McCainometrics: Yes He Can…If You’re Young & Pretty?

Honestly, I couldn’t care less if John McCain is a womanizer. If so, that puts him on par with most of his colleagues and many of his fellow citizens. Frankly, if he is, it’s not a predictor of competence and it shouldn’t automatically disqualify a candidate from consideration. Nonetheless, it may make sense to seek an understanding of the behaviors that might accompany an individual’s propensity to engage in such escapades.

I’ve known men that are virtually unable to function without the prospect of a budding relationship…whether married or not. Men of this ilk are prisoners of their prurient pursuits. They are apt to make compromising decisions that jeopardize their existing relationships as well as their own well-being. Money is often no object and they will frequently take unwise and unwarranted risks. Hence, when these individuals are in the throes of their latest interlude, their judgment is not only suspect; it may well be incorrigible.

As I read the accounts of Senator McCain’s involvement with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, I immediately recalled watching an episode of Headliners and Legends chronicling his life. The pursuit of women was a persistent theme of the biography…a pattern not only confirmed by friends of McCain; but also by McCain himself.

In one particular segment of the program, McCain basically states that he and his fellow servicemen were preoccupied with seeking female companionship. While understandable given the circumstances, the manner in which the Senator recounted the story immediately reminded me of my discomfort with his habit of winking at people on the campaign trail. Instinctually, both instances strike me as part and parcel of a persona I might be inclined to suspect is focused on the pursuit of the opposite sex…a behavior set I would equate with a tendency towards objectification.

As the biography progresses, the narrator notes that McCain’s first wife Carol waited patiently for his release from his captors only to see their marriage fall apart as a result of the Senator’s many extramarital dalliances. When asked about that period of time, McCain’s former wife, a victim of a disabling car accident, apparently told others that once her husband turned forty, he decided he wanted to be twenty five again. Hence, he divorced his first wife and soon married his much younger (and wealthy) current wife Cindy.

In the biography, McCain speaks about his affairs and while he accepts blame and acknowledges his actions were inappropriate, he also posits that he was motivated by “selfishness and immaturity”. In my way of thinking, I could entertain giving him the benefit of the doubt had he suggested that his actions may have been a reaction to his years of confinement and the denial it certainly included. To his credit, he refuses to offer that rationale, though it’s possible he did so because it wouldn’t square with his history of womanizing prior to his stint in Vietnam.

Returning to the New York Times report, I was particularly struck by the following excerpt:

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

What troubles me about this revelation is the sense, by his advisors, that the Senator was capable of sabotaging his own campaign. Presumably, the advisors had a good sense of their candidates idiosyncrasies…a fact that seems to have led them to conclude the Senator lacked the proper judgment with regard to romantic involvements. Whether this caution resulted from prior experiences wasn’t revealed…but it isn’t much of a stretch to draw that conclusion given the Senator’s self-confessed track record.

So where does that leave us? Well, as is so often the case with such stories, we’re forced to rely upon the speculations of others. Clearly, the Senator’s history has contained instances of a similar nature and he freely admits as much. Whether he does so to help him arrive at the current straight talking maverick war hero image may never be known…though he wouldn’t be the first public figure to craft a message that masks the actual man. Lastly, he can ill-afford to acknowledge an infidelity or an influence peddling impropriety at this critical juncture in his political life. Such is the nature of the political beast.

Rather than focus on this current assertion, I decided to have a little fun developing my own theory of McCain-ometrics. First, some background facts are needed. In 1965, at the age of 29, McCain married his first wife. In 1979, 14 years later, at the age of 43, McCain began courting his future second wife. In 1980 he left his first wife, who was 2 years his junior, for his new 27 year old wife…17 years younger. Nearly 20 years later, in 1999, at the age of 62, McCain is reported to have become “involved” with a 31 year old woman who was also roughly 31 years younger than he.

So here’s the formula and a riddle. John McCain spends 14 years with his first wife (Carol)…and then finds a new love interest (Cindy in 1979 - 1980)…and then, down the road, in approximately half again more years…minus one…(14 + 7 - 1 = +20 = 1999), he finds Vicki. Simultaneously, he doubles the net age difference between himself and each subsequent (love) interest…going from a baseline of a woman 2 years younger (Carol) to one 17 years younger (Cindy) for a net of 15 additional years younger…which means we must double the 15 year age gap to predict that the subsequent (love) interest would be approximately 30 years younger (Vicki 31, John 62 in 1999). Let’s also assume that John McCain doubles the years he stays married to each wife…plus one…thus 14 years with Carol x 2 + 1 = 29 years with Cindy. As such, he should be due for both a new (love) interest and wife in 2009 (14 + 7 - 1 = +20 plus half again more (minus one) = 20 + 10 - 1 = +29 years…or 2009).

OK, so if one applies this formula, how old would you approximate his new (love) interest and bride to be when he marries her and how many years would you anticipate he’d remain married (assuming he lives that long, of course) to this third wife?

You see, when it comes to the “evil” New York Times, I just hate to think that Republicans would conclude that its tawdry invective can’t be substantiated through a mathematical metric. I know I feel better having put pencil to paper.

