McCain's Temper ... A Front Page Story?

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Apr 20, 2008 12:45 PM
As Hugh notes, this story -- about John McCain's temper -- ran on the front page of today's Washington Post

(The WaPost ran Senator Obama’s "bitter" remarks on page A4 -- and that was actually relevant news.)

My guess is that this is an attempt to balance the coverage, but unlike the Obama story, this one comes out of the blue.  Had McCain lost his temper last week and cursed someone out, then the story would seem more relevant. 

Still, since it's being talked about it, let's go ahead and address the issue of McCain's temper right now:

1.  I have no reason to believe that the details in Post's the story are untrue.  But the fact that many of them are fifteen years old makes me wonder about their relevance.  McCain seems to have mellowed a bit in recent years.

2.  Having a temper is not necessarily a bad thing (a point the Post actually does a good job of pointing out). 

3.  Though I have no doubt McCain once had a bad temper, it has not been my observation.  He has welcomed into the fold former political enemies.   Townhall.com was pretty tough on him last year, for example, has he sought to shut-us out now that he has won the nomination?  Quite the opposite.  Moreover, in the past year, I have had several opportunities to see him up-close -- and under pressure -- and have not witnessed any examples of this behavior.

In short, I believe McCain has had a temper in the past.  My guess is that in some instances, it helped him -- and in some instances, it hurt him.  I believe that he has mellowed considerably in the last several years.  And lastly, though it is an interesting and worthy topic to consider, I wonder about its placement on page A-1.