Todd Purdum has a pretty extensive and in depth article on John Sidney McCain III just up at Vanity Fair. Here are the take away quotes and ethos of the article:
The prevailing question about John McCain this year is: What happened? What happened to that other John McCain, the refreshingly unpredictable figure who stood apart from his colleagues and seemed to promise something better than politics as usual? The question may miss the point. It’s quite possible that nothing at all has changed about John McCain, a ruthless and self-centered survivor who endured five and a half years in captivity in North Vietnam, and who once told Torie Clarke that his favorite animal was the rat, because it is cunning and eats well. It’s possible to see McCain’s entire career as the story of a man who has lived in the moment, who has never stood for any overriding philosophy in any consistent way, and who has been willing to do all that it takes to get whatever it is he wants. He himself said, in the thick of his battle with Hayworth, “I’ve always done whatever’s necessary to win.” Maybe the rest of us just misunderstood.
Yes, no kidding, you certainly did misunderstand. Or were willfully blind because the bloated national media depiction of McCain has always been as fraudulent as he has always been.
There is a difference between facing a changed and shrunken external reality (which McCain surely now does) and changing one’s essential nature (which McCain almost certainly has not). He has always had a reckless streak, and he has repeatedly skated by after conduct that would have doomed others less resourceful, resilient, or privileged. As a navy pilot, he crashed three planes before being shot down by a surface-to-air missile over Hanoi. He spent harrowing years in captivity in North Vietnam, and parlayed that fame into a high-profile job as the navy’s liaison to the Senate, and then parlayed that—with the help of his second wife’s family fortune—into a political career in his adopted state of Arizona, first winning a seat in the House of Representatives in 1982, and then taking Barry Goldwater’s Senate seat upon his retirement, in 1986.
Yes, indeed. Put more simply, McCain is a dilettante who has always relied on his blue blood and family history, and then his POW status and wife and family’s largesse, to get everywhere he has gone; he has never been a man of accomplishment of his own accord. Nice of you to finally catch on.
After surviving his brush with shame during the Keating Five influence-peddling scandal in 1989, McCain embraced the cause of campaign-finance reform, which endeared him to good-government types and the press but to almost no one else in either party. Like other senators, McCain had taken campaign contributions and favors from savings-and-loan entrepreneur Charles Keating, and had then intervened with government regulators on Keating’s behalf. McCain’s zeal for campaign reform was an act of public atonement—ballsy, yes, but driven as much by Realpolitik as by principle.
“[D]riven as much by Realpolitik as by principle”?? What Todd, couldn’t you think of a softer sell? Jeebus, it was a freaking hollow fraud by McCain; have the guts to call it what it was, and still is.
McCain and his wife, Cindy, have been living essentially separate lives for years. She has spent most of her time in Arizona while he has spent the workweek in a Virginia condominium where, he once told me, he sometimes went months at a time without ever entering the living room, simply coming home to the kitchen and bedroom late at night and leaving again early the next morning. In 2008, McCain was deeply stung by a long New York Times article about his working relationship with a lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, and its assertion that certain McCain aides feared the relationship had some years earlier morphed into an affair. To this day, McCain declines to give interviews to the paper, which was once one of his favorite outlets. While associates say the McCains are companionable, one former aide allows, “I’m not going to tell you that they have a conventionally close marriage, but I’m just not going to get into it.”
Again, a pretty soft sell of the bitter truth. But, no complaints here on this part, Cindy is actually a very decent human and very good mother and, if you were her, would you want to live anywhere near John McCain on much more than a show basis? No.
All in all, considering the mainline media hacktacular vein Todd Purdum travels, this is a pretty brutal and pleasingly mainstream takedown of the horse’s ass John Sidney McCain III is and, more importantly ALWAYS has been. This may be shocking news to a lot of people who will read Vanity Fair and Purdum’s article in it. But it is not news to me, or the readers of Emptywheel and Firedoglake; because you have all, over the years, seen the following articles that make every single point Purdum does; well, with the exception that the work found here at Emptywheel and Firedoglake is much more forthright, and far better supported by links and foundational support for its conclusions. So, there is a bit of a difference I guess:
For anybody that read those posts right here, there would not be a single word that would be either new or shocking in Purdum’s article on McCain. Especially the five core posts during the heat of the election: McCain Was The Most Reprehensible Of The Keating Five And He Hasn’t Changed, Ronald Reagan Endorses Obama, McCain Still Fraudulently Glomming Off Of Goldwater, John McCain The Narcissistic Carpetbagger, John McCain Still Living The Keating Five Lush Highlife and McCain Proves Cactus Is Not The Biggest Prick In The Desert.
In fact, the entire tenor of Purdum’s article seems eerily familiar; I wonder why that is? Since Purdum and Vanity Fair did not have the courtesy or journalistic chivalry to provide links, footnotes and attributions, I guess we will never know where Purdum formed his thoughts for the McCain article.
Whatever; my hat is actually off to Todd Purdum and Vanity Fair for getting the truth about The Old Gluehorse, John Sidney McCain III, out. Now, if only the rest of the national media would cop to the fact they have been played by this carpetbagging fraud from the outset, the record would finally be straight. The press owes the public that truth, and its explanation of how the malignant cancer that is Sarah Palin was planted in the mainline of the American body politic. Narcissism, fraud and Palin; that is the legacy of John Sidney McCain III.