John McCain's First Wife Issues: Will Women Voters Turn Away?

First wife issues are nothing new. Lots of politicians have them. But John McCain, who will face some trouble from a segment of voters over his current wife Cindy's past prescription drug troubles, cannot be pleased today to see his first wife and mother of his three oldest children in the news.

Surprisingly, Carol McCain is defending him, even though he left her after his return from Vietnam and re-emergence as a war hero. Carol charitably says he was having a sort of "midlife crisis." Many others say it was because she had been horribly disfigured in a car accident and gained a lot of weight. [More...]

Now for the goodies. Laying the backstory:

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.

The meat:

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.

McCain divorced Carol in 1980 and married Cindy one month later. Carol's version:

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.’

Others are less charitable:

Some of McCain’s acquaintances ... portray the politician as a self-centred womaniser 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.

....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.’

....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.

McCain (and Cindy) have taken good care of Carol:

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.

It may be enough for Carol, who indeed is supporting McCain's campaign this year as she has his past campaigns. It's not enough for this man:

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.’

Keep in mind this is a UK paper, which views the presidential race rather theatrically:

While Obama will surely press his credentials as the embodiment of the American dream – a handsome, charismatic young black man who was raised on food stamps by a single mother and who represents his country’s future – McCain will present himself as a selfless, principled war hero whose campaign represents not so much a battle for the presidency of the United States, but a crusade to rescue the nation’s tarnished reputation.

So, water under the bridge? Or will the thought of a man who leaves the disfigured wife who raised his kids for a younger, rich woman be a turn-off for women voters?

< A New Version Of The Malign Acceptance of Sexism | The New John McCain >
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  • Display: Sort:
    It won't turn away Republican women voters (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:54:36 AM EST
    if the Republican voting history holds true.  It could deter Indy female voters.  As for many progressive female voters though who is to say because neither candidate is thrilling at this juncture.

    Hun? (none / 0) (#102)
    by Newt on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:55:32 AM EST
    What about the millions of progressive women who already voted for Obama, and will work for him to win the GE?  

    What progressive women do you speak of or for?


    How nice, I'm a Hun (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:00:07 PM EST
    Maybe tomorrow I can be a sweetie.  I speak of progressive female voters that I know to include myself. That is who I speak of and that's Ms. Hun to you.

    Hsun Nu (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:08:38 PM EST

    My mistake ;) (none / 0) (#132)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:17:22 PM EST
    Maybe a typo? (none / 0) (#130)
    by standingup on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:16:45 PM EST
    At least I hope it was a typo and intended to be "huh."  

    freudian slip of the finger (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:17:48 PM EST
    Typo (none / 0) (#134)
    by neoliberal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:18:22 PM EST
    My apologies. That was meant to be a "huh?"

    You've got two usernames? (none / 0) (#154)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:38:30 PM EST
    Isn't that a no-no?

    Nope. I made the typo (none / 0) (#173)
    by Newt on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:17:34 PM EST
    I take full responsibility for the dastardly act, and I don't know who neoliberal is.

    Neo, I'm in Oregon, my real name is Newt.  Who are you and why are you apologizing for my mistake.


    neo made a comment below (none / 0) (#181)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:27:29 PM EST
    with the header "huh?" Probably just mistakenly apologized for your typo. Confusion all around.

    You funny. I meant Huh not Hun. (none / 0) (#152)
    by Newt on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:38:14 PM EST
    Ms. Newt

    Careful... (none / 0) (#167)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:03:44 PM EST
    your Freudian slip is showing.

    He doesn't pretend to be perfect (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by catfish on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:55:17 AM EST
    I wonder if the reason women have a problem with Obama is Michelle's "if you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House" comment.

    So...if my husband cheats, should I not get promoted at work? That comment just reeked of that right-wing evangelical righteousness.

    Huh? (2.00 / 1) (#20)
    by neoliberal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:09:19 AM EST
    "So...if my husband cheats, should I not get promoted at work? That comment just reeked of that right-wing evangelical righteousness. "

    How is that different from people who think less of Obama for these words, when his wife said them? Is Michelle now an extension of Obama? That's horribly sexist, imo.


    But what was that (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:15:10 AM EST
    about his having to 'vet' her prospective employer to make sure she'd be treated right?

    LOL! (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:15:54 AM EST
    So let me get this straight...it's okay to smear HRC with accusations of racism because of something her husband supposedly said...but it's not okay to attribute Michelle Obama's sexist views to her husband?



    Both are acceptable (none / 0) (#43)
    by neoliberal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:21:41 AM EST
    Or neither are. That's what I'm saying. Both statements were dumb, imo. I'm certainly not excusing Michelle.

    it's not sexist (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by boredmpa on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:36:38 AM EST
    there's a difference between relationship issues (which can be unknown, private, and complicated) and marrying someone that is openly rude/uncivil/belittling.  

    It's a judgment issue for the self-defined unity/bipartisan candidate.  


    Was he really raised on food stamps? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by catfish on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:57:29 AM EST
    I think for a short period his mom used food stamps while she pursued her Phd.

    I like the phrase "wealthy and the well-connected."

    There's a huge difference between Obama and other people who never see avenues of opportunity.

    Maybe his prominence will eventually drive that point home.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#16)
    by andrewwm on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:07:21 AM EST
    The best lifestyle Obama ever experienced until graduating law school could be, at best, described as lower middle class. At times it was worse than lower middle class. The probably best and most stable part of his youth were when he lived with his grandparents, who were hardly wealth. What got him into a prestigious high school was a scholarship, which he had to "earn" through his own hard work.

    He's not somebody who escaped the worst of the worst poverty for sure, but he wasn't exactly born into anything resembling privledge unlike the last, oh, 4 Republican presidents + McCain.


    Grandmother was not (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:13:31 AM EST
    a typical white woman.  I believe she was a bank officer in Hawaii.  And step-papa, whose name he used for some years, was definitely not middle class.

    Grandmother Sounds Pretty Amazing To Me (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by daring grace on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:37:46 AM EST
    She worked in wartime factory during WW II, and worked her way up to being the first female vice president at her bank between 1960-1970.

    Typical? Maybe not, though I know a fair number of working class women of my mom's generation who lived similar experiences.

    Being an exceptional woman doesn't necessarily imply she led or came from a privileged life.


    Privilege (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by bobbski on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:24:26 AM EST
    FDR came from a privileged background, yet look at the good he did for the country.

    Politicians, especially those with little or no experience, always try to stress their humble origins.  The more they try highlight it only serves to show that they have nothing of substance to offer the nation. It's all crap.

    The notion that someone who came from the back stabbing world of Chicago politics could actually care about anyone other than himself is ludicrous and ridiculous on its face.

    As for McCain, time spent as a POW counts for something a whole hell of a lot more than anything Obama has done in his life...  I say this as most assuredly not a supporter of, nor as one who intends to vote for, John McCain.


    completely false (5.00 / 5) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:26:49 AM EST
    and off topic. Further misrepresentations like this will be deleted. His grandmother and a co-worker were made (the first ever for Hawaii) vice-presidents of a bank in 1970 -- he was 9 and in  Indonesia living with his mother and stepfather from  ages 4 to 10. Then he attended an elite school on a scholarship. His grandparents were not poor. His mother was poor from when his father left around age 2 until she remarried when he was around age 4. (Best dates since there is a paucity of exact dates out there.)

    The dude is a Harvard legacy (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:44:29 AM EST
    he got points because his dad also went there.

    he's not a humble man of no means by any means.


    well (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by progrocks on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:59:39 AM EST
    I am pretty sure the law school could give a rats about whether his father went to some other part of Harvard. As a African American who graduated Summa, he was getting in without any legacy help.

    But believe what you want........


    Rught... (none / 0) (#123)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:09:44 PM EST
    ...none of that goes on at Harvard.  Evah.  

    Believe what you want to believe.


    He graduated magna ... (none / 0) (#161)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:44:22 PM EST
    not summa.  And this was from HLS, so it would have no bearing on his admission to HLS.

    I cannot find any reference to him graduating with honors from Columbia.

    Legacy considerations are huge.  There have been studies on this.  


    Harvard doesn't care about legacies? LOL (none / 0) (#182)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:28:05 PM EST
    That is either the most willfully ignorant statement ever made in the history of the world or you are really, really naive.

    Yes, LOL All You Want But (none / 0) (#193)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:38:23 PM EST
    Not all legacies are created equal.

    Legacies are HUGE at (none / 0) (#215)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 03:11:50 PM EST

    Precisely. (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by Landulph on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:21:34 PM EST
    Barack Obama is the son of a Harvard-educated economist, grew up in an upper-middle class home, attended an elite prep school, became a Harvard-educated lawyer, and is now a US senator. That's the biography of 90% of the people who have run for President in the past 100 years. Let's stop pretending there is anything remarkable about his life story--other than, as we have already heard ad nauseum, his being "the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas*"

    *actually, Mumsey was raised in the posh Seattle suburb of Mercer Island, Washington, but "a white woman from Washington" doesn't exactly alliterate with "Kenya", nor does it connote heartland values. Ah, the New Politics of transparency and idealism!


