John McCain -- My Candidate - Part 2
McCain has yet to mention his sons’ military credentials on his ongoing biographical tour. McCain spoke at his own alma mater, the Naval Academy, on Wednesday, and then traveled to his old flight school in Pensacola, Fla.
McCain has appeared uncomfortable when asked about Jimmy’s deployment to Iraq.
When asked about it last month by Fox commentator Sean Hannity, McCain replied, “We really never talk about our sons. We have two sons in the military but we never talk about it, if that’s all right.”
McCain added, “I am so proud of both of them.”
“It goes to the character of McCain that he typically does not exploit his familial connections,” said Jim Pitts, co-founder of Navigators, a Washington lobby shop. Pitts is a McCain supporter and fundraiser.
McCain mentioned Jimmy in Iowa, when he casually referred to his son’s promotion to lance corporal, and once briefly on his campaign bus talking to a mother whose son died in Iraq. Cindy McCain, the candidate’s wife, cried silently as the mother told her son’s story, according to reports.
McCain’s spokeswoman, Brooke Buchanan, said that his sons’ military experience will be off-limits.
“Out of respect for the men and women who serve around Jimmy and for security reasons, the senator does not discuss his son,” said Buchanan, who asked The Hill not to run an article on McCain’s sons.
Media outlets have reported on McCain’s sons, though coverage of them has not been widespread.
“He feels very uncomfortable. He does not want Jimmy and his comrades to be put at any risk,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), McCain’s closest ally and friend in the Senate.
Security is a real concern for the son of a high-profile senator and potential future president.
McCain is well-aware of the pitfalls of being a high-profile son and target.
When McCain was captured by the North Vietnamese, he was offered early release because his father was an admiral and, at the time, Pacific commander. McCain, knowing that he would be used as a propaganda tool, refused and was beaten repeatedly.
Graham added, “The one thing I can say is that John and Cindy both are desperate that Jimmy’s service be respected, that he get no different treatment than anyone else.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has talked to McCain in private about Jimmy’s service. The two serve on the Armed Services panel, where McCain is the ranking member.
“I know that John McCain is very proud of his son’s service and he talked to me about it many times, but he is certainly not going to exploit it for political purposes,” Collins said.
Here we go with the second installment of my little mini-series about why it is a privilege to GET to vote for John McCain. McCain comes from a family of servicemen. One of the virtues taught by our armed services is honor. This post here is about McCain's honor as displayed by the treatment of his family. You do not see or hear John McCain using his family as a campaign tool although he easily could. What better way to get across that you will have utmost diligence in your decisions regarding the war than to throw in the fact that your own sons are serving in the service currently and, at least one, has served in Iraq? However, it is difficult to even find pictures of McCain's sons grown up and in their uniforms. He shows honor to them by giving them the chance at privacy and by not "using" them as propaganda. We've already seen that McCain refused to be used as propaganda himself as a POW and he is now carrying along that legacy.
John McCain's honor extends to his daughters as well. When John McCain is attacked and called a racist what could be better than drawing attention to your very dark skinned bangladeshi daughter that you have loved and cared for since she was 10 weeks old? However, John McCain continually responds with the fact that his campaign will not deal in race and will not be intimidated by Obama's attempts to bring race into the campaign. He does not "use" his daughter as propaganda but honors her by keeping her out of the argument. As a father of two wonderful girls I find his protection of his family very honorable. I certainly feel that McCain is a man of honor and find that a very enviable trait in a person generally and in our President specifically. And beyond honor this also is an example that his values are in line with mine in keeping his family first.