Eighty percent of success is just showing up. – Woody Allen
In the short time he’s had a central role on the national stage, it certainly seems like John McCain has developed a habit of not showing up—or trying not to.
First, he tried to cancel the first presidential debate with Barack Obama, citing the urgency of the national economic crisis. Then he cancelled on David Letterman at the last minute (much to his subsequent regret), only to be busted a few minutes later getting his makeup done in Katie Couric’s studio. Just yesterday, he cancelled two appearances in Pennsylvania due to weather (although Obama kept his promise to the 9,000 supporters who were willing to wait in the icy rain to hear him speak).
As polls indicated that his popularity was dropping last week, McCain announced that he doesn’t plan to show up at his own election watch party. What kind of a message does that send to the hundreds of people who (for reasons that are beyond me) have faithfully followed him, believed in him, and held out every hope for his success? Doesn’t he at least owe them the courtesy of being there?
Clearly, courtesy is not an attribute of John McCain, as evidenced by his habitual rudeness to his opponent during this campaign. One can only imagine what effect it could have on American diplomatic relations if, as president, he failed to show at a summit of world leaders (or referred to one of them, dismissively, as “that one!”).
America needs a president who behaves like an adult—who thinks with his mind, not his emotions. In the unrelenting spotlight of a national campaign, the “Maverick of the Senate” has shown himself to be impulsive, erratic, and ultimately untrustworthy.