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John McCain’s Short Fuse

On Sunday, McClatchy chronicled some of John McCain’s most notorious temper tantrums:

There’s a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years: McCain pushing a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get an Arizona Republican aide fired from three different jobs, berating a young GOP activist on the night of his own 1986 Senate election and many more.

McCain observers say the incidents have been blown out of proportion.

Yeah, a senator pushes just one woman in a wheelchair and suddenly it’s a big deal.

Tom Harkin has the best line in the McClatchy story:

"Look, around here, people lose their tempers once in a while. But it doesn’t happen very often, and it usually happens in some contextual framework. A lot of times there’s just not much of a contextual framework for his blowing up."

More on the wheelchair incident:

Six people present have written statements describing what they saw. According to the accounts, McCain waved his hand to shoo away Jeannette Jenkins, whose cousin was last seen in South Vietnam in 1970, causing her to hit a wall.

As McCain continued walking, Jane Duke Gaylor, the mother of another missing serviceman, approached the senator. Gaylor, in a wheelchair equipped with portable oxygen, stretched her arms toward McCain.

"McCain stopped, glared at her, raised his left arm ready to strike her, composed himself and pushed the wheelchair away from him," according to Eleanor Apodaca, the sister of an Air Force captain missing since 1967.

McCain’s staff wouldn’t respond to requests for comment about specific incidents.

Digby has more on the potential implications of McCain’s mean streak.

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Lindsay Beyerstein

Lindsay Beyerstein