By Eleanor Nagle
In today’s political world, morality and character are not really running platforms. Except of course for John McCain.
Despite his conservative views and voting record, McCain has remained well-liked by the majority of the public, with a reputation of strong character and values leading to good leadership and the ability to put partisanship aside to do what is best for the country. However, with the recent article on his alleged inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist and other incidents that could damage his credibility, his character is being called into question.
As a former Prisoner of War and torture victim, McCain proved his patriotism and bravery years ago while in a war camp in Hanoi, where he underwent various forms of torture. Even when his captors offered to release him he said he would not leave unless all the other men were going with him. His captivity has often been used to his advantage as examples of his courage and character.
Over the years, McCain has spoken out against bad campaign finance and taking inappropriate funds from lobbyists, which is what makes the new charge of an inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist more scandalous. The charge, if true, would show a great deal of hypocrisy.
McCain has a well-known penchant for speaking when he probably shouldn’t and responding to things he probably shouldn’t. He has a deep sense of self-confidence and does not always know when stop himself from saying potentially embarrassing and damaging things. When an unfounded claim comes up against him, he responds in not so appropriate ways.
McCain’s moral compass and sense of right and wrong are important to his public image. Though he is most certainly the 2008 Republican candidate, he needs to be careful not to depend too much on it should a scandal come along. His possible presidency could depend on it.