George Graham

It’s Time for McCain to Ride off into the Sunset

“What has come over John McCain?” Sandra wondered after watching the snarling old geezer’s performance at the Senate hearing on Chuck Hagel’s confirmation yesterday.

What indeed?

I have never liked John McCain. I have never bought that war hero stuff. To me, he has always been an opportunistic playboy, known for his reckless pranks, who ditched his ailing first wife to marry a beer baron’s daughter. And I am highly skeptical of his political backers in Arizona. I suspect he may have been involved with some rather unsavory characters during his career.

As for his attacks on anyone who might endanger the military-industrial gravy train, that’s simply motivated by money. He has received millions in campaign contributions and other funding from the defense industry.

If you don’t believe me, you can look it up.

McCain loves the high life. He loves rubbing shoulders with celebrities, and he has smiled his way onto luxury yachts and charmed his way into champagne parties throughout his career.

The press used to like him because he was accessible and occasionally supported worthy causes.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, he maintained an amiable image. You might recall the defining moment of the campaign, when he corrected an old woman who suggested Barack Obama was an Arab.

It was one of those moments in the film, “Game Change,” that helped portray him as a decent sort of guy.

But there was no hint of decency in that confirmation hearing yesterday. John McCain came off as an old crank with some sort of grudge against Hagel.  A commentator on TV observed that Hagel must have been blindsided because McCain used to be his friend.

And there was no hint of decency in his relentless persecution of Susan Rice, either. He was ill tempered and unfair, nothing like the guy they showed us in”Game Change.”

It’s the way some people get when they’re old. I read an article once in which the condition was described as “old age rage.” The thesis of the article was that as we codgers lose our strength and faculties, we become so frustrated that we get mad at the world.

I don’t find that happening to me so far, but who knows? I could end up an old grump who hates everybody and everything, and if I do, I promise I won’t be writing any more blogs.

And I suggest 76-year-old McCain should pack it in.

I heard on TV that this is his last year on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and even if he is re-elected to the Senate, his influence will be greatly diminished. He will be just an old man who ran for president and lost.

I hope he doesn’t run for re-election. It’s time for him to ride off into the sunset while he can still ride. I hear they have awesome sunsets back in Arizona.

Photo shows McCain celebrating his seventieth birthday in Montenegro in August 2006 at a yacht party hosted by convicted Italian felon Raffaello Follieri and his movie-star girlfriend Anne Hathaway.

Click here for a report on the hearing.

¬†Click here for one critic’s jaundiced view of McCain’s career.

Click here for McCain’s donors.

Click here for the way he treated his first wife.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for