The good, the bad, the truth
Regardless of whether or not you are interested in politics, John McCain, or how the two work together, you can’t deny David Foster Wallace’s gift for writing powerful description. “The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and a Shrub”, originally featured in Rolling Stone, follows McCain’s 2000 presidential pursuit.
While many people only know McCain as a Republican who was injured in Vietnam and has run for president, Wallace gives readers an inside look at the man behind the campaigns–and, in the process, shows that there is more to McCain than what meets the eye.
Wallace’s article features many aspects of McCain’s life, from his near-death experiences in the Navy in the Vietnam war to his 2000 presidential campaign and all the people involved.
And aside from giving readers insight to McCain’s personal life, Wallace does not merely tell, but shows readers what life is like on a campaign bus. Between the “Twelve Monkeys” following McCain around in their identical button down shirts and Wendy, Cindy McCain’s eager, blue-eyed assistant scrambling to find Cindy a manicurist, readers quickly see that there is rarely a dull moment on this campaign bus.
One of the most interesting parts of the article refers to a tactic McCain (at least the time of the article) used to conclude his speeches. At the end of every speech, he would simply state that whether or not you agreed with what he said during his speech, he will always tell you the truth.
Although it’s such a small portion compared to how expansive the article is, this paragraph intrigues me. McCain, or someone working for him, clearly knew that many Americans are leery of politicians’ honesty. So to come right out and say that everything he has said in his speeches is true is a straightforward angle that might have made me think twice about my opinion of McCain–good or bad.
Although I personally felt the amount of detail to be redundant and bothersome at times, I can’t say that reading Wallace’s article didn’t teach me anything. After reading this article, I have a much better grasp on the intricacies of a political campaign. And I certainly know more now about how McCain reached this point in his life–politically and personally.