Citizen McCain, by Elizabeth Drew
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by Massscorecard.org:
Remember in high school civics class how you had a lesson, "How a Bill Becomes Law"? This book is a grown-up version of that. The bill in question is the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. Because it IS for grown-ups, the book details the Senate politics, as well as the House politics for the corresponding Shays-Meehan bill. And it's a pretty good story, for people who like this sort of story.
We skip the details of the discharge petitions and compromise negotiations, and focus on the issues. We do include the author's observations of the many key players, from Dick Cheney to Russ Feingold.
Because the passage of campaign finance reform overlapped with 9/11, the author spends several chapters detailing McCain's immediate response and longer-term policy about 9/11 and terrorism. The author clearly prefers McCain's responses to those of President Bush. For that matter, the author seems to clearly prefer ALL of McCain's issues and personality much more than those of President Bush. If there's any bias in this book, that's it.
But the book starts and ends with campaign finance reform -- literally. The opening page is about McCain's introduction of what would become the final bill, in January 2001. And the closing paragraph describes the bill's 2002 culmination: "On March 27, surrounded by the Vice President and a few staff members, the President signed the campaign finance bill into law, thus avoiding a public ceremony at which its sponsors would be present. From Phoenix, John McCain issued a one-sentence statement: 'I'm pleased that President Bush has signed campaign finance reform into law.' "
This book was published in 2002, before it was clear that McCain would be running for president in 2008. (Well, to many pundits, it seemed pretty likely even at that time). The author, Elizabeth Drew, is a much-published and much-honored political writer, who also is a frequent commentator on TV and radio political shows. While this book is not about the 2008 election, it's good reading for anyone who wants some insight into McCain's legislative abilities as well as into his policy ideas.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@Massscorecard.org, March 2008
Energy & Oil|
John McCain: Energy 2001: 1st Republican to sign onto reducing GHGS.
John McCain: Supports opening border to Mexican trucks.
Dick Cheney: Opposed CFR because previous reforms failed.
John McCain: Campaign finance reform needed to restore faith in politics.
John McCain: Finance reform will prevail if we have the votes & the guts.
John McCain: Supported non-severability as key component of CFR.
Paul Wellstone: Supports full public financing of campaigns.
Russ Feingold: Loner in Dem caucus because he’s a campaign finance purist.
John McCain: Calls for GOP “tolerance” of closing gun show loopholes.
John McCain: Greater consumer access to generic drugs.
John McCain: First reaction to Sept 11: “This is war”.
John McCain: Argued for base closings even in the wake of 9/11.
John McCain: Channel fear into productive missions and activities.
Principles & Values|
Chuck Hagel: Finalist on Bush VP list, & interested in presidency.
John McCain: Residual bitterness at Bush from 2000 campaign.
John McCain: Temper is same as other senators--he’s just more famous.
John McCain: Straight Talk focuses on appeal via authenticity.
John McCain: Keep tight reign on emotions--not to high nor too depressed.
John McCain: Consistent on focusing tax cuts more toward middle class.
John McCain: 1996 Telecomm Bill: public interest was not at the table.
War & Peace|
John McCain: 2000: Warned against radical Islamic terrorism.
John McCain: 2001: No pinprick responses to 9/11; it’s a long haul.
John McCain: 2001: Nuclear weapons unnecessary against terrorists.
The above quotations are from Citizen McCain, by Elizabeth Drew.
Related books, debates, and candidates:
- Citizen McCain, by Elizabeth Drew
- Hard Call, by John McCain & Mark Salter
- Man of the People, by Paul Alexander
- Worth the Fighting for: A Memoir, by John McCain
- John McCain: An American Odyssey, by Robert Timberg
- An Essay in Military and Political History, by John Karaagac
- Why Courage Matters, by John McCain
- Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir, by John McCain
- Bill Bradley & McCain discuss Campaign Finance Reform
- McCain: The Myth of a Maverick, by Matt Welch
- 1999-2000 Republican Primary debates:
GOP debate in Los Angeles, CA
(McCain's last debate)
|Bush on Bob Jones; McCain on "Iron Triangle";
Keyes on "Why I'm Here"
|March 2, 2000|
GOP Debate on the Larry King Show (without Bauer & Forbes)
||McCain on Bob Jones University's inter-racial dating ban: "Idiotic and cruel"
||Feb. 15, 2000|
Republican debate in Manchester, NH (without Hatch)
||Keyes & McCain: "Family conference" on abortion?
||Jan. 26, 2000|
Republican debate in Johnston, Iowa
||On Ten Commandments in schools;|
and on Family Farms
|Jan. 16, 2000|
Republican debate at Calvin College, Grand Rapids MI
||Bush: "I'm a tax-cutting person"|
Others on AIDS in Africa
|Jan. 10, 2000|
Republican debate in West Columbia, South Carolina
||On exporting US farm products;|
and on a tax-free Internet
|Jan. 7, 2000|
Republican debate at the University of New Hampshire in Durham
||Bush:"Jesus is how I live my life"|
Others on gays in the military
|Jan. 6, 2000|
Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa
||On ethanol subsidies & HMO review
||Dec. 13, 1999|
Republican debate in Phoenix, Arizona
||Keyes: Campaign finance is "incumbency protection"; Others on China in WTO
||Dec. 7, 1999|
Republican debate in New Hampshire (with Bush)
||Bauer: "I can’t imagine a senior citizen fearing my plan"; and others on Social Security
||Dec. 3, 1999|
Republican debate at Dartmouth University (without Bush)
||McCain:"Just say no" to drugs;|
Bauer:"Say no" to bureaucrats
|Oct. 29, 1999|