John McCain, responding to a reporter asking him about the famous comment by fellow Republican Thad Cochran, that the idea of someone with such a temper being president send a chill down his spine, said he does get angry -- about corruption and runaway spending in Washington.
"You know something, the American people are angry, too, and they're not going to take it anymore," he said.
If he really had a temper problem, McCain said, he would not have been able to work with fellow senators such as Ted Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat; Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat; and his friend Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee who now is an Independent.
Nice try, but McCain is talking about two different kinds of anger. People who are angry about things like corruption and spending are as much intellectually angry as they are emotionally angry. The anger comes and goes with the specifics of the issues of the day. Then there's the kind of quick-trigger anger associated with people known to have a hot temper, people like Bobby Knight and, it is said, John McCain. Such anger isn't really about anything. It's part of the person's personality. It may erput at any moment and may or may not be justified by ambient circumstances. It's the unpredictability that sends a chill down the spine.