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Ticket video chat: Matt Welch on 'McCain: The Myth of a Maverick' -- V

This is Chapter V of VIII in our conversation with Matt Welch, the debonair author of a new book on Sen. John McCain that explores the man's persona through his own writings and friends.

This is a particularly interesting segment because Welch describes the unexpected. But when you think about it, a logical aspect of McCain's character is that he is always much more comfortable as an underdog, a counterpuncher who overcomes adversity and fights back from behind, even when seemingly doomed. McCain's favorite literary character? Robert Jordan from "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

There must be some explanation for how someone could endure six months, let alone nearly six years, as a tortured POW. In fact, McCain would recite that Ernest Hemingway novel to himself for strength.

Sound familiar? About this time last summer, we were all pretty much writing McCain's campaign off as hopelessly broke, disorganized and lacking support.

And when McCain promised he would come back because he would "out-campaign" all the others, Welch believed him. Because he had come to know him too well not to.

Now, the Arizona senator has, in effect, won the Republican Party's nomination for president as the polls and political outlook today look rather bleak for the GOP this fall. Happily confident fans of Barack Obama and discouraged Republicans may want to listen closely to this segment, at least once, maybe twice.

Previous chapters of our conversation are available here for I, here for II, here for III and here for IV. Examples of Welch's written work as a former Times reporter are here.

The remaining three segments will be published in the Ticket over the next couple of days. This fine video work, by the way, is by's Jeff Amlotte.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Republican McCain-Bush Have Many Many Many Crisis To Answer For
McCain-Bush III Democracy Crisis
McCain-Bush III American People Crisis
McCain-Bush III U.S. Constitution Crisis
McCain-Bush III Barrel of Oil Crisis (Democrat $24 changed to Republican $145)
McCain-Bush III Republican Wall Street Oil Speculation Crisis
McCain-Bush III Wall Street Super-capitalism cannibalistic Crisis
McCain-Bush III Wall Street selling America to Saudi Arabia Crisis
McCain-Bush III Wall Street selling America to India Crisis
McCain-Bush III Wall Street selling America to China Crisis
McCain-Bush III Iraq War Crisis
McCain-Bush III Relations with Iran Crisis
McCain-Bush III Relations with North Korea Crisis
McCain-Bush III Relations with China Crisis
McCain-Bush III Healthcare Crisis
McCain-Bush III U.S. Economics Crisis
McCain-Bush III U.S. Employment Crisis
McCain-Bush III Out Sourcing American Jobs Crisis
McCain-Bush III Auto Industry Crisis
McCain-Bush III Energy Crisis
McCain-Bush III Overseas Tax Haven Rich Tax Avoidance Crisis
McCain-Bush III Wage Gap Crisis
McCain-Bush III Lack of Employees’ Rights Crisis
McCain-Bush III Dubious War on Drugs Crisis
McCain-Bush III Education Crisis
McCain-Bush III School Shooting Crisis
McCain-Bush III Republican Drug Money Laundering Crisis
McCain-Bush III Republican Drug Cartel Kickbacks Crisis
McCain-Bush III Prime Time Soft Pornography Crisis
McCain-Bush III Republican Wall Street Mad Cow Crisis
McCain-Bush III Poison Water Crisis
McCain-Bush III Poison Air Crisis
McCain-Bush III Poison Agriculture Crisis (Asia won’t accept our food)
McCain-Bush III Rich Republican Treasury Robbery Crisis
McCain-Bush III American People Lack Confidence in Government Crisis
McCain-Bush III World Chaos Crisis
McCain-Bush III Food Price Crisis
McCain-Bush III Global Warming Crisis
McCain-Bush III Disasters in America Crisis
McCain-Bush III Katrina Crisis
McCain-Bush III Racist Talk Radio Crisis
McCain-Bush III Racist O’Reilly and Fox News Crisis
McCain-Bush III Housing Crisis
McCain-Bush III U.S. Dollar Crisis
McCain-Bush III Deceptive Administration Crisis
McCain-Bush III Negative World Perception Crisis
McCain-Bush III Wall Street selling American Big Banks to foreign billionaires Crisis giving foreign sweatshop billionaires direct votes in Our Economy, Way of Life and Government

It's a good thing McCain likes being the underdog. With almost all of Big Media backing Obama, that's certainly what he is.
-Wm Tate,

Wouldn't it be great if people actually left their ideas in the comments section rather than long lists no one's going to read?

Or a couple graphs versus a whole novel?

McCain has spent years pandering to the media and being a "maverick" by going after his own party members. It was not long ago he pondered becoming a Democrat. Obama may just be a puppet (which he is, no real substance) but McCain would probably end up being a Clintonesque poll driven nightmare.

All you "Get US out of Iraq" folks, guess what? Your beloved BO and his Dem pals will not do that. If you were paying attention a few weeks ago, you would've noticed that the Iraq gov't got upset that the US Army wanted permission to establish a dozen or so long term bases in Iraq. Carl Levin D-Mich is the Armed Services committee chairman, an extremely rabid finger pointing Democrat, and does not seem to be putting up much of a fuss about this. Why? Because the Democrats are no more likely to bring the troops home anytime soon than anyone else. To bottom line this, YOU ARE BEING LIED TO! Now of course when any politician's lips move, a lie commences forth. My regret of this election is that the Iraq war has been skillfully pushed aside by both parties as far as commitments to withdrawing our troops go. It's become a side issue. And the American people (and the Press) have just rolled over and let them do it. Can anyone tell me why? Everyday another soldier dies and we are stuck on stupid about things like "Obama's baby's mama". Really? What a waste. What a shame.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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