Not the ONLY Behind the Scenes McCain Story You’ll Ever Need

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But the only one you’ll have time to read for now.

From Robert Draper’s 8000-word story on the (Re)(Re)(Re) Making of John McCain:

“We had a narrative problem,” Matt McDonald recalls. “Obama had a story line: ‘Bush is the problem. I’m not going to be Bush, and McCain will be.’ Our story line, I argued, had to be that it’s not about Bush — it’s Congress, it’s Washington. And Obama would be more about partisanship, while John McCain would buck the party line and bring people together.”

The others could see McDonald’s line of reasoning — and above all, the need to separate McCain from Bush. But the message seemed antiseptic, impersonal. That was when the keeper of McCain’s biography, Mark Salter, took the floor. There’s a reason McCain bucks his party, McDonald remembers Salter arguing. It’s because he puts his country ahead of party. Then the speechwriter, who is not known for his dispassion, began to yell: “We’re talking about someone who was willing to die before losing his honor! He would die!”