    Upper middle class home? (none / 0) (#194)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:38:47 PM EST
    When Obama was living with his grandparents, he was living in a two bedroom apartment.  And being a VP of a banch did not necessarily entail a lot of money.  Every branch has VPs--in some banks everyone not a teller is a VP.

    "Son of a Harvard educated economist" is misleading.....Obama met his father once after he left when Obama was an infant.   It would seem hard to believe that Obama got any benefit out of having a Harvard educated economist as his father....when that father was absent.


    His father also reportedly fathered many (none / 0) (#196)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:42:52 PM EST
    subsequent children, some of whom were attributed to him via paternity tests.

    Mercer Island (none / 0) (#204)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:48:19 PM EST
    wasn't always posh, or posh everywhere.

    Omama's step father was (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Inky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:44:31 AM EST
    an oil executive who lived in one of the nicest houses in their Jakarta neighborhood. He then lived with his grandparents in a high-rise by the beach in Hawaii while he attended the most elite prep school on the island. Yes, it's true that his grandparents' high-rise appartment only had two bedrooms, so it wasn't completely posh, but I still wouldn't describe his lifestyle growing up as "at best, lower middle class."

    If you want to talk about a childhood of privation, you should look into Bill Clinton's childhood story. His circumstances growing up make both Barack and Michelle Obama look positively spoiled in contrast.


    Obama's childhood. (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by wurman on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:30:19 PM EST
    Chicago Tribune (link)
    Madelyn Dunham, a rising executive at the Bank of Hawaii during Obama's Punahou days, was more reserved but seemed to love having her grandson's friends over to play and hang out.
    Ann and the boy lived with the Dunhams in Honolulu until Obama was 6.
    He is 9 years old, living in Indonesia . . . . One day while visiting his mother, who was working at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. . . .
    When Obama was in 4th grade, the Soetoro family moved. Their new neighborhood was only 3 miles to the west, but a world away. Elite Dutch colonists once lived there . . . . In the early 1970s, diplomats and Indonesian businessmen lived there in fancy gated houses with wide paved roads and sculpted bushes.

    Sen. Obama lived an upper middle class life.  The newspaper report essentially "takes down" the story that his family was poor.  His grandmother was a vice-president at the Bank of Hawaii.  

    A less kindly account is at Hopelessly Partisan (link)
    Referenced there is "(Obama: From Promise to Power, see page 36-38) Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell gives the following description of the elite prep school:" & follows on to this--

    Punahou had evolved into a prestigious college preparatory academy that served Hawaii's upper crust.... Obama's grandparents maneuvered him into Punahou; his grandfather's boss, an alumnus, intervened to have Obama accepted. And Madelyn's job at the bank helped pay the steep tuition. ...
    If his mother actually did receive food stamps, it would only have been while she was getting her PhD (1974-1977), and while the family was sending Obama to an expensive private prep school. . . .

    During the times when Sen. Obama lived with his mother either the Food Stamp program did not exist or they were not in the USA.

    The Obama poor child story is a myth.


    I'm not (none / 0) (#183)
    by Jgarza on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:28:41 PM EST
    sure what Obama's biography has to do with McCain leaving his wife.  Is it not possible for you to refrain from bashing Obama, even in posts that have nothing to do with him.

    I believe the first post (none / 0) (#198)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:43:44 PM EST
    (since deleted for falsity) tried to compare McCain's background with Obama's. Hence the ensuing discussion about Obama's real background.

      Perhaps this will help you understand the frustration when discussions about Obama elicited  the usual "BUT, but Clinton...." posts. I mention this only because you made quite a few of those yourself.


    My post is 1 in a string of responses (none / 0) (#208)
    by wurman on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:51:15 PM EST
    to a cut & paste comment asserting that Sen. Obama was from an economically deprived childhood.  The relevance developed from comments about McCain's wives vis-a-vis Mrs. Obama.  Sen. Obama's wife asserted that Sen. Clinton was not qualified to be president because she couldn't even keep her own house in order, etc.

    Which led to a question about Sen. Obama's boyhood financial situation & his mother's possible "poverty."

    It's false.  And many commenters wrote that, & Jeralyn was one of them.  I provided 2 references for the factual bases of the arguments that Sen. Obama had a reasonably comfortable life & was well-connected in Hawaii.

    It helps to follow the thread.

    And my quoting referenced sources is not "Obama bashing."  Jeralyn would delete my comment if I had trashed the senator for the fictional accounts of his childhood--even if he fabricated them for himself.


    "Scholarship"? (none / 0) (#200)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:46:05 PM EST
    Did you talk about the scholarship to Punahou?

    right, because (none / 0) (#51)
    by SarahinCA on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:27:28 AM EST
    poor white women earning their PhD are clearly living a life of hard knocks.

    I meant "poor" (none / 0) (#57)
    by SarahinCA on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:29:03 AM EST
    Not poor.  But Jeralyn posted more appropriately than my snarky reply.

    Across the pond you can see (none / 0) (#64)
    by catfish on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:34:37 AM EST
    how easily they would buy into the myth he was born a poor black child.

    Exactly. This whole myth (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by Landulph on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:25:28 PM EST
    about Obama's upbringing is really a form of latent racism, because it conflates class and race. So many commentators (and frankly, "Creative" Class Obama fanboiz) see an African-American and ASSUME he must have had a childhood out of "The Wire" or a Spike Lee movie (this is probably their only exposure to real African Americans)--like there are no affluent black people in America. I find it very disturbing, to be honest.

    Lower middle class? Not by a long shot.. (none / 0) (#120)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:06:50 PM EST
    When his mother was in grad school, using food stamps, Obama was living on Mercer Island with his grandparents. Mercer Island is expensive, way over the price range of lower middle class. Then he was living in Hawaii with his grandparents after coming back from Indonesia and he went to a private prep school. He was not a scholarship student there. His grandparents paid the tuition. Again, not lower middle class. McCain was raised on military bases, not in the lap of luxury like his current wife. If you are going to make arguments, you should get your facts straight.

    Not True, On Several Points (none / 0) (#147)
    by daring grace on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:30:26 PM EST
    The Chicago Tribune had a biographical series on Obama in June, 2008 which was fairly exhaustive and did, in fact, point out ways that his campaign had shaded information they released about his life.

    But he never lived on Mercer Island. His grandparents had moved to Seattle for a job opportunity for his grandfather and then they moved to Mercer Island in the late 1950s because they liked the high school there for their daughter (who was still childless, of course.)

    Mercer Island back then was described as rural and a far cry from the trendy spot it is today. In any case, Barack Obama never lived there as a child.

    In 1960, after Obama's mother graduated from high school, her parents moved to Hawaii for another paternal job opportunity, and she attended the University of Hawaii, met Obama Sr. etc.


    Either way, the idea that Obama (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:40:18 PM EST
    was raised in poverty is ridiculous. I find most of his claims in his biography to be specious. I find Barack Obama to be one of the biggest phonies to come down the political pike in a very long time. He should have stayed in the Senate and done his job. Doing his job is not big with him, actually. I want a President who isn't ashamed of half his family, who can actually stand up for his constituents rather than defending a campaign contributor against a law suit by his constituents, who can win a campaign by other means that either eliminating the competition or slagging them with sexist and racist accusations. Obama isn't that person. He is over-rated, over-hyped, and over-matched. Soon he will be just over. Then he can go back to doing the job he was originally elected to do, which he has woefully neglected to further his personal ambition. Then he can worry about getting re-elected to the Senate. He isn't going to be the next President.

    To this day... (none / 0) (#158)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:40:47 PM EST
    ...there are still "lower middle class" people living on MI.  There are pockets on the center of island, away from the waterfront, that are filled with small houses from the 40's and 50's.  

    It may take a lot of money to buy a house on the island these days, but that always hasn't been the case.  The regions (Eastside) wealth is a relatively new development.  


    Revisionist history (none / 0) (#176)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:24:00 PM EST
    First, he was "raised" by a single mother for exactly 2 years before she remarried. Second, his life in Indonesia was better then lower middle class -- they had servants for crying out loud. When he returned to HI when he was 10 he went to an exclusive prep school paid by his grandparents. Maybe middle class, but not lower middle class, and he certainly wasn't "raised on food stamps."

    Turning away from McCain (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:58:25 AM EST
    doesn't mean turning to Obama.

    That's what a lot of folks don't seem to get.

    I believe that McCain has a lot of flaws, myself, and I will never vote for him, but I don't think the MCM will focus on those flaws. After all, how many Presidents were womanizers? I think the only one that wasn't, in recent history, was Jimmy Carter.

    Well, maybe Reagan. ;-)

    Try Truman. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:10:36 AM EST
    Despite his Missouri machine political start, he was pretty much straight arrow.  And Bess was formidable.

    Sadly, it's going to be very, very hard (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Landulph on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:31:18 PM EST
    to make an issue of this, in my view, simply because Carol McCain has consistently supported her ex-husband in his political campaigns.

    More and more, this election is looking like a choice between the flu and the plague--and I have no idea which is which.


