John McCain confounds me .
The Arizona Republican is at once an admirable man, a genuine war hero, an annoying gadfly, a petulant loser and a real-life expert on foreign policy.
The senator, who’s 78, says he might run for a sixth term in 2016 but observers say he’s going to get a serious tea party challenge if he suits up for another senatorial campaign. He got a stout challenge in 2010, but thrashed former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth by 25 percentage points.
I think he ought to run at least once more if he’s up to it.
McCain’s biography is well-known. He was a Navy aviator, shot down over Hanoi during the Vietnam War and held captive for more than five years. He suffered terrible torture at the hands of his captors.
His career in public office has been marked by amazing ups and downs.
McCain has run twice for president, nominated by the GOP in 2008, when he lost to Barack Obama.
He’s been a friend of the “liberal” media, which has ticked off conservatives to no end. He’s no liberal, however. He’s voted consistently with the right wing of his party throughout his lengthy career.
Yet … when he carps about President Obama’s decisions he sounds like a sore loser.
Still, he maintains friendships with colleagues on the other side, particularly those with whom he shares combat experience. He has defended the character of his friends John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, both of whom now serve in the president’s Cabinet.
Indeed, my favorite McCain moment might be the time he scolded Senate newcomer Ted Cruz, R-Texas, when Cruz questioned Hagel’s patriotism when Hagel was being examined by the Senate to be defense secretary.
McCain is one of those senators I’d like to meet one day. It won’t happen. If I had the chance I’d likely ask him: Senator, do you confound and confuse some of us intentionally, or is that just a byproduct of a complex personality?