John McCain was once again questioned about his temper on the campaign trail on Wednesday. McCain responded by joking about it (as he also did with Jon Stewart last night):
"How dare you ask that question!" McCain said, chuckling. His questioner persisted, reading a comment by a fellow Republican, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, that the idea of McCain as the GOP presidential nominee sent a chill down his spine.
"I’m all too familiar with the quote," said McCain, who has since smoothed things over with his colleague.
In my book The Real McCain, I reported on a number of incidents where McCain’s temper got the better of him, and he lashed out at those around him (inlcuding his wife, senate colleagues and many others).
In one case, a Senate aide to Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) and well-respected defense analyst, Winslow Wheeler, found himself on the receiving end of McCain’s anger. He was fired from his job for publicly questioning McCain’s support for cutting pork-barrel spending, a signature McCain issue. This what Wheeler took away from having McCain as an enemy:
It’s frightenting to think of a man with his temperament with all the things a president has at his fingertips–the IRS, CIA, FBI…"
Further questions will most certainly be asked regarding this issue, especially once the general election begins in earnest.