What John McCain is Thinking

This week's Time Magazine has an interview with John McCain on the campaign plane in which the Straight Talker is described as "testy." What could be going through his mind?

I need a nap. When is this election going to end? It's like I've been on the campaign trail since they let me out of that prison. I can't stop thinking about that place. Like today sitting here while Time magazine tries to pin me down, make me explain all my so-called contradictions, how can Mr. Straight Talker be campaigning out of the Karl Rove playbook? I won't crack. I didn't crack under Charlie and no pantywaist journalist I pretend to like is getting me off message. I didn't used to have a "message." Just used to talk. Reporters love it. Can't get elected that way.

The V.P. thing has me down. How am I supposed to top Joe Biden? With Tim Pawlenty? His name sounds like a high-fibre breakfast cereal, eat Pawlenty and help your digestion. It'll only remind people I'm old. I'd like to pick Joe Lieberman. That'd be some straight talk. And he'd deliver Florida. Those old Jews down there, they don't like the schvartzes, do they? They don't like Republicans either but they sure like Joe! If only we didn't disagree on everything except Iraq. The base would go crazy if I picked him, damn snake handlers. I'd love to tell the base to screw themselves. I'd love to take Karl Rove and shove him right up the base's...I gotta stop thinking that way...all of his guys are working for me now. I've forgiven him for South Carolina eight years ago, don't need to carry that around. I'll tell you what, he gets me elected that old boy earns a get out of jail free card.

Everyone's telling me choose Mitt, choose Mitt. And see that Ken Doll face staring at me every day asking Mr. President, Mr. President, can I abolish social security, and the whole time he's waiting for me to keel over so he can step in? While I was staring down the Vietcong he was on a Mormon mission to France and I'm supposed to help this pampered, venture capitalist Sears mannequin get a leg up on his dream job? I don't think so. What's a venture capitalist anyway? Note to self: bone up on this economics thing! And who names their son Tagg? It's a dog's name! Tagg Pawlenty! Sounds like dog food. Good thing Tim's son isn't named Tagg. That's one for the plus column. I love Joe Lieberman, though. He'd never name his son Tagg. Tagg Lieberman? It's not right.

Why don't these reporters leave me alone? Didn't I cook ribs for these guys in Sedona? Now they want me to explain the kind of campaign I'm running. A winning one, that's what kind! Sure, I was against torture before I was for it. And I was against Bush's tax cuts before I was for them. And I was for a fair and realistic approach to immigration before I was against it. And health care...I never gave a shit about that. I'm gonna need to say something about it in the debates, though. I gotta ask one of my cardiologists what he thinks. Or maybe I can ask that guy who burned that thing off my face. What was his name? Dr...Dr...never mind.

Why'd I have to marry Cindy? I know she's better looking than the one I ditched, but all that money? Who needs it? Got me into that flap about how many houses I own. I can't remember what color my shirt is and I'm supposed to remember how many houses my rich wife has? They're gonna turn her into Theresa Kerry now, rich, out of touch, why - because she netted a bazillion dollars when Budweiser was sold to the Belgians last month? Good luck! The only thing my voters care about in that sentence is the word "Budweiser." But I like how when this Georgia thing exploded she said she had put in a call to the World Food Bank. Are they distributing Darvon now? The old Johnny Mac woulda launched that zinger on the Tonight Show! But the old Johnny Mac lost to George W. Bush. Laura was a helluva first lady. Gotta keep Cindy away from the pills, don't need that blowing up now that she's gotta compete against Michelle Obama. There's an impressive gal. Looks like she could break Barack in two. How could I be even in the polls with that friggin' pipe cleaner? Four years out of the Iowa state senate and he and I are neck and neck? Guy goes to Paris and gets a quarter of a million people to see him! If I went to Paris, I'd be lucky to get a cab. I miss doing shots with Hillary. Half the country wanted to burn her at the stake. That's my kind of opponent.

Why'd I have to hug George Bush? That picture is everywhere and all I can think of is Sammy Davis, Jr., and Nixon. So depressing. And my face is buried in his armpit, like I'm going in for a sniff, like we're intimate, like we get together, roll crepes and listen to original cast albums. He's patting me on the back and looking out into the audience. I put my country first. I was a POW, and that rich kid, fake cowboy, that Emperor of Horseshit treats me like his gay prop. How many times is that picture going to appear before election day? Millions. So what if I voted along with him 95% of the time. I'm a team player! I thought I knew indignity in North Vietnam, but that was prep school, my friends. Did I just say "my friends" when I was talking to myself? Oops. Good thing no one heard that. Gotta keep the psyche intact for a few more months! When's this interview gonna be over?

It's hard keeping up the straight talk act when I don't believe a word of what I'm saying. I'll put my country first but damn I need that nap.