By David Sessions, Today’s Papers, Slate Magazine
The WP tops its A1 with a study of Sen. John McCain’s “volcanic temper,” which the presumptive Republican presidential nominee explains alternately as a lifelong character flaw and as the fuel of his fire for political reform. The unflattering piece charts the infamous temper from its early days on the playgrounds of the many schools McCain attended as a child to the Senate chambers, where it often showers McCain’s opponents with denigrating expletives. Like this Post piece, a string of “McCain stories” —in which the grievances and grudges of past colleagues are aired—forms the bulk of the story. Those who have born the brunt of McCain’s fury in the past are split on how the temper might affect his presidential performance—some are now his supporters while others see his short fuse as a strong disqualifier for the Oval Office.
In a front-page, left-column story, the NYT airs the inner dialogue of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign about the erosion of support for Mrs. Clinton among past friends and colleagues. The perceptive piece notes that some Democrats’ decisions to defect have been politically expedient, but the erosion is also “a reckoning of whether the Clintons, on balance, have been good or bad for the party.” But what some see as disloyalty is, for others, a “well-deserved comeuppance,” a reaction to the Clintons’ widely perceived one-way loyalty street. Former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle chalks it all up to “Clinton fatigue,” while others like Minnesota superdelegate Nancy Larson still like the Clintons too much to explain their reasons for endorsing Sen. Barack Obama.