    Nancy was wife #2 (none / 0) (#12)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:05:00 AM EST
    Jane Wyman, Mrs. Reagan #1, was a model of decorum during Reagan's tenure as President.  

    I think Nixon was also faithful. (none / 0) (#30)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:14:14 AM EST
    A lot of good that did. (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:42:00 AM EST
    He never made a dishonest buck either, which, in his eyes meant what he had done to the country and the Constitution was all right.

    Actually, it just showed him to be too naive to be a real Republican - if he couldn't profit from his government service, he wasn't true enough to the Republican party's ideals.  He was just a tool.

    You wanna see a real Republican - look at Cheney.  A year or two ago, he put his money into Euro-denominated investments.  Seems to have done pretty well by himself.


    JFK was a seroius womanizer (none / 0) (#177)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:25:18 PM EST
    funny how the Obamabots always attack WJC for that while simultaneously comparing Obama to JFK -- either the irony is lost on them or they don't know anything about JFK (or both).

    I think it all depends... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Mike H on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:00:12 AM EST
    It depends on the media, honestly.  We in blog-land can speculate all we want, but if the media plays up the story and makes McCain look bad, more and more people will be turned off.

    If, however, the media protects McCain and ignores anything negative about his past choices, voter opinion about his treatment of his first wife will be moot, because most voters won't even be informed he HAS a "first wife".

    so, there are 2 deceitful candidates (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:00:54 AM EST
    imho the big difference is Obama based his presidential campaign on deceit.

    McSame... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:19:41 AM EST
    is basing his campaign on bushs 3rd term, which is overflowing with deceit.

    Do you realize (5.00 / 5) (#104)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:55:58 AM EST
    that the mindset you are putting forward has been a loser twice already? We tried that against the real Bush in 2004 and it didn't work. The only way what you are saying would work is if Obama was running against Cheney. He's not.

    The mind numbing effect... (none / 0) (#111)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:01:03 PM EST
    of 9/11 has all but warn off.  This is evident in how most all elections to have already happened this year ended with the defeat of the republican candidate.  The political landscape has changed dramatically from 2004.

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#128)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:15:18 PM EST
    the political landscape has changed but you are ignoring how toxic Obama can be made to be. Already the GOP has driven his negatives up. Obama has made the HUGE mistake of campaigning on "new politics" and "personality". He personality thing can easily be punctured and the "new politics" has put him in a defensive box.

    Can I get a ruling on this, Jeralyn? (5.00 / 5) (#118)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:05:09 PM EST
    I know you've shut down and deleted posts that name-called Obama or Clinton. Can we stop with the name-calling of McCain as well? McSame, McBush, Mc-whatever? I'm never voting for McCain but I am oh so over all the petty name-calling.

    I agree with this so much. (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by eleanora on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:21:19 PM EST
    Voting for McCain isn't an option for me, but can't we please just be civil as we argue against him?

    And I hope we don't fall into the ageism trap like "McOld" and "McAlzheimer's" that I've seen everywhere. Getting into this mindset is going to hurt all Democrats, because one of our common values is that we fight on the issues, not on prejudice and name-calling. Promoting bigotry against older people is just as bad as making racist or sexist arguments. Yuck.


    I'd just go to LGF (none / 0) (#185)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:31:44 PM EST
    and other forums, and point out that McCain is not a good conservative and not a good friend of Israel.   That would sow trouble for Mccain more than anything else.

    Well... (1.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:12:17 PM EST
    the name of the website is TalkLeft, and really, McSame is pretty benign.  I guess I'd just say that, we're democrats right?  Cant we at least blow off a little steam when addressing each other about the other side?  Its not like McSame is a slur or really all that offensive.

    I've reached my limit on name-calling (none / 0) (#148)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:30:45 PM EST
    That's just me. But I've asked myself how the country's  gotten to such a place that the most outrageous and vile name-calling is considered acceptable public discourse. There are many reasons but the one that affected the left blogosphere most was, IMO, the name-calling that started with the Bush Presidency and just kept expanding and deepening until it became ordinary and acceptable. Don't get me wrong, no one deserves to be called names more than GWB, but its oozed and spread into toxic levels that are now used by some to smear anyone and everyone who expresses a differing opinion. This is really antagonistic to democracy.

    I'm certainly not accusing you of doing this, and I admit McSame is not a particularly nasty name. But my tolerance is up. If we are going to walk this kind of name calling back, we have to walk it back for everyone, regardless of whether we like or agree with their politics or not.

      As the saying goes....speaking for myself only.


    You make a good point... (none / 0) (#162)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:48:06 PM EST
    the main reason I say McSame is because there are a lot of democrats and independents that still see the guy as some sort of 'maverick', which simply isnt true.  I want to reinforce the fact that he is the same as all the worst things about the republican party, and McSame is a succinct way of doing it.  Typing out 'McCain (the same as bush ethically and philosophically)' just doesnt have the same staying power.  

    But like I said I do see your point, and if Jeralyn bans the name (which she might), I'll gladly stop using it.  Until then I'll keep typing it since it does make me feel just slightly better (I really really really hate conservatives).


    Thanks for the thoughtful response (none / 0) (#165)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:56:40 PM EST
    I hope she does ban it but its her decision obviously and not mine. Until there's a ruling your perfectly within your rights to use it and it she says its OK to call him that name then I'll respect it. Until then I'll probably carp about it off and on. No personal offense intended.

    None taken... (none / 0) (#171)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:14:00 PM EST
    it'd get pretty boring around here if people didnt express whats affecting them.

    How Is Characterizing (none / 0) (#136)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:19:33 PM EST
    McCain as McSame, or McBush namecalling. I calling someone Bush is namecalling well then then the GOP must own it.

    Is he really? (none / 0) (#90)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:47:55 AM EST
    I know that's an Obama TP, but is it factual?

    Considering his stated goals as pres, Yes. n/t (none / 0) (#106)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:57:51 AM EST
    look at his positions (none / 0) (#115)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:02:01 PM EST
    and compare them to Bushie's - no daylight.

    It's only when he's trying to widen his audience from Bush's 28% that he tries to show some daylight, but he promptly tells the 28% that he doesn't really mean it.


    eh (5.00 / 13) (#8)
    by nell on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:01:46 AM EST
    there are lots of reasons not to vote for mccain, but his marriage is not of them. jus as I didn't judge bill clinton for less than desirable behavior towards his wife, I won't judge mccain. nobody knows what happens in a marriage except he two people who are in it. as far as I am concerned this isbetween john and carol and or john and cindy.

    As long as he and his first wife have a peaceful (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:03:05 AM EST
    relationship, I don't see it mattering to anyone who is open to the idea of voting for him. If being divorced makes one ineligible to hold office, our candidate pool just got a lot smaller. However, I will be celebrating my 35th wedding anniversary in just a couple of weeks and am open to being drafted at the convention if being long-time married is a major qualification. 8^)

    The Democratic party (5.00 / 11) (#10)
    by dk on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:03:29 AM EST
    used to at least have an argument that they could claim some sort of moral superiority when it comes to respect for women, but I think this primary pretty much wiped that out.

    Maybe the whole attempt of charitably acknowledging that "there is sexism" but taking no personal responsibility for it, plus arguing that the other side is more sexist, may win some votes.  To me, it's meaningless.  Just my opinion, of course.

    To be honest, I feel very uncomfortable (5.00 / 7) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:05:38 AM EST
    trying to judge McCain about this. I don't think there's any way we can really know what went on in his family.

    There's no way I'm going to vote for him, but this isn't going to have anything to do with it.

    I also feel bad for his first wife... (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:12:26 AM EST
    ...it seems she is at peace with all of this and she still has a lot of health issues. I don't think she needs to be dragged into a political campaign, but I'm sure she will be. Everything is fair game, I suppose.

    To some extent, (5.00 / 7) (#17)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:07:32 AM EST
    I think McCain's story is hardly unusual--returning from  war, having emotional problems, wanting to make up for lost time....  Happens often enough that the armed forces are making an effort to counsel families, I believe.  The fact that the first wife's glamour and looks were gone--that does not sound so good (especially considering the number of wives who stand by disfigured, tormented husbands.)  OTH, maybe she prefers a quiet life, not on public display.

    McCain is no model husband--neither was Bill, nor JFK, nor even Ike.  (Truman and Carter are the only 2 I would be willing to bet never cheated.)  But there is a difference between being a good and faithful husband and being a darn good president.  I think we have mostly learned to differentiate.

    I can't remember, (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:12:46 AM EST
    Did he support Senator Webb's GI Bill?
    Did he support Webb's amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring that active-duty troops and units have at least equal time at home as the length of their previous tour overseas?
    Increased funding for the VA?
    I honestly don't remember.

    Off the top of my head, the answers are (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:23:53 AM EST
    no, no and no.

    Thought so n/t (none / 0) (#58)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:29:54 AM EST
    Great questions, (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by eleanora on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:24:25 PM EST
    I'd love to see us collect good, substantial reasons why McCain is a bad choice, rather than this personal stuff. His voting record on veteran's and supporting active troops has gotten just terrible, especially lately.

