John McCain is a cliché....No one in Washington has been the subject and the perpetrator of more mythmaking than McCain: the maverick, the former maverick, the curmudgeon, the bridge builder, the war hero bent on transcending the call of self-interest to serve a cause greater than himself, the sore loser, old bull, last lion, loose cannon, happy warrior, elder statesman, lion in winter…you lose track of which McCain cliché is operational at a given moment.
In his 77 years of live, five-term Arizona Senator John McCain has endured a lot: two failed presidential bids, cancer, three plane crashes and five-and-a-half years of torture as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. So, the New York Times Magazine profile this week? He'll probably survive that, too.
In "How John McCain Turned His Clichés Into Meaning," Mark Leibovich follows Senator McCain to the town halls of Arizona and around the chambers of Congress, where he jokingly talks about kicking 'the crap' out of Harry Reid, tells the same stories over and over again, and apparently parks himself in the hallways of the Capitol waiting for reporters to surround him.
Leibovich's thesis is that McCain, whether he likes it or not, has become a cliché:
On Thursday, Leibovitch joined NOW with Alex Wagner to discuss the Maverick, his legacy, and his future in the Republican Party.