Now this man conducted wars with all the spirit of youth when he was far advanced in life, and by his persistence gradually wearied out Hannibal, when rioting in all the confidence of youth. How brilliant are those lines of my friend Ennius on him!
For us, down beaten by the storms of fate,
One man by wise delays restored the State.
Praise or dispraise moved not his constant mood,
True to his purpose, to his country's good!
Down ever-lengthening avenues of fame
Thus shines and shall shine still his glorious name.
M.T. Cicero on John McCain - sorry - I meant Quintus Fabius Maximus, an old Roman lion who saved the Repulic in time of war.
Michael Cooper raises the age and health issue on John McCain's Presidential hopes.
Senator John McCain was fielding questions at a town-hall-style meeting earlier this month in Ankeny, Iowa, when a woman raised her hand and asked him, “from one white head to another white head,” why he wanted to be president in such troubled times.
“You’re getting pretty old!” she said, after praising his long service to the country. “And it’s such a hard job!”
Mr. McCain deadpanned, to laughter, “I’m sorry I called on you.”
John McCain has the capacity to understand the needs of his country and help lead, over the enjoyment of quiet days usually given over to folks in their seventies - usually. How many American voters with white or fleshy domes have been called upon to bail-out their children, granchildren financially or return to the company from which they had recently been retired and put it back on a war-footing for commerce? How many retirees are taking in the children of their grandchildren and raising them to be solid citizens, because the onus of parenthood was too much on the MTV generation? How many experienced veterans of Vietnam have gone into the classroom to help give kids a real education? How many retired police and fire professionals have gone back 'into service' as consulants in Post -9/11 America ? Quite a few. Just outside my cubicle, passed a retired University of Chicago Biophysicist who is up-dating Leo High School's Science Department.
Cicero, a brilliant but oily politician, had the genius to recognize the best in other men and women; though he understood his own deficiencies:
Again what vigilance, what profound skill did he show in the capture of Tarentum! It was indeed in my hearing that he made the famous retort to Salinator, who had retreated into the citadel after losing the town: "It was owing to me, Quintus Fabius, that you retook Tarentum." Quite so," he replied with a laugh; "for had you not lost it, I should never have recovered it." Nor was he less eminent in civil life than in war. In his second consulship, though his colleague would not move in the matter, he resisted as long as he could the proposal of the tribune C. Flaminius to divide the territory of the Picenians and Gauls in free allotments in defiance of a resolution of the Senate. Again, though he was an augur, he ventured to say that whatever was done in the interests of the State was done with the best possible auspices, that any laws proposed against its interest were proposed against the auspices. I was cognisant of much that was admirable in that great man, but nothing struck me with greater astonishment than the way in which he bore the death of his son-a man of brilliant character and who had been consul. His funeral speech over him is in wide circulation, and when we read it, is there any philosopher of whom we do not think meanly? Nor in truth was he only great in the light of day and in the sight of his fellow-citizens; he was still more eminent in private and at home. What a wealth of conversation! What weighty maxims! What a wide acquaintance with ancient history! What an accurate knowledge of the science of augury! For a Roman, too, he had a great tincture of letters. He had a tenacious memory for military history of every sort, whether of Roman or foreign wars. And I used at that time to enjoy his conversation with a passionate eagerness, as though I already divined, what actually turned out to be the case, that when he died there would be no one to teach me anything.
There is so much that an experienced leader can give to the Republic, especially in time of War. John McCain is that leader. Give Cicero a look and give McCain your support; he has mine.