Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Last "Great Man" Standing?

This morning, famed New York Times columnist David Brooks (the Times' resident conservative) has an excellent profile of the "Last Great Man in the 2008 Presidential race." I'm not sure if Hillary Clinton was an option for this distinction, but somehow I have a feeling Brooks throws her in with the "un-great" masses.

To Brooks, and at least one political consultant he quotes, John McCain is the last "great man" standing.

When Brooks talks about being "great" he does so in the political scientist or sports writer sense. He's not endorsing McCain, any of his ideas or what he stands for. It's more of an objective label that certain people get from just being themselves. Ted Wiliams' swing, Willie Mays going back on a fly-ball. In McCain, Brooks points to his unflinching openness and unparalleled energy.

Telling the truth is a skill. Those who don’t do it habitually lose the ability, but McCain is well-practiced and has the capacity to face unpleasant truths. While other conservatives failed to see how corporations were insinuating themselves into their movement, McCain went after Boeing contracts. While others failed to see the rising tide of corruption around them, McCain led the charge against Jack Abramoff. While others ignored the spending binge, McCain was among the fiscal hawks.
Even though McCain is no where near the media darling he was eight years ago, Brooks says that his principled stances on the Surge strategy (he was the first Republican to the party on that one), and immigration reform (again, an honest effort), show you the kind of man he is. As if he needed to prove himself after living as a POW for six years.

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