Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Temperament and Making Decisions

The latest New York Times/CBS poll has found that John McCain’s recent angry tone and personal attacks on Barack Obama have backfired and tarnished McCain. The particulars quoted in the New York Times article (“Poll Says McCain Hurts His Bid by Using Attacks”) are predictable: Voters said their opinions of Obama had grown more favorable and that their opinion of McCain had worsened; the biggest reason cited for thinking less of McCain were his attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate; 52 percent of those polled said they held a favorable view of the Democratic Party while 37 percent said they held a favorable view of the Republican Party. However, one of the most interesting queries and responses was that 7 in 10 voters said Obama has the right kind of temperament and personality to be president and about half said the same of McCain. Temperament is a very important factor in a politician’s ability to make reasoned decisions. John McCain has made either the wrong decision or an impetuous decision at every stage of his campaign. The fact that 72-year-old McCain wants to appear vital and ballsy may have something to do with his wrongheaded choices. But the biggest factor is that John McCain doesn’t reason things out. He has a short fuse. When faced with a moment when he has to make a decision, he goes with his gut-feeling and immediately responds. That is not a good thing. And it is most particularly not a good thing when one assumes John McCain has been put on medications that are supposed to even-out his loose-cannon problem. Why do I say that? Because this is 2008 and doctors prescribe mood-controllers all the time. Because this is 2008 and one of the big criticisms of Senator John McCain is that everyone knows he flies off the handle. Because this is 2008 and McCain is 72 years old and on god-only-knows how many medications and regulating his moods is just one of many things his doctors have to regulate. Barack Obama’s temperament is a very important factor. He is even-tempered and he is young. Even-tempered and young beats old and explosive any day of the week.

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