    I wonder (and I got deleted (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:28:36 AM EST
    yesterday for this)why we can honor and glorify JFK and he was a notorious womanizer (and drug user from what I've read), but today we all have to be sanitized. Hillary kept her marriage together, for whatever reasons and she is maligned for that. The statistics today show a big divorce rate for soldiers coming home from Iraq/Afghanistan....what's the difference?    

    JFK (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:40:54 AM EST
    I would be very careful labelling JFK a "drug user" as you do.  It is my understanding that whatever he took for back pain, Addison's Disease, etc. was prescribed-- perhaps unorthodox at the time, but prescribed. Your choice of words makes it sounds as though he was doing illegal drugs.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by janarchy on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:53:26 AM EST
    he and Jackie, like many other celebrities/important people, went to the infamous Dr Robert for "vitamin shots" which were in actuality speed balls. Whether or not they knew this is unknown.

    And just because something is a prescription drug doesnt mean it's not addicting or judgement impairing.


    There were articles and stories (none / 0) (#112)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:01:32 PM EST
    of his smoking "marijuana" and cloaking w/women in closets. Those are the sorts of drugs I was talking about, not for his Addison's disease.

    Articles like this one, and there (none / 0) (#121)
    by zfran on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:07:38 PM EST
    are many:



    The real point is... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:44:19 AM EST
    when republicans over look this kind of thing its hypocrisy.  I mean come on, they impeached a guy cause of this kind of stuff, yet they nominate someone whose done the same thing but in a seemingly worse way?  Pathetic.

    good luck redirecting ... (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:41:26 AM EST
    ...the hurt and anger felt by Clinton supporters toward Obama onto McCain.

    it's not likely to work.  Indeed, you may even find it provokes memories of Bill clinton's destruction by the media.


    I'd add Ford (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:52:55 AM EST
    to that probably didn't cheat list. Cindy was prescription drugs, so without knowing why she started taking them it's hard to criticize.

    Betty Ford was an alcoholic, and I'm sure she wasn't the only wife to have an addiction.


    I'm not sure I understand the purpose of this. (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by bslev22 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:10:55 AM EST
    I do understand that Talkleft, like most its readers including yours truly, are shifting into general election mode in an effort to help elect Senator Obama.  I applaud that and understand the challenge it poses.  But can we at least start off by discussing the positives about Obama and stay away from this kind of stuff?  I wouldn't vote for Senator McCain under any circumstances, and I don't need to get into how McCain dishonored his first wife almost 40 years ago.  He could be the most loyal husband in the world and I still wouldn't vote for the guy.  I don't think that makes me unique among supporters of Hillary Clinton.

    This all goes to his character (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:15:04 AM EST
    or lack thereof.

    He and his entire history are fair game.  And, if we can kick up enough negatives about him, so much the better.


    If McCain's first wife (5.00 / 8) (#53)
    by Nadai on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:27:54 AM EST
    was speaking out against him, I'd agree with you, but she's not.  And while McCain's life is fair game, hers isn't.  She's doesn't deserve to be dragged into the public eye because you detest her ex-husband.

    interesting standard. (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:48:17 AM EST
    Live by it and die by it.

    Character? (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by santarita on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:52:00 AM EST
      This country faces critical issues in the economy, the climate and in foreign policy.  I'm going to vote for the candidate that has the best vision and the best ideas to get us out of the messes that we have made.  Both Obama and McCain are politicians at the national level - to me that makes it a given that they are not virtuous. Do we rreally want to encourage mudslinging?  

     I'd rather see this contest decided using our rational side rather than our emotional side.


    Did you (5.00 / 4) (#109)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:59:54 AM EST
    like the media chasing around Kerry's ex-wife? Bill Clinton was smart enough not to use this stuff about Bob Dole. He ran around on his first wife.

    If you can't win on the issues then you deserve to lose.


    It Is The Hypocrisy (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:15:28 AM EST
    Jeralyn, I'm disappointed. (5.00 / 10) (#31)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:14:15 AM EST
    I won't do the personal attacks thing.  McCain is like a lot of returning VETs whose first marriages don't work out.  I will NEVER again participate in the politics of personal destruction no matter the given Party of a particular candidate.  I've seen it from the other side in this primary.  It's ugly and unworthy of comment.

    If you choose not to participate (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:20:23 AM EST
    in the "politics of personal destruction"*, then you had better be prepared to live under a (continued) Republican dictatorship.  Because they neither do, nor will, show any such scruple but will instead sneer at your namby-pamby-ness.

    This is a fight for power.  The Republicans know that not only are their political lives on the line but, given the depths of depravity and criminality they've participated in over the last decade (more or less), a lot of them stand a good chance of going to prison for a long time for what they've done.

    How hard would you fight to stay out of prison?  You can be assured they will fight harder.

    I regret that politics and political activism have sunk to this level (though an argument can be made it always was there and we only see it now through better reporting) - but this is where we are.  Deal with it.


    *  That term being, FWIW, a Republican whine when they get caught with their pants around their ankles or dirty money in their pockets.


    I don't give a fig. (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:24:29 AM EST
    I'm not going to destroy a guy personally who lived in a box for 6 years because he refused to go home without his buddies.  

    Well You Are In Line (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:32:07 AM EST
    With the MSM. Strange that a guy who lived in a box would be for torture, no?

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:40:37 AM EST
    I guess once you live in a box any opinion you have becomes unquestionable.  

    Want to expand the Iraq war 100 years?  Its ok cause you lived in a box.  Want to deny other war vets a decent amount of college money?  Its ok cause you lived in a box.  Want to cheat on your disfigured wife, divorce her and remarry some rodeo queen (or whatever she was)?  Its ok cause you lived in a box.


    The war and the college thing are issues. (none / 0) (#88)
    by masslib on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:46:11 AM EST
    Not personal destruction.

    I agree masslib, (5.00 / 3) (#163)
    by NJDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:52:27 PM EST
    and I don't think Obama is going to win over any voters with these kinds of personal attacks (and if anything he's opening himself up for some).  

    Does his POW status make him immune to criticism, no.  Does it make him worthy of respect, yes.  

    When I read that posters on 'progressive' blogs started making fun of JM's inability to raise his arms past his shoulders, I felt the same type of hurt as when they attacked the Clintons.  He doesn't deserve that and either did/do they.  I imagine I'm not along here.

    Can't we find something else to attack McCain for--like when he voted for the Cheney Energy Bill?  Oh wait...    


    His transformation into McSame... (none / 0) (#168)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:09:40 PM EST
    makes him worthy of disrespect.  His POW status doesnt save him (one hand doesnt wash the other).  Also, this is TL making this attack not Obama.

    Oh, GOD . . . (none / 0) (#190)
    by Landulph on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:36:35 PM EST
    How dumb are they? Do they WANT a Ronald Reagan 49-state landslide in the fall? I remember some genius on TL was mocking McCain's posture, only to be reminded that he stoops because his vertabrae were reapeatedly broken by the North Vietnamese and not reset properly.

    Keep it up, guys. Keep it up. This is how Democrats lose elections.


    Im sure... (none / 0) (#101)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:55:05 AM EST
    the war will be personal destruction for those who'd have to go over there for the next 100 years.

    Don't you (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:41:42 AM EST
    think the "politics of personal destruction" work both ways? Obama has a lot of skeletons that can be pulled out of his closet too.

    Some already have been (none / 0) (#192)
    by Landulph on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:38:06 PM EST
    One wonder what is left.

    Not Necessary (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by santarita on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:55:55 AM EST
    There are real differences on the issues.  Why employ the "kitchen sink" strategy?

    Perhaps because (none / 0) (#209)
    by Landulph on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:52:32 PM EST
    Mr. Postpartisanship Unity-Pony intends to ditch/blur many of these substantive differences as the General Election approaches?

    Just sayin' . . .


    This is the new way. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:51:25 AM EST
    kerry was supposed to have been above it all.

    yet of course, he prolly did a few things in his time that were a bit rotten.


    Different Perspective (none / 0) (#80)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:43:44 AM EST
    I think the piece about McCain is as much (i) FYI and (ii) will McCain be able to win over Hillary's female supporters as he is trying to?  He history here may make it difficult for him to achieve this.

    This will blowback on Obama (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Cassius Chaerea on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:14:21 AM EST
    Rather than address the very real concerns that people on this blog and elsewhere have about Obama's campaign, the message put out is instead "Look at McCain. He's even worse." That really gives doubters a positive reason to vote for Obama.

    When Carol McCain issues a statement supporting her ex-husband, this story will look like a low blow.

    iirc Carol has always supported McCain (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:28:00 AM EST
    she already has (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:30:41 AM EST
    supported McCain, did you read the article?

    The reason this will look like a low blow (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by RalphB on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:35:04 PM EST
    is because it is, and a despicable one a that!  Thus begins the swift boating of John McCain.  This should backfire big time and I sincerely hope it does and quick.

    I saw enough crap like this from the GOP going after Clinton.


