The Corner

McCain on His Campaign, His Wife’s Money, and the Pre-Nup

Tomorrow’s New York Times magazine has a brief interview with John McCain in which McCain is asked whether he would tap his wife’s fortune for his struggling campaign:

Might you consider borrowing, say, $5 million from your wife, Cindy, an heiress to an Arizona beer-distribution fortune?

I would never do such a thing. I don’t think it’s the appropriate thing to do.

Why not? You’d consider it an insult to your masculine pride?

No, it really isn’t masculine pride. It’s more that I think getting small donations is part of campaigning. It’s part of whether you can succeed or fail. I think that’s going to be the key to our success in the future, whether we can get the small-donor base.

I’m sure you’re aware that your rival Mitt Romney just tapped into his personal savings to self-finance his campaign.

Yeah, $9 or $10 million or whatever. I am not criticizing anyone else’s decisions, but I should be able to raise my own money from contributors or take matching funds according to the law, not dip into my wife’s assets.

Did she ask you to sign a prenuptial agreement when you married her?

Yes, yes. That was 27 years ago. We were married in 1980.

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Language, of course, is generally employed by human beings to distract or deceive. So there is much to be said for critical listening.