December 8, 2007


TDR Interview: John McCain (Greg Boguslavsky, December 8, 2007, The Dartmouth Review)

Several things emerge about John McCain when listening to him for even a brief period of time. One is how deeply engrained the military is in his life. He goes out of his way to mention and honor our service men and women, whether those of prior generations or those serving the nation today. He wears a bracelet honoring Matthew Stanley, a fallen 22-year-old soldier who was serving in Iraq, given to him on the campaign trail in New Hampshire by the soldier’s mother. With most politicians, this could be written off as a political gimmick. But with McCain, it is clear that his aim is to draw attention to the oft-forgotten sacrifices being made by many young Americans and their families on a daily bias. Talking with Associated Press reporters and editors, McCain said: “It means any political ambitions of mine pale in comparison to the sacrifice that nearly 4,000 family members have made.” His family tradition, interest in military history, and over two decades of service in the Navy reflect his deep understanding of the military and its needs. Anyone discounting McCain with the generalization that Senators lack the hands-on leadership needed to be an effective president should look at his actions and leadership in the United States Navy.

This is strongly connected with Senator McCain’s belief in service to the nation. He has devoted the vast majority of his adult life to public service, whether in the military or in government, and he appears to firmly believe that this is an integral part of a fulfilling and productive life.

TDR: From what you have seen, do you think there is any difference between my generation, the children and grandchildren of the Baby Boomers, and your own generation? Do you have faith in us to carry forward the torch of public service?

JM: I think your generation is more patriotic and more willing to serve a cause greater than yourselves than my generation was. When I’m around young Americans, I am always impressed by their patriotism, their love of country, and their willingness to volunteer to serve it. So I have great confidence in the future of America because I have great confidence in the present young generation.

TDR: If you could give one piece of advice to my generation, what would it be?

JM: Serve a cause greater than yourselves. There is nothing nobler. There is nothing that will enrich your lives more.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 8, 2007 1:37 PM

Ya know, I have always liked Johnny Mac. If the Huckster cuffs Mitt in IA, McCain will have the upper hand in NH and quite possibly beyond.

My concern is that the qualifications for being a great maverick do not necessarily apply to being top gun.

Posted by: ghostcat at December 8, 2007 2:05 PM