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McCain: The management question

Sunday's New York Times looked at McCain's management style. "Out of his hearing, Mr. McCain is called the White Tornado by some people who have worked for him over the years. Throughout his presidential campaign, he has been the overseer of a kingdom of dissenting camps, unclear lines of command and an unsettled atmosphere that keeps aides constantly on edge. Even now, after a shake-up that aides said had brought an unusual degree of order to Mr. McCain's disorderly world in the last month, two of his pollsters are at odds over parts of the campaign's message, while past and current aides have been trading snippy exchanges debating the wisdom of attack advertisements he has aimed at Mr. Obama."

"In an interview, Mr. McCain said he believed an organization consisting of sometimes colliding centers of power made sure that a candidate, or a president, reached fully informed decisions. 'You've got to have competing opinions,' he said. 'I think a certain amount of tension is very healthy, and a certain amount of different views," he said. "Because of the bubble that a president is in, and the bubble that a candidate is in, sometimes you find out afterwards something that — "Oh boy, I wish I had heard thus and such and so and so." So I appreciate and want some of the tension; I don't want too much of it, obviously, because we have to have certain efficiencies. But I think there is a balance there.'"

The New York Times also notes how McCain has the week to himself, and the piece gets into the weariness issue. "'I think if you were going to take a week off, this is probably an intelligent time to do it,' Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, told a small group of reporters on his campaign plane in a brief session on Friday night. As for himself, 'what we do is try to take a day or two down, but it seems when I do that they fill it up with briefings and prep and issues and meetings.'"

"What makes the difference, Mr. McCain said, is getting enough rest. 'If I can sleep in until about 7:30 or 8, then it really helps me,' he said. 'I think when I get up real early, like 5:30 or 6, and don't go to bed until 10, 10:30 or 11, it seems to help me get up a little later in the morning.'"

"Mr. McCain has made a number of verbal gaffes in recent months, including referring three times to Czechoslovakia, a country that has not existed since 1993. In his comments on the plane, Mr. McCain did not address whether his gaffes had anything to do with fatigue, but he seemed to suggest that they might have. 'If I put in three or four 18-hour, 20-hour days in a row, then I'm not sharp,' Mr. McCain said. 'It's just a fact.'"

"McCain on Saturday issued a scathing critique of Barack Obama's judgment and readiness to be commander in chief, telling a veterans' group his Democratic rival had tried to "legislate failure" in Iraq and placed his own ambition ahead of military success there." 
Meanwhile, Obama attacked McCain in a TV ad over his support of storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. The AP: "The ad does not include McCain's full comments from the May 2007 interview, in which the Republican also said he believed the transport of waste could be made safe and that the current storage situation was also dangerous. 'What people forget is the option of leaving this waste in areas outside, maybe unprotected, certainly not well protected, all over America, rather than having it in a safe and secure repository for it,' McCain said. 'I preferred not having the status quo. And, I think it is a national security issue.'"