Monday, September 29, 2008

McCain Is a Leg Man

A fellow teacher and I were talking about Friday's presidential debates and she asked me if I had heard a tidbit about McCain's first wife so I could tell her if it was true or not. I'd never heard it before, so I looked up the forwarded e-mail in question on to get the full story.

The basic summary of the e-mail is that McCain's first wife was terribly injured in a car accident while he was in Vietnam. Her legs were mangled and after a year of surgeries and physical therapy, she was four inches shorter than before the wreck. McCain had adopted her two children from an earlier marriage and had a daughter with Carol before he was captured in Vietnam. Seven years after McCain had been freed the couple divorced. They'd separated earlier, but McCain married his current wife Cindy, the Budweiser distributorship heir, five weeks after the divorce was finalized. The reports on timing of his courtship of Cindy and the beginning of the separation from his current wife are inconclusive. The wording of the actual e-mail was more inflammatory, but the facts were technically correct, according to Snopes.

One reason I just stuck to the fact is that this has little bearing on his qualifications to be president, in my opinion. It's common for marital issues to go hand in hand with traumatic battle experiences and it's quite possible the couple were separated long enough before getting divorced that it wouldn't seem so inappropriate for him to remarry so soon. Plus, the guy has a notorious temper. It's not surprising that he's gotten divorced, but I don't know the circumstances that led to the divorce. She may have been the cause of it or it may have been a mutual falling out of love scenario. I'm not going to hold it against him regardless. Also, I don't think having personal flaws mean you can't be a good president as long as they don't affect your ability to make rational decisions in office.

However, I do have to say that officially divorcing your first, mangled wife only five months before you marry the fabulously wealthy and apparently plastic surgery loving second wife could easily be seen as a black mark on your character even if the circumstances were more nuanced than they seem and it should take weight out of any character attacks you or your supporters aim at your opponents. From what I can tell, Barack Obama has only been married once, and, while I don't think you're necessarily bad because you get a divorce, not getting divorced definitely saves you from being criticized for dumping the first one for an upgrade in wealth and lack of crippledness.

I only share this because I think the story makes a good (and truthful, even) comeback to the forwarded e-mails that, if you're like me, you keep getting from relatives who haven't figured out that forwarded e-mails are usually fraudulent. I have friends who would describe themselves as conservative or at least who will probably vote for McCain, but they apparently either have the sense not to pass these e-mails on unchecked or are just too lazy to click the forward button.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Are you insinuating that Obama did not spend time in a radical muslim training camp? 'Cause that goes directly against the email I received a few days ago.