P.S. Feel free to offer your answers…or your own equations in the comments. I’ll provide the answer derived from my metric in the comments at the end of the day.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

9 Responses to “McCainometrics: Yes He Can…If You’re Young & Pretty?”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Al I can say is maybe his infidelities may help him,heck it helped Bill Clinton get elected a 2nd time.

  2. Daniel DiRito Says:

    As promised, here are the answers:

    In 2009, John McCain will be 72 years old.

    His future (love) interest and wife would be a mere 13 years old since the age differential has to double.

    This third marriage would last 59 years.

    The bottom line:

    If you think Mac has problems with the GOP’s conservative base now, just wait until 2009. Thirteen (13) looks like one “unlucky” number to me. I think Mac’s gonna need a new metric…but then again…I’ve thought that for some time.


  3. manapp99 Says:

    This was just a NYT’s hit piece that has backfired. Conservatives who were cool to McCain have now rallied to his defense:

    Funny, the NYT just a month ago endorsed McCain.

    Of course, the history of the NYT making stories up speaks for itself. Jayson Blair ring any bells?

  4. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Why the Seatle P-I didn’t run the McCain story:

    To me, the story had serious flaws. It did not convincingly make the case that McCain either had an affair with a lobbyist, or was improperly influenced by her.

    Admitting that Keller was in a better position to vet the sourcing and facts than I am as, basically, a reader, let’s assume that every source is solid and every fact attributed in the story to an anonymous source is true. You’re still dealing with a possible appearance of impropriety, eight years ago, that is certainly unproven and probably unprovable.
    Where is the solid evidence of this lobbyist improperly influencing (or bedding) McCain? I didn’t see it in the half-dozen times I read the story. In paragraphs fifty-eight through sixty-one of the sixty-five-paragraph story, the Times points out two matters in which McCain took actions favorable to the lobbyist’s clients — that were also clearly consistent with his previously stated positions.

    That’s pretty thin beer.

    This story seems to me not to pass the smell test. It makes the innuendo of impropriety, even corruption, without backing it up. I was taught that before you run something in the newspaper that could ruin somebody’s reputation, you’d better have your facts very straight indeed. [emphasis added]

    I don’t like thin beer.

  5. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    The link to the story excerpted above is here.

  6. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Imagine this sung in a high pitched voice and a sing-songy cadence: “Some-bo-dy’s Ly-ing!”

    At his press conference Thursday, McCain went all-in. He didn’t just say he didn’t remember a meeting about Iseman. He said there was no meeting. If it turns out that there is evidence of an affair and a meeting, then his presidential hopes will be over. If no evidence surfaces, his campaign will go on and it will be clear that there were members of his old inner circle consumed by viciousness and mendaciousness.

  7. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    The New York Times isn’t getting much love for its sleazy, undersourced, nothing of a gossip column passing itself off as a news story. The San Francisco Chronicle says, “Follow the innuendo“.

    I think they’re right. If you’ve got the goods on McCain, give it to us. If this was the best they could do, it was a cheap and sleazy hatchet-job. If it were just the VRWC saying so, there might be wiggle-room for the times but I haven’t gotten the memo that the SF Chronicle’s editorial board has joined the conspiracy.

    The New York Times are joining 60 Minutes II in the hall of infamy…journalistically speaking. Hey, maybe they’ve got a place for Dan Rather and Mary Mapes!

  8. manapp99 Says:

    Even the NYTs is critical of the NYTs hit piece:

    “The New York Times’ ombudsman strongly criticized the newspaper’s insinuation this week that White House hopeful John McCain had a tryst with a female lobbyist 31 years his junior, nearly 10 years ago.
    “The newspaper found itself in the uncomfortable position of being the story as much as publishing the story, in large part because, although it raised one of the most toxic subjects in politics — sex — it offered readers no proof that McCain and (Vicki) Iseman had a romance,” public editor Clark Hoyte wrote in the Times’ online edition.

    In an article signed by four reporters that raised more backlash against the daily than the candidate, the Times Thursday cited unnamed McCain advisers who, “convinced the relationship had become romantic,” had asked Iseman to keep away from the senator.

    “The article was notable for what it did not say,” wrote Hoyte in his column to be published Sunday. “It did not say what convinced the advisers that there was a romance.

    “It did not make clear what McCain was admitting when he acknowledged behaving inappropriately — an affair or just an association with a lobbyist that could look bad,” he said of alleged comments McCain made to his advisers.

    Hoyt also criticized Times executive editor Bill Keller’s explanation that the article’s main thrust was not the alleged affair but the political favors the Republican bestowed on a lobbyist, which Hoyt said “ignored the scarlet elephant in the room.”

    “A newspaper cannot begin a story about the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee with the suggestion of an extramarital affair with an attractive lobbyist 31 years his junior and expect readers to focus on anything other than what most of them did. … The stakes are just too big.”

    It has been a long time since you could count on the the “Old Shady Lady” to give no spin news on the front page. With the printed media in a tailspin I guess it is natural for them to trend towards the tabloid style.

    If the NYTs really believed that the world is in peril from global warming they would go to internet only access and help save the Earth.

  9. Lisa Says:

    I think they should change their name to

    “The NY Tabloid”

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