McCain on McCain

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McCAIN ON McCAIN….For a campaign that’s tried to mock Barack Obama for being a little too full of himself, this week’s GOP convention was remarkable for its virtual canonization of John McCain. That goes double for McCain himself, who seemingly spent an eternity Thursday night talking not about his vision for the country or his vision for the future, but about his vision of himself: his journey, his character, his life story, his selfless devotion to duty. John McCain’s favorite subject, it turns out, is John McCain.

At least, that’s how it seemed. But Hilzoy apparently has some friends with a little too much time on their hands, and one of them decided to quantify McCain’s self-love for posterity. The results:

There were a total of 271 sentences in the speech […] Of those 271 sentences, a remarkable 147 (54%) were devoted to telling us about John McCain himself: his past accomplishments (“I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon”), his qualifications for the job (“I know how the world works”), his family and childhood (“When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house…”), his time as a POW (“On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin…”), his patriotism (“My country saved me”), and so on. Another 8 sentences focused on Sarah Palin. This leaves only 116 sentences (43% of the speech) to discuss the topics that one might otherwise expect to constitute the majority of the speech: the state of the nation, his policy positions, future promises, differences between his positions and Obama’s, and so on.

And Obama? A much more normal 15% about himself, with the rest about the country, his plans, comparisons with McCain, etc. Details at the link.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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