    Mixed emotions (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:19:54 AM EST
    On the one hand, it is uncool to leave your wife because she was involved in a car accident and was no longer as pretty. But there are many mitigation factors here.

    1. He changed when he was a POW. He seems to have come out and resumed his old habits, then settled down into a responsible person. It would seem likely that love for someone he loved before the experience would not necessarily last through the change.
    2. He took care of her. He didn't abandon her. He ensured that her medical and financial needs were taken care of.
    3. He has stayed with his new wife, even as she had some major problems of her own. He seems to love her, even if he has made some very offensive comments in anger.

    In short - This may effect his "nice guy" image, especially taken in context with the rude comments about his new wife, but I don't think it will be a deal-breaker for most people.

    There is a bigger issue here. There are people out there, Vietnam Veterans, who hate McCain as much as other groups hated Kerry - for actions while he was a POW and since. I suspect that the Veteran quoted in the Daily Mail article is one of them. This will impact his campaign like it impacted Kerry's. These people are angry, organized, and sincere in their hatred, even if their facts tend to be distorted by that hatred. I saw the "news" hit piece on Kerry the night before the election, and at the moment it ended I knew we would lose. The people talking were not politicians, they were soldiers who were in pain. This has to negatively effect McCain's candidacy.

    Republicans, Evangelicals, Fundementalists (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:25:53 AM EST
    all know John McCain's life story and about women in his life. This is not a new tidbit on McCain. Heck, I read all about it 10 years ago.

    Who we do not know about is Barack Obama. Other than two books he wrote that is.

    And, those two books (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:40:05 AM EST
    shine no lights on reality. You can't find out who Obama is through his fiction publications.

    We're going to go after a guy (5.00 / 8) (#52)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:27:53 AM EST
    because he behaved badly when he came home after five years of torture and imprisonment?  Really?

    Give me a break.

    Jeralyn, please.

    There are 1,001 good reasons not to vote for McCain.  Private sexual behavior 40 years ago isn't one of them.  IMHO, the whole issue is irrelevant unless the politician in question has made a career out of crusading on sexual morality, and McCain hasn't.

    How is this a genuine issue! (5.00 / 5) (#67)
    by Mlb1 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:36:52 AM EST
    Remember the campaign that was to transcend beyond this.  I'm sorry, but digging up accusations from 30 years ago that are substantiated by third-parties hardly contitutes a genuine story.  The only 2 people who know what their relationship was like and what led to their demise is McCain & his ex-wife; and let's face it, she has supported every single campaign including this one.  

    Both of these individuals went through personal hell's during that time period, from the tragic events that occured to the Post-Traumatic handling of these events.  Sometimes in life things don't work out.  This story is nothing more than a political witchunt dredged up by individuals who were not involved in the relationship and personally should butt the ---- out.

    Maybe it was all because he was still alive (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:37:25 AM EST
    When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind,
    First of all, I know she had many injuries frim the accident but if you look at the 1973 picture of Mrs #1, she looks beautiful. So it is interesting that they say a lot of weight was added. Next, maybe it was the near death experience that said Live. I have a friend who had brain surgery and tumors removed. He died on the table but was revived and when he recovered, he always said, nothing bothered him anymore. He decided to marry his girlfriend he was living with, put his financial things in order and just never looked back at his previous marriage or the bad times. He just lived everyday as if it was his last. He died in a car accident 4 years later. Maybe it was mid life experience for John or maybe it was near death. Or, sometimes in life, people grow away from each other. 5 years away is a long time and the accident might have changed her way of thinking too. Or at the end, he is just a slime.

    I would hate to think that the group is trying to discredit him by using this personal history. Too many people have skeletons in the closet. Was any of this pointed out as a reason not to vote for Kerry was that he was divorced and married a rich widow?

    I am not for McCain but I am not comfortable with this line of attack. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors and I suspect many of us have stories to tell.

    My 2 cents (5.00 / 5) (#71)
    by cmugirl on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:38:08 AM EST
    This was enlightening.  From all the stories I heard about this, he came home and immediately divorced her - not seven years later.  Now, I am not going to excuse philandering, but when he came home, does anybody here think he didn't suffer emotionally and mentally from being locked up for 6 years?  

    And I said the same thing of the Clintons - if she has made peace with it, whose business is it to say otherwise? Yes, he left her for a younger woman (but he happens to still be married to that woman 30 years later). The fact that the first Mrs. McCain still publicly supports him, especially when she could harbor a lot of anger towards him, says a lot to me (mostly about her).

    I know the Obama camp will run with this, but this could be a mistake - do the Obamas really want people looking into every single detail of their marriage?  Maybe they have nothing to hide, but I don't know a married couple who hasn't had some problems - do they want those as fair game? (Not to mention old boyfriends of Michelle's and old girlfriends of BO).

    As was mentioned earlier... (1.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:50:34 AM EST
    the reason why this would be a big deal is because its hypocrisy for republicans to nominate someone with this kind of record while having impeached a president with the same behavior.

    Obama made a case (5.00 / 4) (#108)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:59:43 AM EST
    that Hillary was unacceptable because she had the baggage of Bill Clinton's sexcapades and impeachment.

    Obama's case is that he wasn't the guy stained by impeachment.  He implicitely used the impeachment to promote his own virtue.  I really hope he's as clean as a whistle sexually---if he goes for Mccain like this he's opening up every relationship he's had to microscopic scrutiny.


    This is how politics works now... (1.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:06:43 PM EST
    for good or bad.  I personally think it should be about the issues, and I think theres a case to be made that hypocrisy is an issue, regardless of what its based on.

    Hypocrisy (5.00 / 5) (#138)
    by cmugirl on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:21:15 PM EST
    Oh, you mean like running on a platform of a "new politics" and then not actually believing that?  Or running as a "post racial" candidate, but you're really not? Or running because you opposed the war from the start, but then never did anything to stop it?  Is that the kind of hypocrisy that should be pointed out?

    Yup. Obama has a hard road to climb... (1.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:25:52 PM EST
    But with bush on McSames back, Id say the republicans will be harder.

    When Did He Make This Case? (1.00 / 1) (#160)
    by daring grace on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:43:55 PM EST
    I heard Obama sometimes refer dismissively to the polices of the Clinton administration, and their effects on the country.

    When did he deride Hillary for her husband's "sexcapades"?


    Th eentire subtext of the campaign (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:37:23 PM EST
    He's the clean break, the baggage-less traveller, if you can't run your household, he doesn't have to appologize for anything...grow up a bit. Politics isn't conducted literally and legalistically.

    IOKIYAR (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:10:24 PM EST
    Have you ever heard of that?  This won't be an issue with republican voters and indies after the machine is done winding them up about Obama.

    Besides, he and Carol appear to be "amicable" and she "supports" him as a presidential candidate.  That'll be good enough for the hypocrites, bless their little hearts.


    IOKIYAR... (none / 0) (#137)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:19:53 PM EST
    hasnt saved hardly any republicans so far in elections this year.  Things have changed.

    Yes, I'm not going to demonize John (5.00 / 7) (#79)
    by frankly0 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:42:52 AM EST
    McCain on a personal basis just because that's what Obama seems to need and/or want to win the Presidency.

    If you can show how any of McCain's character and/or personality traits relate to his ability to be a good President, by all means, do so. If he isn't straight with the voters, that's fair game.

    But gratuitous personal attacks are another story.

    Inexplicable and profound needs perhaps... (5.00 / 4) (#85)
    by bmc on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:44:53 AM EST
    McCain is probably shallow, vain, and deceitful, yes. He was probably going through a mid-life crisis, yes. And, the military has a very high rate of divorce for the very reason that separations change people.

    Painting a broad brush of condemnation for his behavior ignores the dramatic impact that close brushes with death during war--whether in combat or as a prisoner of war, tortured physically and mentally and watching comrades die beside you--can have on people. It truly alters you, wouldn't you think? He had just returned from POW trauma. If you're near death, suffering, starved and tortured for 5 years, you might come back a changed man. You might selfishly seek the pursuit of shallow, vain and selfish impulses in a subconscious need to steal back everything that was taken from you.

    The most honest thing I can say about it is I'm eternally thankful I wasn't presented with such traumatic life events, and glad I wasn't forced to make such cruel choices.

    His may have been a cruel need, to be sure, but a human need, too...after all the ugliness he endured, to need to be surrounded by life and beauty?

    McCain has taken responsibility for what he did; he hasn't smeared his first wife to excuse his actions, has he? That, too, is a measure of character isn't it?

    If his first wife, Carol, has forgiven him for his abandonment, then what else can be said about it? What happens between two people in a marriage is often a mysterious synthesis of many factors, and not having the entire picture makes it impossible to judge the people involved with any integrity. Everyone projects their own version of the truth onto someone else's marriage.

    It's no different than those who spun the narrative of Hillary Clinton being a coldly ambitious "lesbian" because she remained married to Bill Clinton after his devastating betrayal. Judging Clinton negatively for keeping her marriage together seems to me to be the height of hypocrisy. People are not one-dimensional, and relationships aren't one-dimensional either.

