Many people looking at the current mudslinging and lying coming from the McCain campaign have wondered what happened to the old McCain. You remember — McCain the straight talker who didn’t choose his words carefully, or McCain the maverick who was willing to buck his own party when they were wrong, call televangelists “agents of intolerance”, or point out the obvious that if you make abortion illegal, it will only force women to get dangerous and illegal abortions.
Interestingly, McCain answered that question himself. Even though McCain lost the 2000 presidential primary, his popularity was at an all time high, and he wrote in his memoirs, titled “Worth the Fighting For”:
“I didn’t decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. … In truth, I’d had the ambition for a long time.”
In other words, when he thought the “straight talker” or “maverick” image would help him get elected, he worked to develop that image. But the 2000 election proved to him that it wasn’t enough, so he tried something else, completely throwing away his old persona for a new, more electable one.
I previously posted a video of McCain appearing in a skit on Saturday Night Live, playing a creepy husband, and people often remark about how good an actor he is. Maybe he is just a really good actor, and the real McCain is someone who will play any part and do anything, at any cost, in order to get elected.
How do you learn how to play a part full time, whatever part you think you need to win? Maybe this is something he learned while being tortured.