"The thought of his [McCain] being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
This remark was a shocker, considering how quietly he's taken so many things that others would have screamed about, including having Trent Lott, his junior Senator, leave muddy footprints all over Cochran's immaculate suits as Trent climbed all over Thad on his way to the top. So far as I heard, Cochran didn't even express his satisfaction at the loud thump Trent made when he came back down the senate ladder faster than he went up. Most men would have found the opportunity to crow irresistible, but nary a peep issued from the gentleman Senator from Pontotoc.
Then this morning I read the story in the Sun Herald in which Senator Cochran was quoted as saying,
"McCain was down at the end of the table and we were talking to the head of the guerilla group here at this end of the table and I don't know what attracted my attention, but I saw some kind of quick movement at the bottom of the table and I looked down there and John had reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and had snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair to tell him what he thought about him or whatever. I don't know what he was telling him but I thought, good grief, everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission. I don't know what had happened to provoke John but he obviously got mad at the guy and he just reached over there and snatched him."
'Whoa,' I thought, stunned once again, 'Thad must really, really be worried about McCain.' As the Sun Herald article says,
"Cochran, a consummate gentleman, measures his words and his actions carefully."That's not a wild statement, it's an accurate description of the gentlemanly Cochran.
After he'd mended his public fences with McCain, to have this come out. . . I've been pondering this all afternoon. Cochran won't likely be running again after this time, so he probably feels a certain detachment from his party ties. In fact, I would be surprised if Cochran, at his age, makes it thru this next term without having health issues or other concerns cause an early retirement. So - damn the torpedos, full speed ahead! I can emphasize with that - the older I get, the more inclined I am to just speak my mind.
Now, I'm not in agreement with Cochran on much of anything politically speaking, but just the same, I have always felt a lot of respect and admiration for him as a person. I don't know anyone who doesn't (except maybe John McCain and Trent Lott, and in neither case is it because Cochran doesn't deserve their respect). The man is a class act, he's courtly, mild-mannered, loyal to a fault, and very, very responsive to his electorate (unlike some other senators and representatives who will remain unnamed).
This afternoon, when I read the article from MSNBC where it quoted John McCain as saying,
"Twenty-one years ago? I think that information…it's just -- it's simply not true."I just sat there and stared at it. Did he just call THAD COCHRAN a liar? Yep. He did. Thad Cochran. I'll be damned.
Ask me which man I believe.
I'm reminded of that old TV ad about a brokerage firm, and I think I'll just appropriate it and say . . . When Thad Cochran speaks, people listen. I know I do, and I'll bet a lot of other folks do, too.