I learned one very important thing from this week's New Yorker on John McCain: Jack. Is. Single. Putting to rest those nasty rumors of a lady friend, the Navy Mid-shipman, son of McCain is unattached — or so goes the fast and free and bracingly loose dialog that flies around the campaign bus.
And yes, there were other tidbits, too. The piece sought to answer the question, "can John McCain reinvent Republicanism?" While I'm not sure that question was answered I did leave with a greater sense of who the man is behind the scenes — which translates directly to the candidate we see on stage.
Though McCain clearly comes across as the funny uncle who repeats jokes, his vigor and unflinching candor (which alternately gets him in trouble and provides his sterling reputation for honesty) was most apparent here:
In person, he is all energy and motion. At one moment, bursting into laughter, he exuberantly explains why, after “a short period of waterboarding to find out what they did in their absence,” he would take back some of the staffers who fled his campaign at its low point. At another, he cracks up over one of his own familiar jokes.
To see how McCain upholds the reputation of the Straight Talk Express, read more.
It is bracing to drop in on the McCain campaign after covering the overly-managed productions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Democratic candidates rarely speak to the travelling press. McCain not only packs his bus with reporters (whom he often greets with an affectionate “Hello, jerks!”) but talks until the room is filled with the awkward silence of journalists with no more questions.
The piece is a biggie, but worth more than worth the read.