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July 03, 2008

Angry John McCain seized official at diplomatic talks

John McCain grabbed an official at a diplomatic meeting in Nicaragua in 1987, according to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) who witnessed McCain's outburst:

GULFPORT, Miss. — John McCain engaged in a physical confrontation in 1987 with a left-wing Sandinista leader during a diplomatic meeting in Nicaragua, according to one of his colleagues, Sen. Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican.

Notably mild-mannered, Cochran startled many people earlier this year with comments about McCain's volatile temper, but has since mended fences with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Still, Cochran told the Sun Herald of Biloxi, Miss., on Monday that he'd witnessed a confrontation between McCain and a Sandinista leader that shocked him, in which McCain "got mad at the guy and he just reached over there and snatched him."


"McCain was down at the end of the table and we were talking to the head of the guerrilla group here at this end of the table, and I don't know what attracted my attention," Cochran said. "But I saw some kind of quick movement at the bottom of the table and I looked down there and John had reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and had snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair to tell him what he thought about him or whatever. I don't know what he was telling him but I thought, good grief everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission. I don't know what had happened to provoke John, but he obviously got mad at the guy and he just reached over there and snatched him."

No punches were thrown, and the two sat back down, he said. The man, who appeared to be ruffled after the confrontation, was an associate of Ortega's, but Cochran said he was unsure of his identity. [McClatchy]

So this is McCain's vaunted foreign policy experience?  Imagine what people would say if Barack Obama had ever attacked a government official while on public business in that official's country. I can't believe anyone takes McCain seriously as presidential material.

McCain has mellowed a bit, but he still has trouble controlling his temper on the job. ABC News reports that McCain got "visibly angry" with a reporter traveling with him to South America asked him to elaborate on how his service in Vietnam made him more qualified to be president. McCain later apologized for his reaction.


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I was highly offended when President Bush started giving German Chancelor Angela Merkel a shoulder rub (a poor cultural choice and serious space violation to any woman anywhere in business, but especially to a married head of government from northern Germany). But I must admit I am glad that Bush has not grabbed anyone by the lapel in any diplomatic meetings; it makes me reluctantly view his shoulder rub with more forgiveness.

McCain is a delicate little flower of a war hero.

McCain's temper is perhaps slightly assuaged now that Daniel Ortega runs a country where abortion laws are so restrictive that doctors routinely refuse to treat women with ectopic pregnancies lest they be sent to prison.

These stories are only going feed into his follower's "strong Daddy" fantasies. As for the rest of us, McCain's temper is less important than the fact that he's a demonstrable idiot.

Shades of LBJ, who grabbed Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson by the lapels and shook him violently during a meeting at Camp David in 1965.

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