Last week I was at a dinner with a former national political reporter who was telling stories about John McCain’s volcanic temper. It was a social occasion, and I don’t feel at liberty to repeat what I heard. But let’s just say those stories fit well with yesterday’s Washington Post piece, by Mark Leahy, in which McCain is depicted as angrily berating fellow senators and lowly aides alike.
In 1999 I wrote an article for the Boston Phoenix that focused in large measure on McCain’s temper. My reporting left me surprised by the degree to which McCain was perceived differently by the national press corps, which, if anything, loved him even more then than it does today, and the Arizona media, which had suffered his insults and silences for years over their aggressive reporting on — among other things — the Keating Five scandal and Cindy McCain’s drug problem.
As Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tear each other to shreds, this is a story worth keeping an eye on.