to do with it."
Much has changed since then. President Bush's reference to a New York Times reporter as a "major league asshole" was reported in at least 47 newspapers during the 2000 campaign, when the off-color remark was overheard, according to a database search. And more than a dozen newspapers have reported Dick Cheney's recommendation that Sen. Patrick Leahy "fuck yourself."
McCain and his aides have brushed off suggestions that his temper could impede his ability to perform the sometimes-delicate tasks asked of a president. The candidate was asked about his legendary temper last week on "Fox News Sunday," where he cited his ability to work "across the aisle" while in the Senate.
"You can't scare people or intimidate them if you're going to reach agreement with your colleagues and your contemporaries And I've worked hard at that, and that's what the American people want," McCain said. " The second thing is if I lose my capacity for anger, then I shouldn't be president of the United States. ... When I see the waste and corruption in Washington, I get angry."
McCain's campaign did not return a call from RAW STORY seeking comment Monday morning.
Schecter says McCain's anger is much more than a passion for the issues. One can only imagine what would happen if McCain were to try to squeeze that temper into the tight confines of diplomacy.
"The public certainly has to know what this guy might do as president," Schecter says. Examples like the ones in his book "should worry people, quite frankly."
From The Brave New Films Organization
John McCain's record on reproductive rights couldn't be more appalling. There, we said it! We said it because the corporate media won't confront McCain on the real issues in this election. They won't tell you, for instance, that McCain has consistently received a big fat zero from NARAL on its pro-choice scorecard. Nor will they tell you that McCain has flip-flopped on Roe v. Wade and now supports overturning this all-too-crucial case.
Because the corporate media has failed to do its job, we have to work extra hard to do ours. And so we've created McCain's Clinic, a sneak peek at what a women's health clinic could look like if McCain were elected. Yes, we're presenting McCain's reproductive rights record through comedy, but our hope is that it will help get our point across effectively.
We must spread awareness about McCain's record now, especially considering a recent Planned Parenthood poll found that half of female voters in 16 battleground states don't know enough about McCain's views on reproductive health. What's more, one in four pro-choice McCain supporters would be less likely to vote for McCain after knowing he opposes Roe v. Wade and backs abstinence-only education.
Here's what you can do: send this video to everyone you know and digg it! By taking these steps, you can help educate female voters in battleground states about McCain's anti-choice record. And don't forget to donate to Brave New PAC so we can continue our campaign to bring you the REAL McCain.
We're talking about a man who has voted anti-choice 123 out of 128 times. A man who wouldn't require prescription coverage for birth control. A man who voted against allocating $100 million to preventative health services that would have reduced unintended and teen pregnancies. A man who could irreparably damage women's rights in our country unless we get the word out about him now.
But it wasn't until 2000 that McCain, possibly emboldened by Clinton's survival of his scandals, became the first confessed adulterer to have the nerve to run. Now, just a few years after infidelity was considered a deal breaker for a presidential candidate, the party that presents itself as the arbiter of virtue may field an unprecedented two-timing trifecta.
McCain was still married and living with his wife in 1979 while, according to The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof, "aggressively courting a 25-year-old woman who was as beautiful as she was rich." McCain divorced his wife, who had raised their three children while he was imprisoned in Vietnam, then launched his political career with his new wife's family money.
In 2000, McCain managed to deflect media questioning about his first marriage with a deft admission of responsibility for its failure. It's possible that the age of the offense and McCain's charmed relationship with the press will pull him through again, but Giuliani and Gingrich may face a more difficult challenge. Both conducted well-documented affairs in the last decade--while still in public office.
John McCain's Record on the Issues
A vote for John McCain is a vote against women's issues.
During his long Senate career, John McCain has racked up a poor record when it comes to supporting issues important to women. Learn the facts so you can make an informed voting decision.
For the past 25 years, John McCain has consistently voted against women's health. From opposing funding for family planning programs to voting against requiring insurance coverage of birth control, McCain has taken extreme positions. He has voted against women's health and has not supported legislation that would help reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion. This has earned him a zero rating - the lowest rating we give in the U.S. Senate. (Source: Planned Parenthood)
A poll conducted by Planned Parenthood in 16 likely battleground states uncovered the following:
Despite his extreme voting record, 51 percent of women voters in battleground states have no idea what John McCain's positions are on women's reproductive health issues.
Forty-nine percent of women currently backing McCain express pro-choice views, and 46 percent of women supporting McCain over Obama/Clinton want to see Roe v. Wade upheld – yet McCain supports overturning the legislation.
Help spread the word that John McCain is not a candidate women can count on to advocate issues important to us. His record speaks for itself.
In addition to his terrible record on women’s issues, McCain also has a troubling record on general issues of interest. Following is a summary, for details about his complete legislative record in the U.S. Senate, search online at the Library of Congress.
A McCain presidency would be very, very bad for women even if not a single ... the kind of impact McCain policies can and would have on women's lives every day. ...
The foremost reason given by supporters of John McCain for why he should be president is that McCain is best qualified to lead the country during this "time of war." Indeed, fighting and winning the Iraq War is the raison d'etre of McCain's presidential campaign. It was the main theme of his campaign announcement speech in April 2007, and it was his most compelling talking point during the Republican presidential debates. Exit polls consistently showed that McCain was the overwhelming favorite among Republican primary voters whose top concern was Iraq.
The question is whether McCain's steadfast support for a war that is deeply unpopular with the American people can propel him into the White House this November?
