I want to be like John McCain

Could I be talking about the same John McCain who once shouted at me over the telephone, “YOU are the liar,” because he didn’t like something I’d written about him?

The same John McCain who let me know that he was going to do everything in his power to get me fired, promising “to pursue this as far as I can since I have the weight of evidence and a clear case on my side that you have assassinated my character?”

MORE: Sen. John McCain is running for re election in 2016

The same John McCain who did not speak to me or correspond with me in any way for 12 years after that?

The same John McCain who, after a brief period of detente, sentenced me to another 12 years of angry silence, and then another?

Yeah, that guy.

I want to be like him. So should you.

Not his politics. Not his ability to hold a grudge. Not his silly showmanship or perpetual need for attention. canada goose uk Like when he snarled at a small group of Code Pink protesters recently at a congressional hearing (as if he were Clint Eastwood and they were kids walking across his lawn): “Get out of here, you low life scum.”

Not that John McCain.

I don’t get along well not at all with that guy.

But that’s okay. I can disagree with a person and still admire him, and even want to emulate him.

And I want to be like John McCain.

I want to be like the McCain who comes up for reelection in 2016, the same year he turns 80, and is running.

I admire individuals who don’t allow age to dictate how long they stay in the game; people who play for as long as they can play, taking on all comers until they get beat; people who embody what Satchel Paige meant when he said, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind it don’t matter.”

I want to be like that John McCain.

Of his age McCain told one interviewer, “I’m happy to tell you my mother is 103 years old and she’s doing well. Watch me. Take a look at my 18 hour days. Take a look at the hearings we have. Take a look at my legislative accomplishments. Listen, I’m just getting started.”

I want to be like the guy who lost the presidency to Barack Obama, the John McCain, who in his early 70s, on the last day of the campaign, visited seven states in 22 hours, putting in many more miles and working eight hours longer than his then 47 year old opponent.

I want to be like the John McCain who, in his first campaign for the senate in 1986, the year he turned 50, defeated a 37 year old opponent who said at the time, “McCain’s support is very broad but very thin and easily shattered.”