The Straight Punch Express

April 8th, 2008at 08:56pm Posted by Eli

It just keeps getting better and better:

Appearing on Fox News this past Sunday, Sen. John McCain attempted to turn his infamously combustible temper from an electoral liability into political strength.

“If I lose my capacity for anger, then I shouldn’t be president of the United States,” the Senator explained to host Chris Wallace. “When I see the waste and corruption in Washington, I get angry.”

Interesting.  Does this mean that he finds his wife’s makeup to be wasteful and corrupt?

But how much of McCain’s legendary anger streak does the public actually know? Judging from snippets of Cliff Schecter’s new book “The Real McCain”… the answer may be surprisingly little.

Take for instance the verbal-turned-physical attack McCain put on his fellow Arizona Republican, Rick Renzi, which Schecter uncovered through his research:

Perhaps the most remarkable story of McCain’s temper involved Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi. Two former reporters covering McCain, one who witnessed the following events and one who confirmed the facts provided by the first, relayed it to me as follows: In 2006, the Arizona Republican congressional delegation had a strategy meeting. McCain repeatedly addressed two new members, congressmen Trent Franks and Rick Renzi, as ‘boy.’ Finally, Renzi, a former college linebacker, rose from his chair and said to McCain, “You call me that one more time and I’ll kick your old ass.” McCain lunged at Renzi, punches were thrown, and the two had to be physically separated. After they went to their separate offices, McCain called Renzi and demanded an apology. Renzi refused. Apparently this posture made McCain admire him, as they became fast friends.

…[T]he episode fits into McCain’s history of similarly explosive behavior. As Washingtonian magazine documented (and Schecter notes in the book), McCain once “scuffled” with the Senate’s then oldest member, Strom Thurmond, during a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing in January 1995. [Note: Thurmond would have been 92.] Three years later, the Associated Press article reported that McCain dropped F-Bombs on at least three fellow Republicans.”I’m calling you a f—— jerk!” he once retorted to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

And in a opinion piece last year on Salon.com, Sidney Blumenthal, now an adviser to Sen. Hillary Clinton, wrote that McCain once told Sen. Ted Kennedy to “shut up” on the Senate Floor, referred to a fellow Republican as a “shit head” and offered a downright vicious and doubly-offensive joke in 1998 Republican fundraiser about then first daughter Chelsea Clinton.

“Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly?” he asked. “Because Janet Reno is her father.”

Very statesmanlike! Oh, and he still doesn’t know the difference between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

Proposed new nickname: “McTrainwreck”.

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


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