“The McCain Tragedy”
One of my favorite left-of-center columnists, E.J. Dionne Jr., wrote a great column about John McCain, entitled “The McCain Tragedy”.
John McCain’s 2000 campaign for president failed, but it was an unruly and joyous romp. His campaign this time feels quite different: carefully planned, meticulously calculated — and a tragedy…
McCain’s political trajectory over the past seven years might best be understood as a conflict between his desire to resist the Republican powers that be and his need to appease those forces lest they block his last chance at the White House.
His efforts at appeasement have muddied his image as a heroic dissident while bringing him little gain. And so he runs behind Rudy Giuliani in the polls and Mitt Romney in fundraising.
There is another tragic element: McCain suffered mightily during the 2000 presidential primaries at the hands of George W. Bush’s political machine, which smeared the senator on everything from his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam to the racial identity of his adopted daughter.