After five years of fighting, approximately $500 billion in expenditures, and nearly 4,000 dead and 30,000 wounded, McCain advocates an even larger military, economic, and political commitment to Iraq. In sharp contrast with President Bush, who received the loudest bipartisan applause during last month's State of the Union Address when he declared that, due to the success of "the surge," he was planning to bring troops home from Iraq, McCain promises to increase troop levels. See here. And McCain adamantly opposes any timetable for withdrawal. At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on January 3, 2008, McCain went so far as to declare that it would be "fine with me" if American troops remained in Iraq for "maybe a hundred years."
Unfortunately for McCain, a large majority of the American people -- including significant numbers of Republicans -- strongly disagree with his positions on the war.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll from February 1-3, 2008, reported that 64% of adults nationwide oppose the war in Iraq, while only 34% favor the war -- despite the fact that 52% agree that the U.S. military "is making progress in improving conditions in Iraq and bringing an end to the violence in that country."
A Rasmussen Reports poll from January 29, 2008, reported that 59% of Americans want U.S. troops to be brought home from Iraq immediately or within one year, while only 35% want U.S. troops to remain in Iraq "until the mission is complete." According to this poll, not only do 80% of Democrats favor withdrawal within a year, so do 38% of Republicans.
Similarly, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll from January 18-22, 2008, reported that 63% of registered voters think the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq right away or within the next year, including 90% of Democrats, 66% of independents, and 32% of Republicans.
It is clear that even with the undeniable success of the surge in reducing sectarian and terrorist violence in Iraq, most Americans -- including large numbers of Republicans -- prefer to end the war (which, at this point, would be better described as a police action or peacekeeping mission) and bring our troops home. Yet, unless McCain changes his publicly stated position on Iraq, a vote for McCain is a vote to continue and even expand the war. Given that the Iraq War is (currently) the second most important issue on the minds of voters, after the economy, this does not bode well for McCain this November.
In my opinion, to improve his chances of winning the general election, McCain should re-think his approach to the Iraq War and reject the Bush Administration's current project of trying to turn Iraq into the leading edge of a movement for "freedom" and "democracy" in the Middle East.
Let us remember why we invaded Iraq in the first place: Because in the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush recognized -- properly so -- that the preeminent national security threat of our time is the risk that Islamic terrorists, who are dedicated to the destruction of the United States and its way of life, will acquire weapons of mass destruction from "rogue" regimes, and use these weapons against us. As President Bush explained at West Point in June 2002, thereal danger "lies in the perilous crossroads of radicalism and technology," specifically, "chemical and biological and nuclear weapons." With such weapons, "even weak states and small groups could attain a catastrophic power to strike great nations." It was the risk posed by the spread of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups that provided the principal justification for the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 (whether or not, in hindsight, U.S. and European intelligence regarding Saddam Hussein's WMD program was flawed).
Based on our original national security objectives, the Iraq War was "won" more than four years ago, on December 13, 2003. This was the day that U.S. troops captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, famously pulling him from of a "spider hole" near his hometown of Tikrit. By that point in time, the Iraqi military had been routed, Saddam's regime had been deposed, and -- most importantly -- Saddam's ability to develop weapons of mass destruction and to support Islamic terrorism had been eliminated. These objectives were achieved in spectacular fashion in only nine months.
As I previously argued, up to that point in time, the Iraq War remained broadly popular among the American people. In the post-9/11 environment, most Americans recognize that protecting our national security requires taking a more "muscular" approach to confronting and deterring Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors. But Americans, by a wide margin, do not support President Bush's more grandiose vision for "transforming" the Middle East. While the surge has succeeded in reducing the number of U.S. and Iraqi deaths in Iraq -- and in removing the war from newspaper and TV news headlines (for now) -- it has not produced any increase in support for the war among the American people.
While only a minority of Americans want the U.S. to pull out of Iraq "immediately," most Americans are eager for a reasonable plan to end our occupation of Iraq in the foreseeable future. This means in the next year or two, not a decade or more from now. The prospect, which John McCain currently endorses, that significant numbers of U.S. troops will remain in Iraq for years to come, is simply unacceptable to most Americans -- including, I reiterate, large numbers of Republicans, without whose support McCain cannot win in November.
I do not disagree that, compared to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, John McCain is the best candidate to lead this nation during these times of increasing international conflict, which includes not only the threat of a nuclear Iran, but also unrest in already-nuclear Pakistan, China's rise as a global superpower, and the re-emergence of a hostile Russia. Both Clinton and Obama are woefully unprepared to serve as Commander-in-Chief. I suspect that most Americans would agree with this assessment.
But the Iraq War is so unpopular that it may end up electing the Democrats' candidate this November, despite McCain's inherent foreign policy advantage. To avoid this result, McCain must offer the American people a new strategy for Iraq, something between the Bush Administration's unpopular democratization strategy, with its open-ended commitment to staying in Iraq, and the "cut-and-run" alternative offered by the Democrats.
I predict that if John McCain were to come out with an "Iraqi Peace Plan" that proposed significant reductions in U.S. troops by the end of his first term, he would neutralize the Democrats' ability to use the war as a rallying cry, and all-but-guarantee himself election as the next president of the United States.
Things have changed and I wouldn’t go that far. John cannot help himself but to attempt to resurrect the war as a campaign issue, dragging it kicking and screaming over the economic depression that is setting in. It is all is he comfortable with. This is his one dimension, his one issue, save that he is more experienced. That didn’t work for Hillary and it’s not going to work for the old man war monger.
Above Top Secret.com (Loaded) http://www.abovetopsecret.com/tags/john+mccain.html
The Real John McCain http://therealmccain.com/
No matter how you slice it John McBush or a Bush Third Term it’s all the same or worse! And by the way, Yes John McCain may have more experience at some things than Barack Obama, but I’m not sure they are either good experiences or that they qualify him for the Presidency…Quite the contrary.