Saturday, March 08, 2008


Ah, that pesky phone again! It just may become the icon of what is wrong with the candidates rather than what is right!.

While doing a story for Salon on the implications of the now infamous Clinton ad, Mark Benjamin came across information that surprised even a seasoned journalist like himself.

In his interviews with senior military officials many expressed doubts that either Clinton or McCain should be the one we want picking up that phone. While all expressed admiration for McCain, they find his temperament worrisome.

An example of the quotes should give us pause. From retired Air Force General Scott Gration, "I have a tremendous respect for John McCain, but I would not follow him."

From retired Major General Paul Eaton, "I like McCain. I respect McCain. But I am a little worried by his knee-jerk response factor."

Stephen Wayne, a political science professor at Georgetown, who is studying the personalities of the candidates, "The anger is there." About Clinton, he had this observation, "I just gave a presentation on Hillary's temperament for the presidency. I came to the conclusion that it is not really a good presidential temperament, with one caveat -- if you compare it with McCain's." Talk about red flags! Forget the red phone!

Not all, of course will agree with these statements, but we've just seen McCain show arrogance by being late for lunch with the President and testiness when pressed by a reporter regarding a conversation with John Kerry during Kerry's candidacy.

It brings the argument about "experience" full circle - back to the issue of "judgement".

I don't want him answering the phone and I don't want his finger any where near the button!

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