America, do you really want John McCain running the country? His
babysitters campaign aides have to keep the cell away from the cranky, discombobulated senator. (NYT):
Senator John McCain is so quick to pick up his gold-colored cellphone to solicit advice — from senators, campaign consultants, even the stray former deputy press secretary — that aides, concerned about his tendency to adopt the last opinion he has heard, have tried to cut back on the time he has to make calls.
…Out of his hearing, Mr. McCain is called the White Tornado by some people who have worked for him over the years. Throughout his presidential campaign, he has been the overseer of a kingdom of dissenting camps, unclear lines of command and an unsettled atmosphere that keeps aides constantly on edge.
…Mr. McCain’s style contains contradictions, veering between a shoot-from-the-hip tendency and assertions of damn-the-consequences authenticity on the one hand and a grudging acceptance on the other of the need to give in to the discipline of programmed politics. While he avidly seeks advice and contrary opinions, he routinely resists basic political counseling, such as when aides pleaded with him not to campaign sitting on a horseshoe-shaped couch in the back of his bus because they feared it made him look like an old man rumbling around the country in an R.V. He refused.
His management of his campaign offers a glimpse of how he might run the White House. He would, it appears, be a president who is intensely interested in issues (particularly foreign affairs) and open to conflicting opinions, but also impetuous at times and tolerant of the kind of internal churning that can impede orderly decision-making and keep aides on edge.
The article goes on to compare his style to Bill Clinton’s.