Brad Smith and John McCain:

Law professor and FEC Chairman Brad Smith describes his fractious relationship with Sen. John McCain (from the Washington Times):

Smith and McCain

Bradley Smith is leaving Washington with a few words in regard to Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who opposed Mr. Smith's appointment to the Federal Election Commission five years ago.

Mr. Smith, who is returning to Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, earned the enmity of Mr. McCain and other would-be campaign finance reformers by arguing that such legislation was hopelessly misguided.

"McCain has always refused to meet with me," Mr. Smith told National Review's Byron York for the July 18 issue of the magazine.

"I tried to meet him once at a public hearing. He was at the table, and I went up and I said, 'Senator,' and I held out my hand. And he instinctively took my hand, and then he looked up and realized who it was, and he yanked his hand away and said, 'I'm not going to shake your hand. You're a bully and a coward, and you have no regard for the Constitution. I don't have to talk to you. I'm not going to talk to you.' It was right in front of a large number of people."

When Mr. York asked whether the senator had really called him a bully and a coward, Mr. Smith replied: "Uh-huh. And corrupt, too. He always calls me corrupt. And my wife says, 'If you're corrupt, you're the worst corrupt person I've ever seen. Where are the fur coats? The watches? The cars? The fancy trips?'?"

Mr. Smith said he doesn't think Mr. McCain understands his own signature issue.

"He is woefully ill-informed on campaign finance issues," Mr. Smith said. "I have seen him repeatedly misstate what the law is, misstate what court decisions held, and I think that's one reason he gets so angry when he talks about it. It's because he doesn't really understand what a complex issue it is, what a difficult issue it is, he doesn't understand the court hearings, he doesn't understand how we've gotten where we are -- so he just gets mad."

Robert Schwartz (mail):
If Smith were at all corrupt, he would have stayed in DC and taken a job at some high-power political fixer law firm. He would not be comming back to Columbus OH and an academic job.
7.11.2005 1:25pm
Anonymous jim (www):
"he doesn't really understand what a complex issue it is, what a difficult issue it is"

This is true of not only McCain but also many folks who voted for and (perhaps) for the person who signed it into law.
7.11.2005 1:46pm
On the one hand, McCain appears intemperate and uninformed. On the other, he is passionate and sincere. I'd prefer, temperate, informed, passionate and sincere, but there aren't a lot of those to choose from.
7.11.2005 2:25pm
Wince and Nod (mail) (www):
McCain-Feingold is the Sedition Act of the 21st century. I believe that the John Adams and the Federalists in Congress were passionate and heroic supporters of the Constitution. So is John McCain. In fact, that is pretty good company. But they were wrong and so is he.

7.11.2005 4:39pm
Wince and Nod (mail) (www):
Michelle Malkin posts on the predicted result of McCain-Feingold - regulation of editorial content.

Clarence Thomas has been shown right again.

7.11.2005 6:12pm
slam smith (mail) (www):
John McCain pushed this legislation for the same reason he doesn't like Brad Smith. John McCain doesn't like being critized, and unfortunately he's in a position "to do something" about it.
7.11.2005 7:25pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):

You're a bully and a coward, and you have no regard for the Constitution.

Would seem more of a description on McCain than Smith. Not cowardice in War but cowardice in Peace. I can't see an argument that Smith has no regard for the Constitution since nothing in that document requires Camoaign Finance Reform. It's optional.
7.12.2005 3:58pm
jgshapiro (mail):
Don't you think that McCain might have other reasons for his comments? Smith makes it sound as though it is Smith's mere opposition to McCain-Feingold that is McCain's justification for calling Smith a bully and a coward, but given their respective positions, I suspect that McCain is far more familiar with Smith's actions generally than are we.
7.12.2005 7:02pm