As much of an Obama supporter as I am, for a number of years I was also big on McCain. While there are some serious issues I disagree with him on, I felt he was a no bullsh*t guy with lots of integrity, more a Republican by default than effort. Even when he announced he would be running for President I was rather excited, thinking that for once, if a Republican won I’d at least feel like it was someone trustworthy.
Unfortunately, McCain has repeatedly deepsixed his “straight talk” image, the most recent evidence of this being the cheap misuse of his experience as a Vietnam POW.
On the Tonight Show last night, Jay Leno brought up McCain’s recent failure to answer a reporter’s question of how many houses he owns. McCain’s response, in part:
“I spent 5 1/2 years in a prison cell without — I didn’t have a house. I didn’t have a kitchen table. I didn’t have a table. I didn’t have a chair,” he said.
“I spent those 5 1/2 years … not because I wanted to get a house when I got out.” [from Reuters]
This isn’t the first time McCain or his campaign have used his POW history to shallowly dodge an issue, and don’t expect it to be the last. There is also some indication that the use of this experience, which he used to rarely bring up, is actually on the direct advice of Karl Rove… indicating, again, that if McCain is elected the next four years will be a repeat of the last eight.
That McCain served his country deserves respect, and that his survival as a prisoner of war in Vietnam builds his character up greatly. However, using this experience to deflect issues and questions that have nothing to do with an issue of war is not only beneath him, but anyone who should serve to lead as a senator, governor, or President.