A similar thought struck me watching Fred Thompson get all thespian-like on McCain’s ordeal in Hanoi. M.J. Rosenberg is just a lot more articulate about it than I could ever be. It’s McCain’s version of “noun, verb, 9/11”:
You would never know it from the media coverage but John McCain is not one of America’s greatest war heroes. He is a former POW who survived, heroically. He deserves to be honored for that heroism.
But one thing distinguishes McCain from other war heroes, the kind whose heroism changes history rather than their life stories.
America’s two greatest war heroes were Ulysses Grant and Dwight Eisenhower. Grant saved the union. And Ike saved civilization.
And neither one ever bragged about their experience. (Can you imagine Ike smacking down Adlai Stevenson by saying that while Adlai ran a nice medium-sized state, he was the Supreme Allied Commander who ran D-Day, defeated Hitler, and liberated Europe?).
Impossible. Like Grant, Eisenhower did not brag.