A few months ago, I wrote that John McCain was an honorable man and he would run an honorable campaign. I was wrong. I used to think, as David Ignatius does, that McCain's true voice was humble and moderate, but now I'm beginning to think his Senate colleagues may be right about his temperament. From what I can gather, Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, a Republican, reflected the views of many of his colleagues earlier this year when he said:
"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine...He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
The erratic nature of McCain's campaign seems to be confirming that judgment. The McCain I used to know would never have touted his own courage as he did a few weeks ago when he said:
"I had the courage and the judgment to say that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war.It seems to me that Senator Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign."
Courage is grace under pressure. McCain showed it when he was a prisoner of war, and on many issues--yes, even on his stubborn insistence that the surge would work--but he is not showing it now. He is showing flop sweat. It is not a quality usually associated with successful leadership.