McCain qualifications in brief

Mark is judging McCain by irrelevant standards; the question is how POW experience qualifies McCain for the White House, not whether it protects against little slips and mistakes. Let’s quickly review, remembering the lessons of history: every bad president in US history lacked POW experience, and not a single one was tortured:

Way underperforms father and grandfather (why do American dynasties almost always turn to weeds in the third generation, like the Bushes?…but that’s another post)

Really excellent prisoner-of-war

Near-failing college student

Distinguished prisoner-of-war

Lousy pilot (OK, more than a third of his five crashes weren’t his fault)

Competent prisoner-of-war

Faithless husband and skirt-chaser

Model prisoner-of-war

Mediocre to poor senator

Superb prisoner-of-war

Circulates in a cloud of shady lobbyists

Wowza prisoner of war

Clueless on too many issues to list

Prisoner of war for a really long time

Admitted econoramus (but has mastered the difference between Shia and Sunni)

Best prisoner-of-war ever; world champion gold medal!

Look at the record above: every one of McCain’s faults is balanced by a (i) much greater accomplishment, that (ii) really matches what a president does.

McCain is hands-down the ex-POW president America has been waiting for.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.