Newsweek's Thomas on "dispirited" McCain: "[I]t may be because he is not, at heart, a politician. He is a warrior"

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

In the cover story for the May 14 edition of Newsweek, assistant managing editor Evan Thomas wrote about Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) "dramatic profile in courage," noting that McCain "is not the front runner in fund-raising or in national polls. And he has seemed strangely dispirited along the way, more petulant than determined in last week's first Republican debate." According to Thomas: "That may be because he senses that his unflagging support for a highly unpopular war in Iraq could end his political career, but it may be because he is not, at heart, a politician. He is a warrior."

Thomas' characterization of McCain echoed other media outlets that have attributed McCain's comparatively lackluster fundraising totals to his "dislike" of fundraising, suggesting that he is unique in that regard. As Media Matters for America noted, on-screen text during the March 28 edition of MSNBC News Live asked: "How will McCain's dislike of fundraising affect his campaign?" On the April 25 broadcast of National Public Radio's Morning Edition, former McCain campaign manager Mike Murphy claimed that McCain "doesn't particularly like beating contributors out of money," adding: "And I think that's one reason he has some trouble. In some ways, I think that's a compliment to him." Murphy's comments drew no challenge from host Steve Inskeep.

From the May 14 edition of Newsweek:

By far the most dramatic profile in courage belongs to John McCain. As a prisoner of war in Hanoi, he was offered an early release by the North Vietnamese because his father was the commander of American forces in the Pacific. McCain chose to stay in prison-and endure torture and privation for another five years. Running for president in 2000, McCain was a refreshing and rare politician who was willing to talk on the record for hours to reporters riding the "Straight Talk Express." Because McCain himself has suffered and endured for his country, he has more moral standing to ask for sacrifice than other politicians.

But for many months, McCain has appeared to cater to the Republican establishment, hoping to inherit the Bush fund-raising apparatus and placate conservatives who do not trust him on issues of taxes and immigration. His efforts have not paid off: he is not the front runner in fund-raising or in national polls. And he has seemed strangely dispirited along the way, more petulant than determined in last week's first Republican debate. That may be because he senses that his unflagging support for a highly unpopular war in Iraq could end his political career, but it may be because he is not, at heart, a politician. He is a warrior.

Posted In
Elections, National Security & Foreign Policy, Military Personnel & Veterans
Network/Outlet
Newsweek
Person
Evan Thomas
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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