    Chelsea and Bill Clinton campaigning together with Hillary Clinton and for her is clear proof of the lasting love and commitment they all show for each other.

    Do his children love him? Has his former wife forgiven him? Then who am I to judge them or their choices?

    Devastating betrayal? (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Fabian on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:34:00 PM EST
    My take was "major public humiliation".  I never presumed to know what goes on behind closed doors.  Some people expect nothing less that complete sexual fidelity in their relationships, others have different expectations.

    I've never had a clue as to how that particular episode went down in private.


    i don't have any problem (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by cpinva on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:45:23 AM EST
    at all judging someone who runs as a "family values" candidate, while ignoring them in his personal life. around these parts that's known as hypocrisy.

    that said, it's also been the life blood of the republican party since at least reagan, so what else is new? it also doesn't seem to have affected their ability to get the votes of women, so i don't expect it will be a big deal in nov., for sen. mccain.

    This kind (5.00 / 7) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:46:07 AM EST
    of thing does nothing in the end. It might make people mad at Obama all over again if he brings this stuff up because of what he had to say about bill.

    If the Obama campaign is pushing this kind of stuff they really are failing to deal with their problems. If their plan is "McCain is more sexist than Obama because of something that happened 40 years ago" it's a pretty poor one.

    I connnect the sexual prudery (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:01:40 PM EST
    to the way Bill was mistreated this time around too. First thought in my head.  All the Hillary voters know about Bill's adventures and don't care too much.

    Um (1.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Newt on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:00:41 PM EST
    If the Obama campaign is pushing this

    Nope, it's just a question on this site.

    If their plan is "McCain is more sexist than Obama...

    Nope, it's just a question on this site.

    Obama has plenty of negatives.  No need to make up new ones to get all indignant about.


    And Obama's (5.00 / 4) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:01:50 PM EST
    brand will be destroyed too. You can see that one coming already.

    I'm beginning to think...What if they had an election and no one showed up to vote?

    Where is (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by frankly0 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:04:25 PM EST
    the New Democratic Party going under the leadership of Obama?

    Is this going to be the sort of story he and his campaign and his supporters are going to push?

    There are many former Clinton supporters who now believe that they must, out of some obligation to the Democratic Party, fully support Obama. I am already seeing signs that they will start joining the Obama camp in the politics of personal destruction as applied to McCain.

    One wonders how they might do that, given their very outspoken anger once upon a time about how the Obama camp smeared Hillary and Bill.

    The questions will arise: Was that anger not sincere? Was their outrage entirely manufactured?

    And those questions will lead to others regarding their sudden change in tone: Is there no integrity to be found among them? Is there no basic commitment to principle?

    Two sets of former Clinton supporters (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:38:24 PM EST
    Those that will vote a name with a D after it and/or taking Hillary's lead in supporting Obama.

    And then there's the other group. Ones who will vote McCain/stay home/write her in. I'd say this is the group that is angry and not manufactured. I also think they will be paying attention to Obama's tactics, just as McCain is. He watched what happened to Hillary and has already started laying down the ground work to call out Obama. And has called out Obama already.

    I think some supporting Obama were outraged and it wasn't manufactured. They may not play along with it now, but they will support Obama . . .


    Integrity is apparently a rare commodity (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by RalphB on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:55:23 PM EST
    I have the same question as you about people joining in with this politics of personal destruction.  If it was genuine anger before, it's not this easy to put down.

    Perhaps the commitment to principle is only when it's convenient.  Cheapens it all.


    Hahahahahaha (3.50 / 2) (#180)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:27:22 PM EST
    FOr someone who has sworn never to vote for Obama, and has taken great delight in trashing him at every moment, it is hilarious that you are defending McCain.

    But that comes as no surprise.


    I guess you (5.00 / 3) (#211)
    by frankly0 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:59:29 PM EST
    don't get the distinction between focusing on personal traits in a Presidential candidate that do, legitimately, figure into a voter's decision to choose that candidate, and those that don't.

    If a candidate is arrogant or lacking in empathy or dismissive of certain sorts of voters or associates with people who spread division and hate or lies or deceives or is hypocritical or engages in the politics of personal destruction while pretending to represent the opposite, those are all very legitimate issues of character that a voter should consider before choosing that candidate.

    Delving, however, into a candidate's marriage -- which is almost impossible to understand fairly from the outside in any case -- is almost never a legitimate issue, unless it reaches a point of public egregiousness that its inherent privacy is no longer appropriate to respect.

    Once upon a time, Democrats -- all Democrats, with the exception perhaps of the noxiously moralizing Holy Joe Lieberman -- understood that this was the right and principled stand.

    It now looks like the Obama side, consumed with what looks like bloodlust from its successful attacks on the Clintons, is eager to pursue the same against John McCain.

    But you know what? For all McCain's many faults, when it comes to real character -- certainly as it applies to political campaigning -- I'd choose John McCain any day over Barack Obama, given what I've seen of both.

    At least it can be said of John McCain that he has not engaged -- at least as far as I've ever heard -- in the sort of smearing politics that has enabled Obama to get to his current position. Indeed, as is well known, McCain lost to Bush in 2000 because he refused to engage in those sort of politics when Bush did.


    Not About Integrity (1.00 / 2) (#186)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:33:48 PM EST
    But about partisanship. Most here are Democrats and many are fighters who fought as hard as they could during the intra-party nomination process.

    Now it is natural for all who value Democratic principals to rally behind the chosen party leader.

    The same type of switching up happens in sports all the time after the playoffs, or so it seems to, as I do not follow sports.


    Democratic priniciples do not involve (5.00 / 3) (#195)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:42:23 PM EST
    smear-mongering and the politics of personal destruction. I want to see Obama fight for something he believes in (besides his own transcendent greatness). I think I would have to wait 8 years fro that, were he to be elected.

    OK I Get It (2.33 / 3) (#210)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:53:45 PM EST
    That you are now in the tank for McCain. You must be, to defensively call facts, albeit not so pretty ones, smear mongering.

    Smear mongering is more like calling Obama a Muslim, by repeatedly calling him by his middle name to play up innuendo.

    Remember? You were expert at it.


    If McCain were smart - and I'm not sure (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:12:04 PM EST
    that he is in the way he needs to be - he would take his post-POW experience and use it to advocate - in the strongest way possible - for returning war vets to get the best medical and psychological treatment there is, even if that means it has to be obtained outside the VA system.

    He would use it to help vets get help "mainstreaming" back into civilian life - and he would make sure that families had access to the same kind of care and assistance.

    What puzzles me is that at every turn, I hear McCain touting his military cred, but failing to support the veterans when push comes to shove.

    The man was tortured, but he can't seem to bring himself to back or vote for legislation that would ban it.  Heck, we wouldn't want to take away those all-important tools, because someday we might find the circumstance where toruture would be A-OK.

    I've read and heard enough about McCain to know that he is and always has been a very angry person, with a wide streak of vindictiveness and an explosive temper.  I've heard him talk about women - like his own wife - in the ugliest terms, and I've heard him say stupid things like the reason women aren't paid as well as men is because we need more training.

    Women need John McCain to be president like fish need bicycles.

    McCain and veterans issues (none / 0) (#144)
    by noholib on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:25:43 PM EST
    Yes you would think that advocating for veterans after their military service would be an important issue for Senator McCain.  But, oops, he's a Republican ... so he believes in a hyper-individualistic, social Darwinist philosophy:
    if you as an individual are smart enough or well-connected enough to take care of yourself and become rich, then that proves your worthiness; and if you aren't doing well economically, well then it's your own damn individual fault.  McCain was well-born to the family of admirals and he knew how to marry for good looks and then oodles of money.  So every vet should look after him or herself.  That's the American way, if you're GWB or McCain or the other Repubs.

    I'm not defending McCain (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:22:42 PM EST
    don't vote for him if you don't like his policies, but attacking him Cindy's Rx drug problems & the problems with the first wife are bs in my opinion -- it is the same as when Dukakis was attacked for Kitty's alcohol problem. Further, divorce does not disqualify you from being President -- he isn't running for Pope, you know.  Trying to dig up dirt on a divorce is trashy -- especially when the ex defends him -- I wouldn't defend mine!

    Same goes if the press starts attacking Michelle Obama for her private life &/or problems (what she says on the campaign trail, however, is fair game, imo). These personal issues should be off limits. Yes, we are voting for the couple, because the wife will be the first lady and needs to be a proper representative of the US, but that public face has nothing to do with private home-life issues that are worthy of tabloids.

    I'm surprised and disappointed... (5.00 / 4) (#157)
    by CK MacLeod on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:40:36 PM EST
    ...that you would want to enter into this swamp.  I'm very sure that none of you, not a single one, has the slightest idea what you would do in a similar situation, because you haven't ever been in it.  Congratulations to those of you who oppose McCain, but reject on the grounds of human decency (and perhaps a tad of real life experience) the attempt to judge him on the basis of second-, third-, and fourth-hand descriptions of his personal life forty years ago, even while turning on its head the only firsthand testimony you have  - taking the first Mrs. McCain's supportiveness as further evidence that she's somehow compelled to put on a show.  

