Saturday, September 06, 2008

Roberta McCain Is An Amazing Person - Source of John McCain's Character

From Vogue:

At 88, when she was told she was too old to rent a car in Europe, she simply bought one and drove it from Munich to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan with her twin sister and most constant traveling companion, Rowena.

A woman of no light convictions, she was rumored, during her son's 2000 presidential bid, to have flown the Taiwanese flag out the window of her apartment in Washington near the Chinese Embassy on the anniversary of the Communist Party's victory in the Chinese Civil War. While her son said, "I would truly not be surprised," his mother wasn't giving anything away. "I'm not saying whether I did or I didn't," she told a reporter. "The less said, the sooner mended. Have you heard that one?"

Despite such uncharacteristic hedging, The Washington Post, in a play on the bus that has become her son's campaign signature, dubbed her "The Even Straighter Talk Express," and it is an apt description.

she was given a ticket for going 112 miles an hour. "The policeman said, 'Didn't you see me?' and I said, 'Yeah, I saw you,' " she tells me, laughing. "I went straight to the next town and got the money to send to the police. I thought the quicker it was over, the better, so nobody would find out."

Both sisters rarely touch alcohol, though Rowena professes to love the occasional glass of champagne and reports seeing Roberta drink beer, but only in Europe.

"I don't do anything I'm supposed to do," Roberta tells me on the phone when I ask her how she manages to maintain her almost astonishing vitality. "I don't exercise, and today I've already eaten half a box of caramel popcorn." The regimen, or lack thereof, seems to be working. Her posture is straight as an arrow, her gait is brisk, and, though a doctor told her once she had arthritis in her hands, she says, "I guess I do, but I've never had an ounce of pain from it.

"Honey, I've had a dream life, and it was all luck," she says. I venture that the impetuosity and appetite her mother so often bemoaned might have had at least a bit to do with it. "I'm glad my mother's not around, because I still don't plan ahead or think things out." She laughs. "Mother told me once, 'If the gardener asked you to go to Chinatown with him, you'd go.' And I thought, Well, of course I would."

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