Candidate McCain gets many many points for his military service and his survival as a POW. No doubt about that.
But he's canceling out some of those points by bragging today about all of his demerits while he was a student at the Naval Academy. The New York Times excerpts an advance of the speech, which is being delivered at Annapolis today. The pertinent portion:
“In truth, my four years at the Naval Academy were not notable for exemplary virtue or academic achievement but, rather, for the impressive catalogue of demerits I managed to accumulate. By my reckoning, at the end of my second class year, I had marched enough extra duty to take me to Baltimore and back seventeen times — which, if not a record, certainly ranks somewhere very near the top.’’
(By the way, that better not be some kind of cheap shot at Baltimore.)
I'm not sure if he's exaggerating his misbehavior to seem more like a regular guy, or whether he really was getting written up all of the time. I also tend to think he had to be a fairly serious student to get into and graduate from the academy.
Either way, it makes me wonder what would happen if we had a president who really had been a total screw-off during college. What would that be like? Maybe we'd be better off with someone who was a top-notch student and is comfortable with that. That'd be neat.