John McCain is the Eddie Haskell of politics.
So observes Bob Neuman, aide to the late great Arizona Congressman Mo Udall, in Amy Silverman's devastating article on John McCain. Silverman, a fifteen year veteran of Arizona newspapers and long time McCain observer, arrays stunning evidence in support of the claim.
Again and again, the article details what a self-aggrandizing two-faced liar McCain is. A particularly salient incident is his ambush of Rose Mofford. In 1988, Mofford became the first female governor of Arizona when then Governor Evan Mecham was impeached.
Mofford had served as secretary of state, and far from being a hyper-partisan Katharine Harris, was a modest, conservative Democrat who would not look out of place at any church bake sale across America.
As Silverman points out, Mofford lacked any ambition to run for re-election and was hardly a partisan warrior. That didn't stop McCain from savagely ambushing her when she came to Washington on a meet and greet just days into her administration.
To cut a long story short, McCain gleefully fed questions on esoteric topics to a Republican on the committee that Mofford appeared before. The idea was to embarrass her. He was being a "gotcha Senator."
McCain happened to have lunch that day with Pat Murphy, publisher of the Arizona Republic and, until he witnessed McCain's duplicity first hand, a friend and admirer of the Senator's.
"During lunch, McCain said, almost with mischievous glee, that he had slipped some highly technical questions to [James McClure] to ask Mofford -- questions she wouldn't be prepared to answer or expected to answer.
"Flabbergasted, I asked McCain why would he want to sabotage Mofford's testimony, when in fact the CAP was the nonpartisan pet of Republicans and Democrats -- such as far-left Udall and far-right Goldwater -- since its inception.
"His reply, as near as I remember, was, 'I'll embarrass a Democrat any time I get the chance.'
"The lunch continued in strained chit-chat. We then walked back to McCain's office, where a few reporters, all of them from Arizona papers, as I recall, were waiting. One said there was a rumor McCain had tried to sabotage Mofford's testimony, to which he said something like, 'I'd never do anything like that.'"
Pat Murphy recalls hearing that McCain later called Mofford to apologize. The former governor says no. She got a different kind of call from McCain.
"He said, 'I didn't have anything to do with that.' And I said, 'John, don't ever call me again.'"
At the time, Mofford was one of only three female governors in America, ironic in light of John McCain's new found girl power today.
Nor was this the only example of McCain's duplicity. Silverman details a more minor incident in the same vein that demonstrates McCain's ability to pander to people's faces and mock them behind their backs. McCain was serving as guest host of a radio talk show. One call was from "'Rosemary,' an obviously elderly woman who wanted to express her concern about nuclear proliferation."
"You make some excellent points, Rosemary, and I wish that everybody were as concerned about the issue as you are. And I appreciate the call," the senator told her. Then he announced a station break, took off his headphones, and leaned over to me (his BFF for the day) with a Grinch-like grin on his face.
"I believe that Rosemary has a bumper sticker that says 'Visualize World Peace,'" he said.
Knowing that McCain is an expert manipulator of public opinion who operates without moral guide wires, should we really be so naive as to be confused by his public proclamations of high mindedness and simultaneous gutter politics attacks on Barack Obama? Actions speak louder than words. It's time the media did its job.