    Aside from begin sickening and contemptible, this kind of attack is also irrelevant and self-destructive.  Around the same time that McCain was having his "Me Decade," so was Barack Obama.  Around the time that John was courting Cindy and finalizing his divorce from Carol (who went on to have a successful career in Republican circles) in an amicable and generous divorce, Barack was receiving doing hard drugs and receiving tutelage from a middle-aged capital C Communist activist.  So, do you really want to go there?

    We're being set up... (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by santarita on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:10:11 PM EST
    Let's focus on "family values" instead of the issues.  That's been such a winning argument for Democrats in the past.  Let's throw in religion, too. Sen. Obama tried that and got the Rev. Wright media show.  Focussing on "family values" and religion instead of the issues will get McCain elected.  Republicans own "family values".   It won't matter in November about McCain's womanizing.  The Republicans will make the Democrats look worse.  If we go down that road, we aren't going to win.

    Vietnam was a terrible time for our country (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by gabbyone on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:36:17 PM EST
      I have a family member who came home from Vietnam and felt he had lost his youth in that war. He didn't want to be a husband or dad anymore
    and walked away from his wife and two kids and never looked back. He never recovered from that fight and died homeless years later. John McCain came home with many serious wounds and had been a prisoner of war for a long time and he obviously didn't handle that marriage in the best way but at least he took care of his ex-wife her whole life.  He then pulled himself together and went on to serve his country.
      My life was pretty normal during that war but the times were violent and soldiers were not given much respect when they came home. Are we not continuing this with McCain.
      I didn't walk in his shoes and I don't think I should be judging this man on this. If his ex- wife has made peace with it, it's really none of our business.  Weren't we the ones complaining when they tried to use Clinton's affairs against Hillary once again in this race? There is enough on the issues to judge McCain with.  

    Isn't it correct that McCain refused a (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:44:47 PM EST
    chance to be returned early from Vietnam, saying that he would stay until all POW's were returned?
    If so, then McCain has a great deal of character, and a story that Obama cannot possibly match.

    Anyone... (1.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:48:18 PM EST
    pushing an anti-choice campaign has very poor character.

    No, they have politics you disagree with (5.00 / 6) (#206)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:49:03 PM EST
    (and I as well).

    I agree with those who say (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by JustJennifer on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:48:15 PM EST
    this is a non-starter.  Once we start down this road it's a slippery slope.  I hope that this whole story isn't being pushed by anyone associated with the Obama campaign in an attempt to "woo" women voters back.  That would be a very serious mistake IMO.

    Quite obviously is IS being pushed by (5.00 / 2) (#207)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:49:45 PM EST
    Obama's campaign---at least the internet arm of it.

    No... (5.00 / 4) (#214)
    by esmense on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 02:37:16 PM EST
    This is exactly were we go wrong -- when we fail to acknowledge the moral basis of and/or denigrate the movtivations of others' political positions.

    There are plenty, way too many, people on the other side who make the same statement in reverse; judging the pro-choice position as a sign of bad character and refusing to acknowledge that there is, or could be, an ethical and moral framework to that position.

    If we can't accept that good people can disagree, often profoundly, on difficult issues then we allow no basis for political cooperation on profoundly important issues.

    IMHO, the critical line of the whole article (3.00 / 2) (#28)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:13:37 AM EST
    is this one:

    "I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is - deceit."

    His first wife seems to be doing a combination of (a) coping with what must still be a shattering set of injuries and sequelae, (b) keeping in the good graces of the ex and his wealthy wife*, who have her by the pursestrings, and (c) living in fear of what his volcanic temper could do (or have done) should she speak out more than she already has.  I get the feeling she is in a state akin to that of a battered spouse still making excuses.

    I, for one, cannot conceive of injuries so severe that she lost 5 inches out of her legs - intermedullary rods and similar ortho hardware must not yet have been invented when she had her injuries.  But, for him to have dumped her in the way he did should tell everyone all they need to know about his character.

    McCain gives me the feeling that he's got a serious misogyny problem - orders of magnitude worse than anything anyone's ever seen.

    * Whom he called a trollop and a c*nt over her looks and use of makeup, lest we forget.

    She ran into a telegraph pole? (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by desertswine on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:06:29 AM EST
    My God, how old are these people?

    What are they, vampires?

    Really, must you? (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:09:45 AM EST
    Western Union had telegraph service (none / 0) (#19)
    by tigercourse on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:09:16 AM EST
    up until a couple years ago. But your comment was funny.

    It's from the Daily Mail in the UK (none / 0) (#44)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:22:24 AM EST
    and they use the terms the Brits would understand.

    If you read the whole article, you'll see it also says she was thrown through the windscreen, not windshield.


    Wow (1.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Lahdee on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:09:14 AM EST
    a republican practicing family values yet again.

    `I thought, of course, we would live happily ever after,' says Carol.
    Vote for McCain if you must but expect to be disrespected if you do.  

    we are disrespected for supporting Hillary (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:24:56 AM EST
    Why does the opinion... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:35:23 AM EST
    of small minded people affect you so much?

    the opinion doesn't (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by boredmpa on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:41:52 AM EST
    it's the voting power, organizational restructuring, lack of policy attention, and undermining of our democratic principles.

    That's the disrespect.


    I agree... (none / 0) (#89)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:47:46 AM EST
    since Im a HRC supporter.  But the person I was responding to wasnt referring to any of that.

    HA HA (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by cmugirl on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:18:30 PM EST
    Thanks for laugh, but we all know better around here!

    Whats a laugh? (none / 0) (#142)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:23:00 PM EST
    Ive been a HRC supporter for awhile, Ive just never been an Obama hater... assuming thats what youre referring to.

    it's not necessary to hate Obama (5.00 / 3) (#170)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:10:24 PM EST
    to realize he's an Empty Suit.

    Id rather vote for an empty suit... (2.33 / 3) (#174)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:18:07 PM EST
    than Another warmonger.  4000 and still counting...

    The problem here (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:34:14 PM EST
    is that obam wants to be the president of the dominant military power on the globe.

    He'll monger more than his fair share of wars in the next four years if he is president.   He'll remonger the occupation of Iraq too--mark my words--and the press will go along with him rebranding the war too.


    Unless you can time travel... (1.00 / 1) (#201)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:47:01 PM EST
    which I kind of hope thats the case since it would just be cool, those are just your predictions.

    Anyway with McSame bending over for neocons, the republicans are putting up a puppet.  So we have empty suit/possible warmonger going against puppet/definite warmonger.  So how about I throw out how McSame is heavily pushing an anti-choice campaign right now?  Ill definitely be voting against him for that.


    Yawn. (1.00 / 0) (#116)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:02:36 PM EST

    Bet He Won't (1.00 / 1) (#155)
    by daring grace on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:39:12 PM EST
    There is so much potent unpopular material in the policy and voting/advocacy history of McCain--and so many great pictures of him and Bush--Obama won't need to indulge in this kind of bio gotcha.

    Not to mention the wrong-footedness of McCain's campaign that will be the gift that keeps on giving.

    Running On Character (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:01:00 AM EST
    Is a big mistake for McCain. His straight talk meme is something to expect from a used car salesman. Dumping his wife doesn't make him any less attractive to me, it seems consistent with his poor character.

    This youtube sums it up for me.

    It's all about the media... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:03:44 AM EST
    they've defined him as a maverick straight talker for many years now. That image is set pretty solidly at this point, although I agree that it's a crock.

    If they suddenly start holding him to account for all his flip-flops, I'll be extremely shocked but happy.

    I won't be holding my breath, though.


    It Will Be Hilarious (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:13:38 AM EST
    To see who the media will take the risk of trashing first. A super cool and very handsome black guy, or a weathered straight shooting war vet who was a POW.

    Both are media darlings because they, unlike the unruly uncooperative Clintons, are perfect tools for selling soap.


    LOL! (none / 0) (#39)
    by madamab on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:18:13 AM EST
    Selling soap. I like it. :-)

    We shall see...


    Running on character is a bigger mistake (3.00 / 2) (#197)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:43:24 PM EST
    for Obama. McCain has tons more character than Obama---both in perception and reality.

    Have you ever read Lady Chaterley's Lover? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:05:57 AM EST
    If she's prepared to defend him, what on earth is there to talk about with Carol?  Unless the divorce was messy...

    i assume he payed/pays alimony and child support.

    Well, Obama is in the Senate... (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by ineedalife on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 01:16:13 PM EST
    because the divorce papers of his Republican challenger were made public. See a little pattern developing?

    Stories like this one won't help McCain. (none / 0) (#36)
    by halstoon on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:15:43 AM EST
    With Evangelicals already cynical about his campaign and people like Phil Burress saying "we don't want to associate with him" and Bill Kristol lamenting the GOP's shedding of "tears of frustration," McCain really didn't need his first wife reminding people "John didn't want to be 40, he wanted to be 25." Just more evidence that McCain is never who you think he is.

    Many men resist getting older (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:33:32 AM EST
    I have a Porsche in my driveway. Nice car. Less competition than a 25 year woman, and I get to drive it, too.

