“As usual, substituting vehemence for coherence”

George Will goes off on poor John McCain.

George Will (!) goes off on poor John McCain (about 1:20 in the clip):

I suppose the McCain campaign’s hope is that when there’s a big crisis, people will go for age and experience. The question is who, in this crisis, looked more Presidential: calm and unflustered? It wasn’t John McCain, who (as usual) substituting vehemence for experience, said “Let’s fire somebody!” and he picked one of the most experienced and conservative people in the administration, Chris Cox, and for no apparent reason &#8212 or at least none he’d vouchsafe &#8212 said “Fire Chris Cox at the SEC.” It was unpresidential behavior by a presidential aspirant.

Then Sam Donaldson weighs in: “The question of age is back on the table.”

And somewhat later Will concludes: “John McCain showed his personality this week, and it made some of us fearful.”

This is what I’d hoped for: the people who consider themselves “grown-ups” deciding that John McCain is simply not fit for the office he seeks. If I’m not mistaken, the last time Will got off the reservation was when he’d had enough of Bush the First in 1992.

Obama’s laid-back coolth may cost him some “like to have a beer with” points, but in crisis it’s pretty damned reassuring, even to people who don’t like his policy positions.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com