This is a really interesting link to letters exchanged by Obama and McCain in 2006. The underlying issue (bipartisan cooperation on lobbying-reform legislation) takes a complete backseat to the truly shitty and condescending tone and tenor of McCain.I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership’s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions. I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won’t make the same mistake again.
Look, I get (because he KEEPS SAYING IT) that he wasn’t Mr. Congeniality in the Senate and he thinks this makes him a maverick. And I am probably biased from my line of work, where you are either an attorney who writes these kinds of letters to opposing counsel (conflict-oriented) or you don’t (resolution-oriented).
The former feeds on the adrenaline of a fight and the delivery of zingers and the thrill of a win. The latter gets their rocks off when the deal is signed, compromise is reached and conflict is ended. Read the exchange of letters and you will realize who likes conflict and who likes resolution.