Of particularly note, “The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys And The Shrub,” written for Rolling Stone magazine about John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign.
In fairness to McCain, he’s not an orator and doesn’t pretend to be. His metier is conversation, back-and-forth. This is because he’s bright in a fast, flexible way that most candidates aren’t. He also genuinely seems to find people and questions and arguments energizing — the latter maybe because of all his years debating in Congress — which is why he favors Town Hall Q&As and constant chats with press in his rolling salon. So, while the media marvel at his accessibility because they’ve been trained to equate it with vulnerability, they often don’t seem to realize they’re playing totally to McCain’s strength when they converse with him instead of listening to his speeches. It’s McCain’s speeches and 22.5’s that are canned and stilted, and also sometimes scary and Right-wingish, and when you listen closely to them it’s as if some warm pleasant fog suddenly lifts and it strikes you that you’re not at all sure it’s John McCain you want choosing the head of the EPA or the at least three new Justices who’ll be coming onto the Supreme Court in the next term, and you start wondering all over again what makes him so attractive.
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.
Update: A more comprehensive list than Time’s is here>.