    I have a mentor (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:22:53 PM EST
    who helps me with my show German Shepherds.  She is sharp as a tack and she is no spring chicken.  She is also a widow of a Naval pilot who went down on a mission coming out of Italy in 1967.  She never remarried.  Her husband graduated with McCain and they were stationed together on the gulf coast when both couples were younger.  She's voting McCain inspite of what a terror he was in his youthfulness and if her stories are correct he was a terror.  She said he drank most everyone under the table too ;)

    Every male over 40 (3.00 / 2) (#68)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:37:18 AM EST
    can relate. They are not going to hold it against him.

    Do not presume... (none / 0) (#95)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:50:49 AM EST
    ...to know what every male over 40 is going to do.  

    I certainly don't condone it one little bit and most of the males over 40 that I know don't either.  


    Link to Kristol. (none / 0) (#38)
    by halstoon on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:16:55 AM EST
    The GOP is Clumsy (none / 0) (#59)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:30:02 AM EST
    When they try to fake being interested in traditional Democratic values, like the environment. To call the super saturated green background that made everyone look like a zombie, heavy handed would be a gross understatement.

    John Stewart was funny dishing McCains awful speech. And you know it was awful if Kristol dished it as well.


    History tells Us (none / 0) (#93)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:50:11 AM EST
    If you look at the studies of Vietnam Vets after their return to the U.S., what would be striking about McCain is that his pre-War marriage lasted 7 years.  The studies of problems Vietnam Vets had upon returning are astounding for the high rates of personal, family and work problems, probably resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder.  Many were never able to assimilate successfully. I will try to post some stats here later.

    McCain must be hoping ... (none / 0) (#105)
    by Salo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:56:07 AM EST
    ...against hope that Obama goes this path. Prudish morality doesn't really suit the Democratic party. Especially if McCain doesn't make sexual morality a feature of his campaign.

    you also have to wonder what sort of projection on obmaa's part this might be a manifestation of. A cocksure dude like Obama might have a few skeletons to rattle on this score.


    Keep it clean - the filters will grab your (none / 0) (#81)
    by scribe on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:43:58 AM EST

    And that Republican sh*tstorm is gonna come regardless.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is either naive or stupid.

    Defending Him? Really? (none / 0) (#131)
    by JimWash08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:16:53 PM EST
    Surprisingly, Carol McCain is defending him, even though he left her after his return from Vietnam and re-emergence as a war hero. Carol charitably says he was having a sort of "midlife crisis." Many others say it was because she had been horribly disfigured in a car accident and gained a lot of weight.

    I don't see it as "defending" him, but rather exposing him as a classless, heartless creep.

    But, that's just me.

    I think Jeralyn's question is very pertinent (none / 0) (#149)
    by Newt on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:32:18 PM EST
    Or will the thought of a man who leaves the disfigured wife who raised his kids for a younger, rich woman be a turn-off for women voters?

    This article isn't discrediting McCain, it's asking if his personal history will become a liability.

    I think the answer will depend on who focuses on his history.  Many voters are still not cued in to the election.  They're busy living their own lives, or they've followed the Dem race but haven't heard much about McCain yet.  I know the communications channels for the right wing will only focus on what I would call the fake McCain.  Progressives will mostly put reports of McCain's dumping his ex into the category of validation of their opinion already based on his party and his record.  The real question is will any of this affect his character be portrayed in right wing communications?  More to the point, will conservatives who dislike of him use this material to affect more centrist voters' opinion of him?

    Guess I'll have to listen to Rush again (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:35:32 PM EST
    to find out.  But, it seems to me right wing Republican voters are more inclined to vote for McCain, despite his marital history, than for Obama, whose marital history is pure but whose association with Ayers will not bring him Republican conservative voters.

    Virginia Beach is a faded seaside resort? (none / 0) (#159)
    by Joan in VA on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 12:43:29 PM EST
    Yet still attracts millions of tourists. Real estate there is still very pricey even with the downturn. UK papers do love their drama. They have been less than kind to all the candidates at one time or another.

    Lots of bad divorces and marriages on both sides (none / 0) (#212)
    by esmense on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 02:02:41 PM EST
    ...of the aisle. And in the case of bad divorces, is there really any such thing as a good one? Bad behavior of one or both parties has to be assumed to have led to the divorce.

    Unfortunately, if we seriously, rather than merely opportunistically, judged male politicians by how they behave in their most intimate relationships, a significantly large percentage of men wouldn't qualify to run for office.

    I found it absurd when Bob Dole -- a man whose treatment of his ex-wife appears to have been no better than McCain's (even worse, his treatment of his only child)-- tried to make a character argument against Clinton on the basis of HIS infidelities. I've never found the Republican argument that infidelity is okay as long as you divorce the broad after you betray her, and then step up to a more advantageous (career or money wise) partner, very convincing.  

    But, I do think distinctions have to made between how people behave in public, and in the performance of their jobs, and how they behave in private.

    This isn't to say that bad private behavior shouldn't be judged, and judged harshly, or lead to consequences. But, unless that private behavior has consequences in terms of public behavior (drug or alcohol abuse, for instance) those consequences should most appropriately take place in private life (depending on your level of intimacy with the offender, consequences might include divorce, the end of a friendship, making a decision to avoid being alone in a room with them, discouraging people you care about from dating them, warning others that they may not be good marriage material, cutting them out of your social life, etc.)

    Personally, I, like most people, have worked with and for many people who have done things in their private lives that I do not approve of -- cheated on their spouses, spent little time with their children, been unkind to parents and siblings, etc., etc. But, my relationships with them were/are not intimate, they are impersonal and public -- it is only their public sins that are my concern and that can, and should, alter my public relationship with them; cheating customers and employees, lying and other forms of dishonesty, failing to perform or proving inadequate at essential parts of their job, etc., etc.

    Facing delicate brain surgery, for instance, most of us would be very concerned about how often the surgeon had performed the procedure, his success rate, how his peers rated his skills, etc. If the answer to those questions, about how he performs in his job, were answered in a very satisfactory manner, would anyone care how often he had been married and whether his first two wives thought kindly of him? Refused to be treated by someone considered the best in their field because of his private life? Of course not.

    I hold politicians to the same standard as other people with whom my relationship is public and professional. Which means; I don't want to know the intimate details of your life, but I do want to know as much as I can about how you perform in your public life; those aspect of your life that will affect my well-being and that of the nation at large.


    No... (none / 0) (#213)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 02:09:44 PM EST
    being against a womans right to choose is a mark on your character.

    This kind of attack would be very counter- (none / 0) (#217)
    by ExpatElaine on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 03:46:02 PM EST
    productive for me.  I am a solid Hillary supporter:  I supported her because of her experience, competence, policies (and I did think on economics, healthcare and environmental issues -including green jobs - the small differences with Obama matter hugely) and because she really owned those policies - knew them inside out, the pre-conditions and the implications.  

    I spent the last four  months of the primary, saying to Obama supporters, you have your narratives of racism and Clintonian negative/dirty campaigning, I can counter it with a narrative about Obama's strategy to  'take BC' out by any means, including race-baiting and and can catalogue the details of  negative campaign strategy of character assassination. So let's stop that unproductive debate and talk about policy and leadership.  

    I have since been struggling to come to terms with doing my usual heavy-duty GOTV for Obama.  Because of policies, I would never even consider voting for MCCain for a nanosecond.  However, I loathed the phoniness of 'hey I am not a negative campaigner' of the Obama campaign. And if this kind of stuff is pushed by his campaign, it will only serve to remind me of the primary and dampen my enthusiasm for hard work.

    Sure it pushes a lot of buttons: buying  into right-wing opposition to divorce in terms of their  concepts of 'family values' or capturing the 'disgusted' vote of those  who have seen many older men abandon their old wives for 'new models,' or a feminist contempt -  but the latter attitudes are often tempered by the specific context and how the man treated his ex-wife. Using it to prove Obama is less 'sexist' than McCaian is just feeble: other evidence is more important.

    What I find ten times more disgusting and misgonyist is the DKOS diary by Stroszek and his commentators in which he suggests that Hillary more or less be used as 'bait' to provoke McCain into an attack on her...thereby enabling Obama to get Hillary's women voters. (I just wanted to check out how the unity theme was developing.) While I didn't read all the comments, in my skimming I came across none that suggested that the DP should have or should now declare that sexism and mysogyny is simply unacceptable; on the contrary, this is intended to fan the flames and expand the range of sexist public discourse. It proposes using Hillary as mere 'meat.' And it shows how this version of 'clean politics' works: get a surrogate (preferably Hillary to re-enforce the message she is dirty) to do the dirty work while Obama can be Mr. Clean - saying 'what me? I never said it!'

    This kind of stuff makes it very hard for me to get on board.

    I am happy to expose hypocrisy and use examples that demonstrate the dangers of McCain's temper and intemperate outbursts. If he attacks someone  for their womanizing, divorcing a 'wife' under similar circumstances, then okay...it is hypocrisy and should be exposed,  but the story quoted here...nah...don't really want to see it go anywhere.