Mar 31, 2008 6:03 pm


Bill Kristol is absolutely right. Biographies do not win elections and it is time his advisors stopped showing him at the Hanoi Hilton. We know he was a POW but speaking for myself that is NOT the reason I love and admire John McCain. His behavior during capture and, most especially his refusal to leave his fellow hostages behind is the reason for that goes to the essence of the man.

The only other leader who elicited similar feelings from me was Israel's founder, David Ben Gurion. Ironicly, he, too, was not particularly popular with his party activists. Such men make lousy politicians during"uninteresting times."

Believe it or not, McCain reminds me of the ultimate Jane Austen hero, Fitzwilliam Darcy. He is a man of honor and justice. A proud man who follows his own internal campus and knows his own worth. Just as importantly he would not permit pride or interest to stand in the way of acknowledging mistakes. Indeed, he would see it as matter of course that amends must be made. Finally, his loyalty and commitment to the welfare of those entrusted to his care are absolute. Hence, I would not hesitate to entrust him with my life or the lives of those dear to me and neither would my fellow Americans.

That is the basis of brand McCain that so baffles Sunday morning pundits. If McCain is not leading in double digits in the polls, it is because many Americans do not believe that the time in which we live are dangerous enough to put up with or elect such stellar adult leadership. As Jane Austen would say, many feel easier with bad boys, rogue charmers like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, whom they know not to be their superior.

Bill Kristol is right. If McCain does not want his election to depend on a timely security crisis, he must convince Americans that they can trust him not only with their lives but also with their pursuit of happiness. For as Jane Austen would remind the more fortunate among us, the pursuit of happiness depends in no small measure on a healthy wallet.

David of recommends: Is McCain Too Old? and an interview with McCain's son Jack.

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