Notably mild-mannered Republican Sen. Thad Cochran shocked many earlier this year with comments about John McCain's volatile temper, but has since mended fences with the GOP presidential nominee.
But Cochran told the Sun Herald this week that he witnessed a confrontation between McCain and a Sandinista rebel decades ago that shocked him when McCain "got mad at the guy and he just reached over there and snatched him."
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972 and then to the U.S. Senate in 1978, Cochran, a consummate gentleman, measures his words and his actions carefully, a necessity for political staying power. But he said something that surprised many in a Boston Globe article this past January about his longtime Senate colleague McCain.
"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Cochran told the Globe. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
I had heard the Cochran quote--I had never heard the specifics of the story, and the details about grabbing the Sandinista rebel are shocking. This is a guy in his own party doing this. This is amazing--the message discipline of the Republican Party has collapsed.
Why now? Why is this story emerging now?
Let's see--Wes Clark hammered him on Sunday, and it's the Tuesday before a long holiday weekend. Someone is managing this news cycle just...perfectly. The American people are entering the middle stretch of their summer and they're getting an earful of what Senator McCain is like.
None of this is by accident.