Friday, August 8, 2008

He Represents the Lollipop Guild

I was reading about John McCain’s long and nasty political career in a post at Daily Kos when I found an amusing bit from the Senator’s past. It seems that in 1986 McCain was running against a man named Richard Kimball (not Kimble)—a really tall Democrat—and the race was pretty close. This article from AZ Central picks up the story:

In late 1986, as Kimball gained ground on McCain in the Senate race, the candidates agreed to debate on television.

Because McCain was shorter than the lanky Kimball, he stood on a riser behind the podium. At one point, Kimball called him on it, saying McCain was "standing on a soapbox" to make himself look taller.

McCain was angry but kept his cool. Jay Smith, his political guru, later told a writer that McCain at that moment "wanted to kill" Kimball. The next day, he got mad all over again when he saw himself standing on the riser on the front page of The Republic.

While the debate was mostly a draw, McCain enjoyed a huge fund-raising lead, outspending Kimball nearly 4 to 1. On Election Day, McCain steamrolled Kimball, 60 percent to 40 percent.

"Far from being the marquee race everyone looked forward to when Bruce Babbitt was the presumptive Democratic candidate, my first race for the Senate was pretty close to a foregone conclusion," McCain remembers in Worth the Fighting For. "I led in the polls from start to finish. . . . (Kimball) was not the first-tier candidate that the Democrats had hoped to field."

McCain went to a downtown hotel for his acceptance speech, an event chronicled in Timberg's book.

Smith accommodated McCain with a riser from which to deliver his acceptance speech.

"Arriving at the hotel shortly after McCain, Smith saw reporters and well-wishers huddle together on the stage," Timberg wrote. "From the midst of the throng, he heard a familiar voice floating upward, thanking the voters for sending him to the Senate. Familiar but disembodied. McCain had seen the riser and kicked it aside. (McCain) had become the Invisible Man."

The poor munchkin didn’t want to be seen as small, then didn’t want it pointed out that he was afraid to be seen as small, and then had to rely on his own inadequate stature for his acceptance speech. That’s priceless. And holy crap that's a big box he's standing on. Did he think nobody would notice that he'd grown a foot? Or that his arms were disproportionately short for his newfound height? Kind of like a tyrannosaurus rex?

McCain stands 5’7”, which isn’t that much shorter than the average American man (last I heard that was about 5’9”), but he’s in trouble when he has to stand next to Obama, a strapping 6’1”. That six-inch difference—plus McCain’s resemblance to a leprechaun or a munchkin—won’t help his public image.


Anonymous said...

You spent your non-refundable time ranting about a man's height. You are a paragon of success.

Jason said...

And if you thought the rant was about a man's height you are a moron.

But thanks for the input.

Anonymous said...

This article is terrible. Consider that Bush also used a soapbox to speak against Kerry, I didn't support Bush but I don't hold that against him. Its not presidential candidates' faults that people are superficial, they just adapt as they can. BTW McCain is 5'9 (100% average for his age and the era that he was born)

Jason said...

Okay, I'll say it in plain language since it seems to be causing some of you difficulty: the problem in this story isn't that McCain is short. The problem in this story isn't that McCain stood on a box.

The problem is that when his standing on a box was mentioned he reacted as an ill-tempered child might.

If you want to focus on how my jokes aren't fair, I don't have a problem with that. But don't pretend that those jokes are the point that I'm making here. Think a little.

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Anonymous said...

WOW, you dont really see a lot of John McCain Derangment Syndrome. Perfect illustration of the hate so prevalent in the left wing. Nice going Jason.

Anonymous said...

It's really a shame that a hero, who fought, and suffered for his country, and has worked hard ever since, is ever judged by something so petty as his height. I guess any vet that has no legs should be subject to the same indignities or even more so, than what your projecting towards McCain? Right? I know why don't you go to Arlington and open your mouth about all the Vets there that are -6' in height. Hopefully you'll get a 21 gun salute up yer ass!

Bless all Veterans no matter their height, size, age, or accomplishments.

Jason said...

Hi, Anonymous--if that's your real name, you courageous guy, you.

The post isn't about McCain's height. You'd get that if you could read at more than a second-grade level. The post is about how McCain was so afraid of his own height that he needed to stand on a box to compensate for it.

I admire what McCain volunteered for, and I'm happy that his service has served him so well for forty years. I'm a vet. How about you, anonymous? Not that it matters. That has nothing to do with this argument, and it has nothing to do with running for president.

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