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Old 09-26-2008, 08:12 AM   #1
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Default Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

(Warning! This article contains pro-McCain messages)
http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/29784079.html

The real McCain: Tested to the point of wisdom
By By Kevin Ferris|


Published on Friday, Sep 26, 2008
PHILADELPHIA: Is John McCain too hot-headed to be president?
That's suggested in a political ad produced by the liberal group Brave New PAC. It features Philip Butler, a highly decorated Navy officer who had already been imprisoned 21/2 years before McCain was brought to Hanoi in October 1967.
In the ad, Butler says: ''I think I can say with authority that the prisoner-of-war experience is not a good prerequisite for president of the United States. . . . He was well known as a very volatile guy, and he would blow up and go off like a Roman candle. John McCain is not somebody that I would like to see with his finger near the red button.''
One quibble with the ad is that it suggests McCain was ''volatile'' while in Vietnam. But in the longer interview on the group's Web site, it sounds more as if Butler is talking about their time at the U.S. Naval Academy, when the two midshipmen lived across the hall from each other. That's probably two very different John McCains.
Nevertheless, at points along the campaign trail, even Republicans have talked about temperament. It's partly why Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., initially endorsed Mitt Romney over McCain.
''The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine,'' Cochran told the Boston Globe in January. ''He is erratic. He is hot-headed. He loses his temper and he worries me.'' Cochran has since endorsed the McCain-Palin ticket.
McCain brought up his reputation in the book Worth the Fighting For: ''I have regretted losing my temper on many occasions. But there are things worth getting angry about in politics. . . . When public servants lose their capacity for outrage over practices injurious to the national interest, they have outlived their usefulness to the country.''
There's something to be said for a bit of temper. I wish someone in the administration had been fired up enough to generate a sense of urgency among war planners while the situation in Iraq was deteriorating in 2005-'06.
McCain for years had called for a new strategy and more troops. If only someone in the chain of command had pushed as hard, and gotten angry furious, even, given the costs when efforts fell short.
So, yes, a temper has its place, but it certainly can't be the defining characteristic of a presidential candidate. And it's not for McCain, as other former POWs will attest.
Retired Air Force Col. Tom Moe of Ohio recalls looking through a peephole in his cell door when McCain was returned from interrogation a time when volatile behavior would be understandable. Instead, McCain waited for the guard to momentarily look away. He would turn toward Moe's cell, smile, and give a thumbs up.
''I remember that image of him looking over when he couldn't stand up straight, when he was broken and battered,'' Moe said in an interview last week. ''What a tremendous image of his strength and courage.''
As for temper, POWs learned quickly to control themselves, Moe said.

''If you lost your temper in Hanoi, you could easily be beaten to death,'' Moe said. ''If ever there was a time to cool it, it was there.''
Leo Thorsness, a Medal of Honor recipient, wrote last week in the New York Times about other lessons learned in Hanoi: ''The years in a brutal prison were equivalent to earning a Ph.D. in psychology. We saw that peace without freedom is empty. We gained a deep appreciation for justice and courage. We learned that survival depends on teamwork. We were colorblind whites, blacks, Asians, we were all the same. We learned the value of always doing what is right regardless of consequence. . . .
''A president who has been tested in this way can be counted on to make wise decisions.''
I understand that temperament is a valid concern when looking at candidates. Has the person been tested? Overcome obstacles? Fought for beliefs? Put others first?

What I don't understand is why McCain's political opponents would highlight one of his greatest strengths.
Ferris is commentary page editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He can be e-mailed at kf@phillynews.com.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

I stil don't possibly see how this is relevant to knowing the ins and outs of running the free world. Being a POW does not qualify one to run the most powerful country in the world.

Mind you, I do commend and appreciate his bravery.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

This was addressing the assertion from the left that McCain has an uncontrollable temper.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

Or, it could be interpreted that the only way it can be controlled is through the threat of death...
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

LOL...there's always "another view" for the haters I guess.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

Funny how every experience of McCain has nothing to do with being president--

And Obama's non-experience has nothing to do with being president--

But we are supposed to make a decision against McCain based on Palin's limited experience as governor.


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Old 09-26-2008, 06:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
LOL...there's always "another view" for the haters I guess.

Naw, not hatin', just thought it would be a funny quip.

I respect the guy's ordeal. I think that the letter from the roommate is irrelevant to the man's temperament today, and the POW experience is irrelevant to his qualification to be president (other than whatever effect in might have on his health as he ages past 75, which can only be speculated on).
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

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Originally Posted by Mosca View Post
Naw, not hatin', just thought it would be a funny quip.

I respect the guy's ordeal. I think that the letter from the roommate is irrelevant to the man's temperament today, and the POW experience is irrelevant to his qualification to be president (other than whatever effect in might have on his health as he ages past 75, which can only be speculated on).
Amazing. Leadership and conviction are forged on anvils of trouble and hardship. Yet his POW experience is irrelevant? It is part of his story and will color every judgement he makes. The question is how will it color it. Personally, I think it is a good thing.

What was Obama's last hardship? What forged his convictions and leadership ability? I think those are legitimate questions that shouldn't be passed over... though they will be, because it is an area that Obama simply cannot touch.
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

Mcain suffered a great deal for this country, if you ask me he is a hero. Thank God I was never captured.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Interesting Takes on the Relevancy of McCain's POW Experience

Obama suffered immensely during his hardscrabble existence on the Island of Hawaii, and lets not forget the trials and tribulations he faced as a community organizer. Then there was the stretch where he had to dodge death daily on the mean streets of Cambridge, Mass. when he was at Harvard.

(sarcasm smiley here)
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