|Presidential Candidate and Senator John McCain may appear more presidential these days following his recent primary wins, but one aspect of his fitness for command has been strikingly absent from media scrutiny; and the severity of it is alarming.
Senator McCain has an explosive temper and a razor-sharp tongue. Whether he chooses to admit it one day, and dismiss it the next, his eruptions have cost him many friendships on the Hill and begs the question: Is he stable enough to become the next leader of the free world?
According to several of his colleagues: No. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), whom he has known since the 1970s, told The Boston Globe, "He's erratic. He is a hothead. He loses his temper and he worries me."
Notorious for hurling "f*** you" at colleagues with whom he disagrees, Senator McCain has alienated himself from several lawmakers with whom, as President, he would have to work to push any agenda he is now running on.
"He had very few friends in the Senate," former Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) told NewsMax in July 2006. "He would disagree about something and then explode. It was incidents of irrational behavior. I've never seen anyone act like that."
The self-righteous Senator's temper is seared in the memories of other colleagues. Senator Pete Dominici (R-NM), whom McCain had called an "a**hole" and then went further with the piercing remark, "I wouldn't call you an a-hole, unless you were really an a-hole," told Newsweek, "I wouldn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger."
Former Rep. John LeBoutillier (R-NY) also experienced McCain's rages. "People who disagree with him get the 'f*** you'" he told NewsMax. "I think he is mentally unstable and not fit to be President."
Even The Arizona Republic in a 1999 op-ed discussed his "volcanic" temper stating, "there is also reason to seriously question whether he has the temperament and the political approach and skills we want in the next President of the United States."
The Arizona Republic was correct in questioning McCain's temper. Anyone who has a "scuffle" with a 92 year-old Senator (Strom Thurmond) begs for his or her temperament to be questioned.
McCain admits in his 2002 memoir Worth Fighting For, "I have a temper. It does not always serve my interest or the public's."
How well will his temper serve We the People's interest when working with Congress, foreign leaders or military generals who disagree with him, especially if deciding on a nuclear option? How well will his temper serve his supporters who elected him, when he reneges on his campaign promises? Will he tell them off with the same expletives he uses on his peers?
Commentary by Daniel Gilbert, Asheville, NC