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I miss John McCain

I miss John McCain.


I miss his missives – his term of endearment in 2007 for one of my organizers, Sam Witherbee, was “You little jerk”.  That was before the 2008 general election, before the New Hampshire primary and during the days when McCain, before giving his stump speech, would introduce Sam to the people assembled.

One night McCain’s campaign bus rolled in to Joe’s Meat Shoppe  in North Hampton where McCain was to address military veterans. Among a sea of retired military caps I could see Sam holding his “Stop Global Warming” sign and talking to vets before McCain entered the room.  After being introduced, John McCain took a second to point Sam out in the back of the room, “I want you all to meet Sam – the little jerk follows me everywhere.  Seriously – he’s doing a good job on an important issue”. – and then McCain made a quick pivot to discuss Iraq and America’s role in foreign policy.

I miss McCain’s conservative solutions to climate change.

In the general election and in the public’s eye there was no discernible daylight between Obama and McCain when it came to global warming – both called is a serious issue that needed to be addressed.  Both supported a market-based cap and trade fix to address the problem.


January 7, 2008 Portsmouth NH. McCain grabbed a sign from the audience and said “We have to do something about this”. He won the NH Republican Primary the next day. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

 But since 2009 you’d hardly know McCain’s climate change solutions existed.  Last week’s Sunday NY Times Magazine featured McCain and, while not a word was written about the Senator’s changing positions on climate, Mark Leibovich ‘s piece did describe McCain finding himself today “in the thick of the latest “fight for the soul of the G.O.P. against the Tea Party right”.

The John McCain now emerging in the Senate refers to many of the far-right as “wacko-birds”.

Has the John McCain I’ve missed returned? If so I hope he seeks re-election to the US Senate, and I hope he finds time to return to New Hampshire – we’ll likely see climate change in the food fight for the soul of the G.O.P here in the Granite State.   And perhaps climate change presents McCain with a ‘crowded hour’.  In McCain’s philosophy, “the crowded hour” refers to a moment of character testing. “The ‘crowded hour’ is as appropriate for me right now as any in a long time,” McCain told Leibovich.    Read the piece.






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