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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Whilst browsing, I came across this teaser for an article:

The Great McCain Story You've Probably Forgotten
What an old anecdote about Mo Udall in the hospital reveals about McCain's character.

The article on is from a 1997 New York Times magazine profile of John McCain, who was known more at that time for McCain-Feingold than for any presidential aspirations.

A snippet:

For the past few years, Udall has lain ill with Parkinson's disease in a veterans hospital in Northeast Washington, which is where we were heading. Every few weeks, McCain drives over to pay his respects. These days the trip is a ceremony, like going to church, only less pleasant. Udall is seldom conscious, and even then he shows no sign of recognition. McCain brings with him a stack of newspaper clips on Udall's favorite subjects: local politics in Arizona, environmental legislation, Native American land disputes, subjects in which McCain initially had no particular interest himself. Now, when the Republican senator from Arizona takes the floor on behalf of Native Americans, or when he writes an op-ed piece arguing that the Republican Party embrace environmentalism, or when the polls show once again that he is Arizona's most popular politician, he remains aware of his debt to Arizona's most influential

One wall of Udall's hospital room was cluttered with photos of his family back in Arizona; another bore a single photograph of Udall during his season with the Denver Nuggets, dribbling a basketball. Aside from a congressional seal glued to a door jamb, there was no indication what the man in the bed had done for his living. Beneath a torn gray blanket on a narrow hospital cot, Udall lay twisted and disfigured. No matter how many times McCain tapped him on the shoulder and called his name, his eyes remained shut.

A nurse entered and seemed surprised to find anyone there, and it wasn't long before I found out why: Almost no one visits anymore. In his time, which was not very long ago, Mo Udall was one of the most-sought-after men in the Democratic Party. Yet as he dies in a veterans hospital a few miles from the Capitol, he is visited regularly only by a single old political friend, John McCain. "He's not going to wake up this time," McCain said.

I don't spend a lot of time talking politics on this blog, but now that roundball is over, there's little else going on this weekend. This story, though, reminds me of the visit to my father's hospital room by a politician who was on his way to what portended to be a contentious debate. He'd heard about the dismal diagnosis we'd gotten the previous day (glioblastoma), and stopped by to see Dad, taking over an hour to talk and pray with his friend of 40+ years. Only as he left, did we (Izzy and I were there) find out about the debate, in a venue 80+ miles away. He never seemed hurried or distracted. There was no net gain in voters available from this visit, and no trailing news crew to film the guy's humanity. But a grateful daughter saw tangible evidence of the esteem in which her father was held and that was enough.

Go read the article. Resolve to do something for the forgotten people of whom you are aware.

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